Top 10 Reasons to Use Archipelago Bat Guano 

5.   Easy to use: over-usage will not cause nitrogen burn 

            ABG phosphate is sold as a fine powder.  Although the fineness of the material makes it dusty, this is necessary to get a high surface area on the material so that it releases its nutrients most effectively.  For this reason, countries that regulate fineness of rock phosphate and similar materials generally require the material to be about as fine as it is sold here.   So when you apply ABG Phosphate directly to the soil, scratch it into the ground and water it in so that it does not blow away.  We also have made test-run pellets that are less dusty.  These will break down in water so that the phosphate is released.  Let us know if you have an interest in this and we will produce it if there is enough demand. 

                        ABG Phosphate can also be used to create a liquid tea for a foliar spray or hydroponic usage.  There is a lot of science involved in this and you should do some research if you want to get serious about it.  But in general, to create a tea, put about ¼ cup of guano in 2 gallons of water and simmer for several hours.  The guano is basic so citric acid should be used to try to keep the pH between 6 and 7.  Use natural citric acid if you want the material to remain truly organic.  If you add the acid to the guano before adding the water, be careful not to seal the mixture in a container because gasses will be formed by the reaction.  A sealed container could explode during this stage of the process.  Also, be sure to do it in a well-ventilated area.  There are many other safety issues to consider when dealing with acids.  Please inform yourself on these safety issues before you proceed.  Nevertheless, if you do proceed, do not let the pH vary too much from 6-7, the phosphorous and the calcium will not remain in solution.  Also, much of the guano will not dissolve during this process and this sludge will still be rich in nutrients.  Place the sludge directly on soil around your plants.     

            In general, phosphate should be applied directly to the plant root system.  It does not do your plants much good to fertilize the surrounding soil that is devoid of plant roots.  Also, over-fertilization is a major contributor to phosphate pollution in the nation’s waterways.  To apply to the root system, spread the guano under the drip-line of a tree or near the base of a smaller plant, scratch it into the ground, and water it in.  When transplanting, place the guano in the hole that the plant is being placed.  This will aid in root growth. 

            The guano should be used whenever phosphate is needed.  Seasonally, this is typically when the plant is ready to bloom and during bloom.  Be sure to stop using nitrogen during these times as it can inhibit fruit and flower development.  ABG phosphate has very little nitrogen and thus it will not cause such problems.  Also, because it has very little nitrogen, it will not burn your plants.  

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

1.  Why Don’t Schrubs 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.)

2.  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.)

3.  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.)

4.  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.”)

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

6.  Nutrient solutions for greenhouse vegetable culture, Texas A & M.


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