UPDATE 3/2/13. Today I discovered about 70% of the tomato seedlings completely withered. So don't directly apply bone meal to the soil surface around plants.
The scoop on bone meal:
1. Bone meal is crushed beef animal bones, typically used for phosphorus needs which boosts root and bulb growth. Fish bone meal has higher levels of phosphorus.
2. Bone meal is insoluble in water. Mix it into the soil when starting seeds or bulbs or use as a side dressing. If you've already planted your seeds in little seed pods or trays, use fish emulsion for your immediate phosphorus needs.
3. It doesn't smell so great. Use it outside.
4. Not all bone meal is created equal. Check the bag for the N-P-K percentages.
- Espoma is 4-12-0
- Dr. Earth Fish Bone Meal 3-18-0
- Green Thumb 6-12-0
- Miracle-Gro Organics 6-9-0 (This is what Lowes carried. Notice the Scott's brand has less P than the other options on the market and higher N than most. I'll likely return one bag and find Espoma.)