Organic sources for phosphorus

takadi(7)February 16, 2009

Other than bone meal or the creative use of phosphoric acid in coke, what are some other organic sources of phosphorus? It seems like it's much more difficult to come by compared to nitrogen or potassium sources

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Bone meal and rock phosphate are typical sources. If you can find them, fish bone meal and soy husks are other good sources. And then there is compost :-) Composted yard waste and manures generally provide all the phosphorus normally required by most plants in most soils and if applied in excess, can create an oversupply.

Some food sources have pretty high levels of phosphorus naturally - banana peels, crab shells, shrimp peelings, most grains and nuts - and these should all be added to compost when available. Meats, poultry, eggs and dairy products are also phosphorus-rich, but you'd want to avoid adding those to your compost.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 7:36PM
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Bat guano is high in P. I use Archipelago Bat Guano (type it in google)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:38PM
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Do you need phosphorus? Does a good, relaible soil test show a need for phosphorus? Many of the counties in my area of the world have banned the sale and application of fertilizers with phosphorus because of water pollution, and some of the fertilzier manufacturers are starting to recognize that problem and are cutting back on that nutrient.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:58AM
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I don't exactly need it, but I was hoping I can use something to stimulate the roots of a young crepe myrtle tree I recently planted.

Also, I thought that most organics eliminate the concern of nutrient leaching?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:05AM
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"I thought that most organics eliminate the concern of nutrient leaching"
Not always. One organic source of Phosphorus is manure and that is also a major source of Phosphorus pollution of our water. Too much Phosphorus in the soil can inhibit a plants ability to uptake Zinc, Iron, or Cobalt, all necessary micro nutrients.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 6:58AM
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Rock Phospate is a slow acting phosphorus source, and one application lasts a few years. It doen dot break down fast enough to be a pollution issue. Bone meal is another good source, and becomes available much quicker.

Root crops need a lot more phosphorus that most other plants, and a good supply will insure a good crop of potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagers, beets, etc.

The Garden Guy
"New Article & Journam Entry for Feb."

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:58PM
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I like using crushed coral, its a high P rock that also breaks down slowly ( like rock phos) but is a healthy/more balanced source, it also provides natural salts and other trace minerals that serve as micro nutrients. Also depending on how fine its crushed, it aids in creating a well draining soil consistency.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 5:20PM
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takadi: Use rock phosphate while it's available and not prohibitively expensive. The price spike that happened in 2008 will happen again and worse. This is a mineral that's reaching peak production, just like oil. As it becomes scarcer, more expensive sources will be mined and the price will skyrocket. In the long run there's an answer for small-scale growers: urine, and I'm serious and sober. Regards, Peter.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:32PM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

Phosphate fertilizers ,used judiciously, are much safer for the garden and the environment than coca cola.
Organic sources are hard to find because pound for pound, plants use much less P than N or K.
Personally, I also think that the 'organic' aspect of bone meal is debatable, given the environmental impacts of factory farming. Then again, it's just a byproduct so perhaps it doesn't make a difference.
Just wanted to point out that as far as the environment is concerned, 'organic' is not a silver bullet.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Hi, I have a small herd of sheep/goats and horses on one particular pasture that is in need of a rest and possibly some nutrients. It gets lots of manure and I was told I should put phosphorus on it. I have been told that the plants will absorb the phosphorus so there won't be any residue. Then I looked up organic ways to get phosphorous and found that bone meal may do it. Does anyone know how bone meal works. Do you put it on, let it rain and then animals can go back on it? Does bone meal also have a high nitrogen content that may not allow animals to graze on it straight away? How much does one put on - I would be spreading by hand over 3-4 acres. Any other side affects of bone meal? Anyone have experience with tired fields and chemical phosphorus? thanks, take care, mary

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 8:55AM
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takadi: Mixing some bone meal around your newly planted myrtle tree should help it develop strong roots.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:39AM
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As usual, I forgot there is no edit function here. My mistake.

Egg shells have some phosphorus in them. And, as stated, rock phosphate has alot.

Why don't you want to buy some bone meal?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:41AM
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I operate a wastewater treatment plant and have receive slug loads of Total Phosphorus up to 164 mg/l with 158 mg/l being organic phosphorus - typically influent wastewater is 0.05 mg/l organic phosphorus - need help finding the source


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Do your slug loads coincide with rains or any flooding?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:55AM
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