Forum home Plants

Bonemeal in Autumn

guttiesgutties Posts: 224
I seen quite a few references to bonemeal being applied in Autumn.  I just wanted to know if there are any downsides and if it should be applied to all plants / shrubs this time of year?

I understand that it helps the root structure, but just wondered if there are any reasons why you wouldn't use it?
I assume that you just "sprinkle" on top of the soil around the roots of the plants and the rain will do the rest?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,428
    With regard to using it, l sprinkle it around the base of the plant and then gently fork in using a fork or hand fork.
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,872
    I no longer use bone meal on its own... it supplies phosphorus and most British soils that are in a reasonable condition, will already have adequate phosphorus, that's as I understand it...  this was confirmed in my own garden, when I had my soil tested by RHS and it came back as very high in phosphorus, low in nitrogen, low in potassium the NPK...[N=Nitrogen,  P=Phosphorus, K=Potassium]..  so I look for fertilizers that have a higher N a lower P and a higher K...

    Recent research has also found that if your soil ph is above neutral.. 7.0, then it's ineffective... but people will still use it regardless...  but if you think it works for you, then might as well use it...but I think you can sometimes have too much of this fertilizer...
    East Anglia, England
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,711
    My understanding, is that bonemeal is a bit of a myth, in that although phosphate is good for root development, most of the phosphate in bonemeal is unavailable to plants.
    I no longer use it.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,285
    I use it as an autumn lawn feed in Sept and find my lawn is better in spring with it than without it. I don't use commercial lawn feeds.
    Any left over goes in the compost bin as I've read it's a good activator
    In spring I use poultry manure pellets on the lawn.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,140
    I use bonemeal with new plants and on those that flower early in spring.  I don't use it on everything and I too fork it in gently around the roots as I have dogs and possibly foxes and don't want them digging at it.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • guttiesgutties Posts: 224
    Why are you applying it....and to what?
    Also..what's your soil type?

    I have heavy clay soil.

    I'm not applying it to anything yet, but was wondering if I should be as I had seen mention of it here.

    I guess we'd be talking about Astillbes, roses, hydrangeas, Pheasant Berry, Flowering Currant and Buddleja etc.

    But I wasn't really sure, hence the question

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,140
    Clay soil is very fertile so I would just apply a deep mulch of well rotted garden compost and/or manure for the worms to work in over winter and help open up the soil.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • guttiesgutties Posts: 224
    NP.. the only bad question is the one you didn't ask :smile:

    I'm on heavy clay too..and I grow more or less the same plants!

    As Obelixx suggests mulch is the way to go - and don't be mean with it. :smiley:
    Thanks both.

    Del, out if interest, what else are you growing (so I can take some inspiration from) in the clay?
    Parts of my garden is constantly damp so I am turning it almost into a bog garden. Other parts aren't as boggy but keeping plants moist is never a problem in my soil!
Sign In or Register to comment.