October 16, 2023

How and Why to Use Blood Meal in Your Garden

How and Why to Use Blood Meal in Your Gardenblood meal lifestyle

When it comes to maintaining a thriving garden, you might already be using traditional fertilizers like our All-Purpose Plant Food, blends created for specific gardening projects like our Annuals & Perennials Foods, or single-ingredients products like Prilled Sulfur. But have you tried using Blood Meal?

Spooky season is the perfect time to talk about this awesome supplement. It’s a sure-fire boost for all those fall crops and heavy feeders, and should be applied twice a year: once in spring and once in the fall.

Don’t be spooked! Blood Meal might sound a little creepy, but it’s a totally safe agricultural supplement — in fact, blood has been used for centuries as a fertilizing ingredient by gardeners and farmers all over the world.

Why use Blood Meal in your garden?

Blood Meal is a rich source of nitrogen and other nutrients that your plants need for happy growth. Nitrogen promotes vibrant green foliage, supports strong stem development, and aids in the production of chlorophyll. By incorporating blood meal into your garden soil, you can ensure that your plants receive this necessary element to thrive.

Blood Meal is an incredible helper for heavy feeders like squash, onions, broccoli, and leafy greens (especially kale, spinach, and mustard). It provided a long-lasting boost of nitrogen while also increasing soil acidity (lowering pH).

Here’s another neat use for Blood Meal: it can deter certain pesky garden visitors like rabbits, deer, and squirrels. It can also help protect your precious plants against squirmy plant-eaters like slugs and snails. It’s the blood meal’s strong, distinct smell that repels these pests from your tender crops. 

Using natural pest control methods like applying Blood Meal as part of an Integrated Pest Management (or “IPM”) practice is essential to regenerative agriculture and its power to heal the planet

As you can see, Blood Meal is no scarier than other supplements/ingredients that come from animals, like our Seabird Guano or Bone Meal.

Learn more about the organic ingredients we use in our plant foods.

Is Blood Meal safe to use in my family garden?

Abso-spooking-lutely! True Organic Blood Meal is perfectly safe to use in an edible garden.

Like every single one of our products, True Organic Blood Meal is ISO 22000 food safety certified by Bureau Veritas, which is the world’s highest food safety standard.

Let’s look at out some of the most essential steps of that safety-ensuring process:

“Kill step”

Okay, this is very intense-sounding, but the “kill step” is simply when materials are put through high heat to “cook” off. This step is a crucial part of the process that can be compared to making sure the meat you cook at home is cooked-through at the proper temperature. We process our plant foods at a high enough temperature and long enough time to eliminate pathogens while maintaining the potency of the ingredients.

Process separation

Process separation is a huge part of food safety, too. It involves handling of raw materials separately from every other step of the manufacturing process, just like you are sure to wash your hands, knives, and cutting board after handling raw meat. 

Lot separation & testing 

We process, test, and pack in “lots,” or batches, which are numbered and tracked, so that if there ever were a rare problem with any of our products, consumer notification and recall would be swift, easy, and thorough. 

The fact is that a lot of animal byproducts are time-tested, powerful fertilizing agents. Ingredients like guano, manure, blood, and bone have been used in food-growing practices for a very, very long time

Now, with modern production and food safety methods, we can make sure what you’re putting in your garden is sure to be pathogen-free.

See? Nothing to be scared of here! Check out what else is involved in our food safety standards.

How is Blood Meal made? Where does it come from?cows

The blood we use comes from organically raised livestock that has been processed through slaughterhouses. The coolest part about Blood Meal is that it’s made from an animal byproduct that would otherwise be discarded as waste.

We get our blood from cow-processing facilities. After processing, the blood is dried, then goes through our proprietary process of being turned into that nitrogen-rich, shelf-stable, easy-to-use granular plant food you get in the bag.

As part of our commitment to restoring the planet’s health through everything we do, the blood we use to make True Organic Blood Meal is an upcycled ingredient. We’re actually rescuing it from becoming waste!

We secure blood from slaughterhouses that process cows for meat and other purposes, making sure even byproducts are used with the intention to nourish the planet. 

Not only does that contribute to our zero-waste production line, it helps various parts of the agricultural industry work together to create a circular economy: a model in which all byproducts are reused, recycled, or upcycled. 

How to use Blood Meal

While our organic Blood Meal offers a wealth of benefits, it’s important to be mindful and use it judiciously, just like any other fertilizer or supplement. 

Measure, mix, and apply thoughtfully.

First and foremost, Blood Meal is a very powerful fertilizer. That 12-0-0 ratio tells you just how powerful! 

Many single-ingredient plant foods share this characteristic (think of our single-ingredient products like nature’s fertilizer in their purest forms). Its potency can make it less “forgiving” than some of our multi-purpose, balanced-ratio blends.

Be sure to follow the recommended mixing and application rates. Using excessive amounts can lead to nutrient imbalances and potentially harm your plants.

Be mindful of your soil’s pH.soil ph testing

Blood meal can slightly increase the acidity of the soil, so be aware that plants which thrive in more neutral or basic soil pH won’t love Blood Meal. It’s a great idea to perform a soil test and consult plant-specific guidelines before using blood meal on these plants. Take a look at our complete guide to soil testing to learn more.

You also wait to avoid using Blood Meal on seedlings — it’s just too intense for those baby plants. We recommend our organic Liquid Preplant Starter for your new plants.

Wash your hands after using.

True Organic Blood Meal is food safe, pet-safe, and kid-safe which means it’s tested to be free of pathogens and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals, but you still don’t want any agricultural supplement getting into your mouth, eyes, skin, and…wherever else soil goes. 

So always wash those paws after working in your garden!

Learn more about storing your True Organic plant foods for long-lasting performance and safety.

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