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Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Skip the Bonemeal
by Melinda Myers,posted Sep 16 2013 9:51AM
Fall means bulb planting and for many gardeners it means breaking out the bone meal to get them well-rooted and growing. Consider skipping the bone meal. You’ll save money and have better long-term results in the garden.
Bone meal is composed mainly of calcium and phosphorus. Most garden soils have plenty if not excessive amounts of these. Adding more is not helpful and can be harmful.
Excessive levels of phosphorus can inhibit mycorrhizal fungi connections with the plant roots. This relationship helps plants efficiently absorb water and nutrients from the soil. When these connections don’t exist plants must expend their energy reserves on water and nutrient absorption and they are not available for other important functions.
You can’t remove the excess phosphorus from the soil, but you can stop adding to the problem. Select phosphorus and calcium-free fertilizers unless your soil test indicates they are deficient.
A bit more information: Recent research on Milorganite, a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, found it helps put these excess levels of soil phosphorus and potassium to work. As the soil microorganisms released the nutrients from the Milorganite, some of the phosphorus and potassium bound to the soil was made available for plants to use.
If you ever get a chance to see Milwaukee from the water...do it! I don't know what it is about the water but everything looks beautiful when you're on the water. I took these over the weekend and just looking at them calms me. We have a beautiful city enjoy it and enjoy what's left of summer:)