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How to Use Bone Meal in Hydroponics


If you’re a grower, you may or may not be using bone meal in hydroponics. If you have, you might not be that familiar with why people use this sort of material in a process that's considered plant-centric and simple -- the process of growing plants in water as opposed to soil.

The answer, in some ways, is somewhat complex -- growers tend to use elements like bone meal precisely because the soil is not there. They're trying to build sophisticated nutrient profiles for plants, nutrient mixes that are going to encourage specific kinds of growth.

Here are some steps to using bone meal in hydroponics in a practical way.

Assess your plant type

Bone meal can be a great source of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen in a nutrient mix. However, you have to evaluate whether using this type of protein-rich supplement is going to work for specific types of plants. For some plants, like simple greens and herbs, some of these richer nutrients can be overkill. Growers often talk about using bone meal for flowering plants, because of robust blossoms in the flowering stage.

Adding bone meal to a nutrient mix

You'll need to add components like bone meal to a nutrient mix carefully. Try to find some way of distinguishing the amount of bone meal in a nutrient mix per volume. Figure out when to introduce this item into the plants’ nutrient diet.

Give it time

Protein-rich elements like bone meal don't work right away. You're not going to see a majestic transformation right away. You’ll have to be patient and wait, and observe the plants over their growth cycle to see whether bone meal or other supplements have made their intended changes. That said, growers will sometimes use these types of elements for a big final meal for plants when they are in the flowering stage. In this case, they're counting on these elements to work rather quickly to bulk up plants. But still, most of this is going to happen over days or weeks, not hours.

Consider Vermiculture

An innovative organic growing concept called vermiculture is often useful with bone meal and other heavy elements. Vermiculture is the process of introducing earthworms to nutrient environments, to help process the materials. One common way to do this is to have the worms in soil with nutritional supplements, and then drain out water from the soil, so that it will have particulates of those substances in it. This can be a little labor-intensive, but it can also be a great way to optimize the benefits of bone meal and other substances for plants.

Talk to Dealzer about creating your own successful hydroponics setups for the long-term

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