Blood Meal / Dried Blood
for more rapid nitrogen release

blood meal is sometimes not recommended for organic gardening because it can damage young tender plants in warm moist conditions see below.

Analysis - nitrogen 13.25, phosphorus 1.00, potassium 0.60.

Source - slaughterhouses make dried blood as a by-product of animal processing. A wide selection of blood fertilizer products is now available.

Release Rate - rapid lasts up to 4 months. Suited to fast growing seasonal green vegatables.

Application - no more than 4oz per square yard during growth. Apply during the growing season.

Soil Reaction - acidic.


  • Sprinkle over compost heap if high carbon content brown matter e.g. paper, chipped twigs, straw... etc, is in excess of nitrogenous green leafy matter.
  • Can be incorporated to balance the carbon content when digging in a high carbon brown mulch - othewise nitrogen is robbed from the soil.
  • Use on nitrogen hungry greens:- courgette, marrow, lettuce, - perhaps corn cob initially, and greens such as kale, brussel sprounts and cabbage... However the acidic soil reaction makes it somewhat less than ideal for the cabbage family.
  • Apply during the growing season.
  • Also used to repel animals like deer and rabbits, but only effective if it remains dry. I suggest placing it in containers.

American Gardeners can get Blood Meal here or for availability elsewhere try my gardening catalogue page.

Action On Plants - the analysis shows that nitrogen is the major constituent due to the protein content.

These blood proteins are rapidly broken down by soil bacteria to ammonia. In warm moist conditions that favour bacterial growth, decomposition of this organic fertilizer can be too rapid. Ammonia may be released in large enough quantity to damage delicate roots.

Plant roots absorb ammonia to take up nitrogen for building plant protein. Therefore blood meal is useful for plants that add lots of green leafy growth.

As it is a fast acting organic feed, care should be taken not to apply too much, especially in warm moist conditions. Blood Meal can also be used to effectively balance carbons in the compost heap or when digging fresh organic matter into the ground.


  • Don't apply to seedlings.
  • A fast acting organic feed and care should be taken not to apply too much. Rapid decomposition when conditions are warm and moist could be damaging.
  • Don't apply to peas and beans and other legumes. They have root nodules with bacteria that fix atmospheric nitrogen.

Further Information On Organic Fertilizer


For more information on making / using shrub fertilizer try these books.
book coverHow to make
soil and
save earth -
Allan Shepherd

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