Does bone meal change the soil PH?

vegEgirl(z9 FL)May 15, 2005

Even though I'm not much into using bone meal, my family gave me some to use. I would feel bad just throwing it away, since animals' lives were taken. My question is, I already have alkaline soil, 7.8 last time measured, and I don't know if bone meal will increase, decrease or do nothing to the soil's PH.BTH, already trying my best to bring down the PH. The elements are okay for now, but are short lived since my soil consists mainly of sand. Florida is just one large giant ant hill you know,sometimes they let us use the land and other times not.Thanks in advance for any comments!

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squeeze(z8 BC)

if you're not using large quantities of it I wouldn't worry a bit - pretty slow acting stuff w/ comparitively small amount of calcium, long-lasting phosphorous, as well as a bit of nitrogen, potassium


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 10:44AM
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From what I've read, Bone Meal unlike lime, is acidic.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 1:00PM
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vegEgirl(z9 FL)

That's good news to hear, I'll be sure to put it in my garden. Thank's everyone!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 6:43PM
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Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)

Bone meal is a weak base and won't lower the pH (unless the pH is already way,way too high. But using it at approprate rates won't raise your soil pH.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 8:12PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Where exactly in FL are you that your pH is that high? Most of the East is acidic, with a few limestone outcrops in the Appalachians running slightly to the alkaline side, but yours is the most alkaline soil I've heard of east of the Rockies. Did your local extension service do the test, or are you relying on one of those home gizmos that don't really work well?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:19AM
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The affect on your soil pH from using bone meal will be so negligable as to be unnoticeable. You would need to add tons at one time to notice even a minute change.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 7:31AM
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vegEgirl(z9 FL)

HollySprings, I'm on the west coast, in the tampa bay area(on the peninsula), and yes I did have the cooperative extension service test it. If I can remember right they also told me that there are places in my area that have limestone or rock under the soil, or something like that. They told me to use sulfur, but it would not permantly change the PH, so I should also mulch with pine needles, and add substantial amounts of peat(to also add texture to the sand). Even though I've added lots of compost and manures, it seems to disappear over time, and the sand returns. It's an ongoing process! Thanks again for everybodys' imput!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 11:03AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Hi vegEgirl - do you mean Pinellas County? I live on barrier islands that are mostly dredged-up sand from Boca Ciega bay & the Gulf.

I know 'common wisdom' sez FL soil is mostly acidic, but 1 thing that I've found to be true is that 'common wisdom' applies to practically nothing here ; J

We should talk....

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 1:09PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

flordia sits on limestone. i am not surprised your soil is 7.8 that's getting rather high. start making compost!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 1:01PM
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dawnsharon2001(z7a NY)

I wonder if there are organic growers in Homestead, Fl? When I went on a farm tour there, it sounded like they were doing a sort of outdoor hydroponics on crushed coral: all the nutrients have to be in the water, because there's no real soil. We watched the coral-crushing machines making a new "field".

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:00PM
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captaincompostal(z7 AL Bham)

Bone meal (0-11-0) is about 11% soluble phosphorus and about 20% total phosphorus. It also contains about 20% calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is an alkalinic material, not an acid.

All organic matterials, acidic or alkalinic, all get digested and neutralized by aerobic microbes during the composting process, so that in the long run all local soil pH in that area has a near neutral pH anyway.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:47PM
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