Rock Phosphate Vs Bone Meal

Rock Phosphate Vs Bone Meal- One-Stop Guide

If your plants have gotten into a problem which only fertilizers can fix, deciding between the two strongest organic fertilizers can be quite stressful.

The stress adds up even more when you’re not aware of which fertilizer to go for.

In this situation, if you’re stuck with the question “rock phosphate vs bone meal, which one would you choose?”

Well, both are great sources of phosphorus. But if you’re looking for the most available option then it’s a bone meal. Moreover, if the soil is in a worse condition and needs a  quick solution then bone meal it is. Whereas, if your soil needs a long-term supply then go for rock phosphate.

So that’s just a trailer on both the alternatives. To have the in-depth guide, just scroll down.

Defining Bone Meal

To put it simply, bone meal is ground and finely minced animal bones. Well, of course, the dried bones. And if you live near slaughter-houses then you might have an idea as to where the slaughter waste goes. 

If not, then let me tell you that the slaughter-house waste is also mixed to make a better quality bone meal. Now that you know what is bone meal, you might want to know what is bone meal used for

Bone Meal
  Source: fertilizerforless.com

Well, since it contains 15% of phosphate along with 35% protein. So with this many nutrients, a bone meal helps make your roots stronger. Just like how protein makes our muscles stronger.

You can easily get your hands on bone meal through Amazon.

Another additional use is, adding bone meal to tulip plants. This will help you out with any phosphorus deficiencies in your soil.

Defining Rock Phosphate

Just like bone meal, rock phosphate is also an organic fertilizer. However, it is simply a mined rock that consists of clay. Now, what does rock-phosphate contain?

The answer is that it’s a great source of calcium-phosphorus. It contains 30% of phosphorus.  This natural phosphorus binds with the soil and works for the benefit of your plant. Whereas, chemical fertilizers are known to work against the soil. That’s why rock phosphates make one hell of a fertilizer.

Rock Phosphate
Source: tradewheel.com

You might also know rock phosphate as rock dust. Wanna know how it got the name? Well, the rock minerals inside it give it the name badge. And it encourages the maturation and healthy growth of your indoor flower or vegetable plants.

If you are looking to buy a package of rock phosphate you can easily order it from Amazon.

Well now that you’ve got the answer to what is rock phosphate, let’s move on to a quick review.

Rock Phosphate Vs Bone Meal- A Quick Overview!

By now, you know that both bone meal and rock phosphate help in growing your indoor plants. But again what are the differences between them? So here we’ve given you a quick overview of those just below-

MeasuresRock PhosphateBone Meal
Durable to which extentLong term SupplyShort term supply
Time needed to start workingSlow fertilizerFast fertilizer
Amount of consisting PhosphorusHigh phosphorusRelatively low phosphorus
FormulaCa10(PO4)6(X)2Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2

Now that you’ve learned the basic differences, it should be easy for you to choose accordingly. however, these fertilizers are not the best option for your aquatic plants. Such as a dwarf hair grass or a micro sword. But if you have some time, just scroll down to the in-depth analysis of both the opponents.

Rock Phosphate or Bone Meal “In-Depth Guide”

If you’re still stuck with deciding between rock phosphate vs bone meal. Then calm down because we’re about to reveal the in-depth guide on bone meal and rock phosphate. So be with us till the end.

Safety Issues

So dear indoor planters, first things first. Let’s talk about the safety issues for both because you don’t want to mess with your well being, right?

If not, then just know that both of them can be harmful and trigger your safety concerns. So, you might think what on earth is that supposed to mean? Because we already stated that both are organic fertilizers. So, it makes us wonder- is phosphate rock dangerous?

Well, too much rock phosphate can be harmful to your health. If you’re gardening vegetables, a high level of rock phosphate can be absorbed by your veggies. And the toxic element remaining will eventually reach your stomach if you consume the veggies. 

But if you’re interested in flower gardening, then high usage of rock phosphate won’t be a direct threat to you. On the other hand, you might want to know- is bone meal safe for pets?

If you have pets, then it will be a safety concern for them if you’re using bone meal. Because you surely don’t want your pet to consume some of the fertilizer. If a bone meal is consumed then it forms a deposit in the stomach. And this can only be removed through surgery.

Unlike rock phosphate, an extra amount of added bone meal to the plant won’t be a threat to your health.

So, if you’re a pet owner then it will be wise to avoid bone meal. On the contrary, if you’ve planted veggies for your consumption you can avoid rock phosphate or just add in a little amount. 

Keep the mentioned things in mind while choosing the right fertilizer for you.

Usage

Now comes the most important part, the usage of these fertilizers. We don’t want to bore you with a pile of information. So, we’ve just curated the usage method and suitable plants for both the fertilizers.

Now, just dive right in-

FertilizersSoil TypeSeed TypePlant Type
Rock PhosphateAcidic SoilUntreated seedsFlower and leafy plants
Bone MealLow pHSoiltreated/untreated seedsRooted plants (onion, turnips, carrot garlic)

So, the next time you get confused about which fertilizer to use, just look at the table above. And you’ll be good to go. Go through which fertilizer you’ll need for which type of soil and seed.

Application Process

If you had the idea in your mind that all fertilizers are applied in the same way, then you’re wrong bud. Because both of the fertilizers require different application processes. Guess what, we’ve given insight  for both.

Rock Phosphate

So let’s see, how to use rock phosphate?

Rock phosphate needs to be put in layers. If the pieces of rock phosphate are tiny, then you can just toss them with the soil and put your plant there. Or you could stack them up above the soil. Then spread a handful of water. Now put another layer of soil. And you’re good to go.

Source: Bob Villa

Bone meal

It’s time to know how to apply bone meal to plants?

Bone meal is quite easy to apply. As the bones are finely ground, it easily mixes with the soil. All you have to do is make a hole in the soil and put a good amount of bone meal into the hole. Finally, just cover the hole with some soil. And the soil preparation is done.

Now just place the plant accordingly.

While applying both of the fertilizers we prefer using these tools-

Availability

If you’re asking where to find rock phosphate near me? Or where should I look for a bone meal?

Then worry not because we’ve done the research for you. 

We’ve heard that rock phosphate is getting expensive pretty soon. Because the sources of rock phosphate are difficult to be found. So if you’re scared already then we suggest you not freak out. Because we happen to know an alternative.

Yes, you can use animal manure in your soil which is a great source of phosphorus. Or you can mix the leftover veggies that contain phosphorus to make your homemade fertilizer. Both of these should do the work.

Now if you’re concerned about the bone meal, well it’s not going anywhere. So don’t stress about that. Here are some of the bone meals that you can easily get your hands on-

Types

If we consider the types of fertilizers, then we’ll see that both have varieties. Like, there are two types of rock phosphate based on their consistency. One is soft rock phosphate and another one is hard rock phosphate.

The basic difference between the two types is that the application process. If you’re using the soft one then you may mix it with the soil and then plant the seeds. Or just put your plant in the mixed soil when necessary.

If you choose hard rock phosphate, then you can layer it up with the soil. Just put one layer of hard rock phosphate above the soil layer. Now cover it up with another layer of soil. That’s it.

Now just like rock phosphate, the bone meal has two forms. One is liquid and another is dusty. Both of them can be mixed with soil with just a stir. The dust one can be used as mentioned in the bone meal application process above.

So if you want to choose between these two, we suggest you go for a bone meal. Because both dusty and liquid bone meal varieties are easy to apply and fit for any soil type.

Price

It’s time for the price comparison. So that if affordability is an issue, you can know which alternative to go for.

For bone meal, the price is around 13$- $24 per 4lb. Whereas, for rock phosphate, the price ranges from $30-$44 per 4lb.

For your ease, we mentioned some of our favorites below-

Rock Phosphate:

Bone Meal:

Now that you know our favorites, hope you’ll love these aforementioned fertilizers as well.

Upon discussing all the factors, if you’ve got safety concerns and a flower garden then rock phosphate is the one for you to use. But if you’re concerned about the availability, easy applications, and comparatively low price then just go for bone meal.

Tips

To further help you in choosing between the two alternatives, here are some expert tips from us to you-

  1. The soil test should be done first for pH levels and determine which one of the essentials your soil lacks and choose accordingly.
  2. The ph level should be less than 7 for the bone meal to be effective.
  3. The high nitrogen soil can be balanced by adding bone meal to the soil.
  4. The fertilizer level should be checked for proper usage because it clearly states how much to put in which situation.
  5. The ph level of 4-5 is best for rock phosphates’ effectiveness. Otherwise, the situation will be more like spraying spinosad on plants that don’t have insect problems.
  6. The fertilizer should be chosen carefully depending on the seed type. For instance, rock phosphate is suitable for untreated seeds.

FAQ’s

Question: What is soft rock phosphate?

Answer: It is the softly and nicely ground rock phosphate. Among the two types, it is the one that collaborates with the soil faster because of its dust-like texture.

Question: Which one will be a better option for tomatoes, rock phosphate or bone meal?

Answer: Well both can be used. If your plant is in the early stages then it will be wise for you to choose rock phosphate. If not, either of them can be used.

Question: Why is bone meal used?

Answer: Bone meal is used to strengthen the roots of your plant and to give rapid growth to it. If the soil is low in protein or phosphorus then the bone meal is used to fulfill the deficiency.

Endnote

By now you’ve been enlightened with all this information on rock phosphate vs bone meal. Congratulations on finding the perfect one for your soil and plant.

We will appreciate any thoughts of yours so comment down below.

Thank you. Happy planting!!