Dried Blood: A Powerful Fertilizer! Best Practices for Usage and Dosage

GardenBy Jul 02, 2024

Dried Blood: A Powerful Fertilizer!

Gardening enthusiasts are always on the lookout for effective and sustainable fertilizers to nourish their plants and promote healthy growth. One such fertilizer that deserves attention is dried blood. Derived from animal sources, dried blood is an organic and nutrient-rich fertilizer that can provide a significant boost to your plants.

What is Dried Blood Fertilizer?

Dried blood, also known as dessicated blood, is an organic fertilizer made from animal by-products. Unlike synthetic or mineral-based fertilizers, dried blood is a natural and sustainable option for nourishing plants. It is obtained from the blood of animals used for consumption, such as poultry, cows, and pigs. The blood is collected, decomposed, and dehydrated to make it suitable for plant absorption. You can easily find dried blood fertilizer in specialized stores or online.

The Benefits of Dried Blood Fertilizer

Dried blood fertilizer offers several advantages for plant growth and soil fertility:

  • Rich in Nitrogen: Dried blood is a highly nitrogen-rich fertilizer, with approximately 13-14% nitrogen content. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plant growth and plays a vital role in photosynthesis. It promotes healthy foliage, intensifies leaf color, and stimulates overall plant growth.
  • Fast Acting: Dried blood fertilizer provides rapid results, often noticeable within a few days to a month after application.
  • Organic and Environmentally Friendly: Dried blood fertilizer is suitable for organic gardening practices and is less harmful to the environment compared to chemical fertilizers.
  • Root-Friendly: Unlike some mineral fertilizers, dried blood does not burn plant roots when used in proper quantities.
  • Sustainable Use of Waste: Dried blood is derived from animal by-products, making it an eco-friendly choice. It helps in reusing and recycling waste from the agro-food industry.
  • Soil Health Booster: Dried blood fertilizer stimulates soil life and enhances nutrient cycling by feeding microorganisms. It is particularly beneficial for poor, rocky, or calcareous soils, improving their fertility.

Best Practices for Using Dried Blood Fertilizer

To maximize the benefits of dried blood fertilizer, here are some best practices for usage and dosage:

1. Application: Apply dried blood fertilizer by sprinkling it around the base of the plants that require nourishment. To ensure proper absorption, lightly incorporate it into the soil using a hand fork or a simple garden fork.

2. Timing: The best time to use dried blood fertilizer is during the plants’ vegetative phase, usually in spring (between March and May). It can be used during planting or for maintaining already established plants.

3. Versatile Usage: Dried blood fertilizer can be used for various types of plants, whether in vegetable gardens or ornamental landscapes. It is suitable for boosting the growth of indoor plants, potted plants, ornamental shrubs, roses, leafy vegetables, herbs, lawns, perennial flowers, fruit trees, annuals, and more.

4. Recommended Dosage: The recommended dosage for initial application is 50 to 60 grams per square meter. For maintenance, the dosage can vary depending on the specific plants, ranging from 50 to 100 grams per square meter.

Precautions for Using Dried Blood Fertilizer

While dried blood fertilizer is beneficial, it’s essential to take certain precautions:

  • Avoid Nitrogen Excess: Excessive nitrogen can be more harmful than beneficial for plants. It may lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers and fruits. Avoid using too much dried blood fertilizer for root vegetables, fruit-bearing plants, fruit trees, or flowering ornamental plants.
  • Short-Term Impact: Dried blood fertilizer provides quick results but has a short-term effect. Nitrogen tends to leach into the soil and can contaminate groundwater if used excessively.

Other Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizers and Soil Amendments

In addition to dried blood fertilizer, there are several other natural fertilizers and soil amendments that can enrich the soil with nitrogen:

  1. Guano from marine birds or bats
  2. Crushed Horn
  3. Feather meal
  4. Bone meal
  5. Poultry manure
  6. Seaweed powders
  7. Urine
  8. Some plant-based fertilizers (nettle, comfrey, etc.)

As for soil amendments, consider using nitrogen-fixing cover crops (such as peas, beans, or clover) or homemade compost made from kitchen scraps and plant waste to enhance soil fertility.

By following these best practices and precautions, and choosing the right dosage and timing, gardeners can harness the power of dried blood fertilizer to promote healthy plant growth and reap the rewards of a thriving garden.

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I'm Jennifer. My hands are often covered in soil, and my heart is full of passion for nature. Through my writings, I share my personal gardening journeys, tips, and the joy of cultivating both plants and a community of fellow garden lovers. Every plant I grow adds a story to my life, and I love sharing those tales with my readers.