strawchicago

Why corn meal is a better fertilizer than bone meal?

strawchicago
June 8, 2014

Last fall I experimented with WHOLE-GRAIN corn meal as fertilizer ... was impressed at how DARK GREEN plus leaves became shiny and glossy. Didn't realize that whole-grain-corn-meal has 23% iron, 1% calcium, only 2% sodium, plus high in B-complex vitamins that boost plant growth.

Cracked-corn is VERY ACIDIC at pH 3.5. At that low pH, both bacteria and fungi are suppressed. I use diluted vinegar to zap the black fungus on my shower curtain. Fungi is also suppressed at very alkaline pH, such as baking soda at pH 9.

I soak cracked corn to lower my high pH tap water at 8.3. It's acidity neutralizes the calcium hydroxide in my tap water, and helps roses to bloom in summer heat. NPK of corn meal is 1.6 / 0.65 / 0.4 .... that's better than horse manure NPK of 0.44 / 0.17 / 0.35. The biggest drawback of horse manure is the salt-content, plus the de-worming medications given to horse.

Whole-grain corn's minerals profile is impressive, with 39% magnesium, 23% iron, 29% phosphorus, 10% potassium, 30% manganese, 37% selenium, 12% copper, and 15% zinc. Iron deficiency cause yellowing of young leaves, versus manganese deficiency of diffused yellowing. I have both: iron deficiency in my pot plants, and manganese deficiency in my native clay.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5692/2

I checked the nutritional profile of bone meal: zero values on most, except for 90% calcium at 900 mg, and 36% phosphorus at 360 mg. My soil is limy alkaline clay, and I'm next to limestone quarry, with manganese deficiency in plants.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/1869375/2?print=true

I used Epsoma Tomato-Tone for 10 tomato plants ... these are dark-green. But the last 3 plants I used high-bone meal Jobe's tomato fertilizer NPK 2-7-4, plus extra bone meal. These 3 plants are yellowish.

I did a research on bone meal and chlorosis, one nursery reported yellowing of hibiscus with bone meal. Also found a second report of bone meal causing chlorosis and nutritional deficiency. See link below for pictures of purplish streaks on corn leaves with bone meal, plus yellowing of young leaves.

Here's the conclusion of Haiwaii County Extension: "With bone meal, there were purpling on the stems and yellowing of the early mature leaves. The leaves of higher rate of bone meal displayed chlorotic symptoms similar to manganese deficiency."

Below is William Shakespeare 2000 rose with manganese deficiency in my alkaline clay, pH 7.7 ... The picture is taken years ago, now it's greener since I fixed the hole with cracked corn ($2.99 for 10 lbs. from the feed store). You can see manganese deficiency with green veins, but yellow background. That's different from iron deficiency, where the young leaves are pale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bone meal on bean and corn seedlings

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 16:02

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