How To Make Bone Meal

Written by: Lars Nyman

How To Make Bone Meal

How To Make Bone Meal

As the enthusiasm for home gardening sees a resurgence, many of us are exploring new ways to enrich our gardens naturally. One incredible method of doing so is by utilizing bone meal fertilizer. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of bone meal fertilizer, shedding light on its benefits, the process of creating it at home, and how to effectively use it in your garden.

Cheatsheet: How To Make Bone Meal


  • Collect animal bones โ™ป๏ธ
  • Remove any meat or tissue ๐Ÿฆด
  • Scrub bones clean ๐Ÿงผ
  • Dry in the sun for a week โ˜€๏ธ
  • Grind bones into fine powder ๐Ÿ”„

Bone Meal Benefits

  • Boosts plant growth ๐ŸŒฑ
  • Rich in calcium and phosphorous ๐Ÿฅฌ
  • Strengthens plant roots ๐ŸŒฟ
  • Prevents blossom end rot ๐Ÿ…
  • Acts as a natural fertilizer ๐ŸŒพ


  • Use bone meal as a soil amendment ๐ŸŒฑ
  • Add 1 cup per square yard of soil ๐Ÿ“
  • Blend into potting mix for container plants ๐Ÿƒ
  • Apply around the base of plants annually ๐Ÿ€
  • Water thoroughly after application ๐Ÿ’ง

Interesting Stats

  • One cow bone can produce 200 pounds of bone meal! ๐Ÿฎ
  • Bone meal has been used for centuries as a natural nutrient source! โณ
  • Bone meal is an essential ingredient in organic gardening! ๐ŸŒฟ
How To Make Bone Meal

Understanding Bone Meal

When we talk about bone meal, we refer to a nutrient-rich formulation that is typically created by steaming and grinding animal bones. It is a wonderful source of phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and calcium. When the fat-free, dried animal bones are ground, they morph into a fine powder that can significantly enhance the growth of your plants.

The Benefits of Bone Meal

Before we delve into the process of creating bone meal, let's first explore why it is such a sought-after supplement for plants.

Rich Source of Phosphorous

Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorous, a mineral that plays a crucial role in photosynthesis and the production of flowers, roots, and seeds.

Slow Release of Nutrients

Bone meal breaks down slowly, releasing nutrients over a period of time. This slow release ensures that plant roots will not burn from an overload of nutrients and encourages extended periods of soil vitality.

Economical Choice

Creating bone meal at home can be very cost-effective. If you're already buying meat, the bones are essentially free fertilizer waiting to be utilized!

Environmental Friendly

Using bone meal as a fertilizer is an excellent choice for those interested in organic gardening methods. It's entirely chemical-free, making it a safe and sustainable choice for your garden.

The Potential Issues With Bone Meal

While bone meal offers a multitude of benefits, it's also important to be aware of some potential drawbacks. The primary concern is soil pH. Though bone meal is rich in phosphorous, the nutrient can only become available to plants if the soil pH is less than 7. In alkaline soils, the nutrients within bone meal may become locked up and unavailable to plants.

How to Create Bone Meal Fertilizer at Home

Now that we've discussed what bone meal is and why it's beneficial, let's dive into the process of creating it at home. There are two methods you can utilize to make bone meal - creating dry bone meal or liquid bone meal fertilizer.

Creating Dry Bone Meal Fertilizer

Step 1: Clean the Bones

Begin by removing any remaining meat or fat from the bones. If boiling the bones is more effective, consider doing so for a thorough cleanup.

Step 2: Bake the Bones

Once the bones are clean, bake them in an oven until they become dry and brittle. This will likely take about an hour for small to medium-sized bones.

Step 3: Break the Bones

After the bones have cooled, place them in a durable bag or sack and use a blunt object to smash them into small fragments. This will make the grinding process easier.

Step 4: Grind the Bones

Place the bone fragments into a blender or a mortar and pestle and grind them until they form a fine powder.

Step 5: Use the Bone Meal

Once the bone meal is ground into a fine powder, it's ready to be used in your garden.

Creating Liquid Bone Meal Fertilizer

Creating liquid bone meal fertilizer follows a similar process but involves a few additional steps.

Step 1: Choose the Right Bone Type

Start by selecting the right type of bones. Beef and turkey bones are particularly effective, but chicken, pork, and lamb bones can be used as well.

Step 2: Clean and Bake the Bones

Just like in the dry bone meal process, clean and bake the bones thoroughly.

Step 3: Fragment and Grind the Bones

Break the bones into small pieces and then grind them into a fine powder.

Step 4: Test Your Soil

Before mixing the bone meal with water, test your soil to understand its nutrient composition. This will help you determine how much bone meal and water to mix.

Step 5: Mix the Bone Meal and Water

Mix the bone meal into the water in a pot over medium heat. Continue mixing until the bone meal fully dissolves.

Step 6: Allow the Mixture to Cool

Once the bone meal has fully dissolved, set the pot aside and allow your liquid bone meal fertilizer to cool down.

Step 7: Monitor the Soil

Regularly check your soil after every application to adjust the quantity of bone meal in every fertilizer dose accordingly.

How to Use Bone Meal Fertilizer in Your Garden

The manner in which you use bone meal in your garden depends on whether you've made a dry or liquid fertilizer.

Using Dry Bone Meal

Dry bone meal can be tilled into the soil or top-dressed at a rate of one pound for every ten square feet of gardening space. It will provide a slow release of nutrients that will benefit all types of plants.

Using Liquid Bone Meal

Liquid bone meal can be mixed with compost tea to provide an immediate release of phosphorous. Simply add one tablespoon of bone meal for every gallon of compost tea you're brewing.



What are the benefits of bone meal in gardening?

Bone meal enriches the soil with essential nutrients and promotes healthy plant growth.

Where can I source bones for making bone meal?

You can get bones from local butcher shops, meat processors, or save bones from your own cooking.

What is the process of making bone meal?

To make bone meal, boil the bones, remove any remaining flesh, and dry them thoroughly.

How do I grind the bones into a fine powder?

Grind the dried bones into a powder using a blender or a mortar and pestle.

How should I store homemade bone meal?

Store the bone meal in an airtight container in a cool and dry place to maintain its quality.

What is the recommended application rate for bone meal in gardening?

Apply bone meal at a rate of 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet or as directed on the packaging.

When is the best time to use bone meal?

Use bone meal when preparing the soil or during early plant growth stages for optimum results.

Creating and using bone meal fertilizer at home is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to enrich your garden with essential nutrients. Not only does it allow you to recycle kitchen waste, but it also ensures a slow and steady release of nutrients to your plants, promoting their healthy growth. So, the next time you're about to throw away those animal bones, consider turning them into a valuable resource for your garden instead!

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