Top 10 Reasons to Use Archipelago Bat Guano 

2.   More abundant and larger Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables, Strong Root Growth and Plant Hardiness  

            Phosphate is essential for plant life in general, and for strong root growth and plant reproduction specifically.  ABG phosphate should be applied to established fruiting or flowering plants when they are ready to begin production, and as needed throughout the production period to obtain the plant’s full potential.  ABG phosphate should also be applied to the soil around the root ball when any plants are transplanted.  This allows the plant to realize its full root growth potential.  When transplanting potted flowers, you will get a double benefit by applying ABG phosphate around the root ball – root growth and continued flowering after transplantation.  Also, use ABG phosphate when planting in the spring and fall for hardiness.    

           Why should you use ABG phosphate instead of an all-purpose N-P-K fertilizer?  Because your plant does not need all nutrients in the same quantities at all times.  For example, plants need nitrogen early in the growing season to establish plant size and leaf growth and to help bring the plant to maturity.  But when the plant is ready to fruit or flower, nitrogen fertilization may inhibit the plant’s full reproductive potential.  Thus, many authors suggest that you discontinue nitrogen application in favor of phosphate fertilization while the plant is fruiting and flowering.  To do this, you need a nitrogen-poor fertilizer such as ABG Phosphate.

            But be careful to not over-use this material.  Over-use of phosphate fertilizer has caused pollution of many waterways throughout the country.  Because of this, there is a growing drive to decrease phosphate use nationwide.  Simple soil tests that can guide you as to phosphate needs are available through your local university agricultural extension agencies or other public agencies.  Be sure to understand though how much of the phosphate is present in a form that is available to the plants.  If there is already plenty of phosphate in the soil, but it is not in an available form, you probably should work at releasing what is already there.  This can normally be done by decreasing the pH and increasing the organic content of the soil through application of humate, manure, or compost.  Addition of sulfur may be effective for decreasing pH, but do not over-use that either.       

Supporting documents and further information can be found at the following web sites: 

1.  Essential Plant Nutrients: Their Presence in North Carolina Soils and Role in Plant Nutrition, M. R. Tucker, 1999, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. (provides micronutrient needs for soil)

2. Why Don’t Shrubs Flower (or fruit)?, D. Bir, 2002. (Most common reason for lack of flowers in the soils at issue is lack of phosphate.  Care must be given not to apply too much nitrogen because this can inhibit flowering.)

3. The Green Lane, Roses and other flowers, 2002.  (In fall, stop nitrogen fertilization but add phosphate to the soil around your rose bush.  They recommend bone meal as a phosphate, but you might read about that first.  Too much nitrogen can promote disease.)

4. Mary Robson, Area Extension Agent, Answering your frequently asked questions about Darden Flowers, Gardening in Western Washington, WSU Extension. (Reason that cosmos plants are not flowering may be too much nitrogen in the fertilizer.  Advice includes using a bloom fertilizer rich in phosphate to stimulate flower growth.)

5. Frequently asked perennial questions, University of Nebraska.  (Add a phosphate fertilizer when transplanting to develop root growth.  “Fertilizers high in nitrogen should not be used as nitrogen promotes excess foliage at the expense of flowers and roots, causes floppy stems, and can increase disease susceptibility.”)

6. Transplant Roses with care.  (Recommends applying phosphate (bone meal) around the root ball of a transplanted rose.)


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