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Phosphorus is the key element plants need for flower, fruit and good root development. You see this compound primarily in the form of bones (bone meal) or ancient bone piles (rock phosphate). It is normally found in nature combined with calcium in the form of calcium phosphate. In this form, the Phosphorus tends to remain “locked up” and not available to plants, so it must be “unlocked” in the soil through natural microbial and chemical processes. It is crucial for plants to have Phosphorus in adequate quantity in addition to healthy, balanced, bio-active soil.
Because of the stability of the calcium-Phosphorus bond, burning does not occur even with high Phosphorus applications. Very large applications, though, may result in an upward shift in pH toward alkalinity due to the calcium content of Phosphorus amendments.
Order a soil analysis to find out what your Phosphorus level is and what your Phosphorus needs are! If your soil analysis shows that you need to add Phosphorus, one solution is to work into the soil 2-5 lbs of Soft Rock Phosphate (F2101) per 100 square feet (or 500-2,000 lbs per acre). Test the pH of the soil where you’ll be planting. Here comes the chemistry: the pH of your soil affects how chemicals react. Bone meal is a good source of Phosphorus, as is soft rock phosphate, but the nutrient can only be accessed in acid soil. If you have alkaline soil, use Hi P Seabird Guano, or Hi P Bat Guano for Phosphorus.