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I have noticed a lot of people mention that they use blood fish and bone. Could someone tell me what are the benefits of it? and when and how to use it please? I confess I have never used it because I was led to believe it attracted cats because of the 'fish' element, is this just a myth? 



It's a well-balanced, natural, slow-release fertilizer which is very gentle and doesn't burn the foliage or roots of plants like some of the chemical fertilizers do and it's relatively cheap.  What's not to like really?

It can indeed cause foxes and other carnivores/omnivores to dig the soil up where it is used though - I think they believe there is carrion buried in the area.  However, I don't see much of that at all here and lots of the aforementioned animals regularly visit my garden.



I use it and 'tickle' it into the ground with a hoe or rake - rain soon dissolves it and it loses any smell - we get the occasional visit from the neighbours' cats but there's no difference in the number of cats or visits whether I've used FB&B recently or not. 


all the dogs/cats/foxes love anything of animal origin. My neighbour's dog used to come over and eat from bags of 6X chicken manure.

flowering rose

It is indeed good for most plants but do watch if you have a dog.It may be obvious that dogs like bones but it is poison to them in this form and besides which you will find your garden dug up.


Thankyou all for your replies, may I ask when would be a good time to start using FB and B? and is it o.k to use around all garden plants and with all soil types? Mine is chalk.


I've never found it a problem to scatter it on the soil and as I've said 'tickle' it in with a hoe or rake and water it in or let the rain do it.

 I've had many dogs in the past and they've never been interested in the flower beds when I've used it - I only use a light sprinkling and ensure it's watered in - and I've kept notoriously greedy labradors amongst other breeds.  

Of course, it's important that quantities should be stored in a dog-proof/vermin proof container in a locked shed - as with all fertilisers. 

flowering rose

In drier weather  and I think most soils are ok  and certainly plants get a boost.



I use BFB at the beginning of a season, either scattered around perennials or shrubs and then tickled in, or as 100g per sq metre in the veg patch and forked in before planting or sowing seed.

Blood is fast acting source of Nitrogen and promotes leafy growth early in the season.

Fishmeal is medium acting and feeds through the season. The bonemeal is long acting/slow at breaking down, and helps root growth for older plants.

Fish blood amd bone is a well balanced organic fertiliser with plenty of trace elements.  Useful for most everything I think.  I feel it is best one to use. 

For a time a few years back I had problems with foxes digging after I applied fish blood and bone but now not so much.  However a friend of mine has 5 to 6 acres of open ground with lots of foxes, rabbits and badgers calling.  We have agreed it best not to use fish blood and bone because it does create problems.  In her case, pelleted chicken manure seems a better option.

As with all fertilisers it's best to "tickle" dove said......into the soil rather than spread on the surface 

Thanks for the advice, I will get 'tickling'   when the weather is a bit more settled.


Ideal weather for a bit of tickling.

Jim Macd

Yes, I tickled it in around my fruit bushes at the weekend,  and my Jack Russels have found it very interested sniffing around everything I scattered it around. They haven't dug anything up though and I've not seen any cats.

What is "tickling" in this context?!

Gentle disturbance of the top layer of the soil with a hoe or rake, just to incorporate the FB&B with the soil rather than leaving it resting on the surface. 

Also good for dealing with tiny sprouting weed seeds.


thanks for this, I was wondering the same thing too.

Have just noticed I added a row of question marks at the end of my last post I have no idea why !!!
Jim Macd

Hi Pam, i wouldn't worry about it; it happens to some people, I find the sight easier to use at home on my Mac than at work on the old Windows XP. it depends what system and browser you're using I think.