All Things Gardening forum: Any possible uses for cremains?

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Name: Jordan
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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DadofVlad
Jul 2, 2013 11:22 AM CST
I have worked at an animal cremation facility for a few months now. I grow plants on my small balcony Thumb of 2013-07-02/DadofVlad/5122e7
I grow peppers Hot and sweet and tomatoes and herbs and hydrangeas. A couple of months ago we had a nice batch of communal bones that were perfectly burned. Communal are pets that the owner does not want the ashes back and we dispose of them. Normal we dump these in the Hill on a private residence but I took some home about 6 cups worth and used it in my soil. In my containers I use a mix of 5% cremains 75% cow manure and 20% amend. I have also sprinkled some cremains around my plants.

The other day i found that we had a major build up of what we believe is calcium. I scraped that off and grinded it up and put it around my peppers.

Now i have no scientic proof that this is working but my peppers have grown crazy lately.

Can anyone tell me if this is doing anything to anything.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 2, 2013 3:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yep, you've discovered bone meal. Smiling It's a good source of phosphorus.
Name: Jordan
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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DadofVlad
Jul 2, 2013 4:19 PM CST
But does it lose anything from being burned at the high temps?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jul 2, 2013 5:05 PM CST
>> But does it lose anything from being burned at the high temps?

I doubt if you're getting any "organic material" in the sense composters use the term. Any carbon compounds like cellulose are almost certainly burned away. If the remains are burned to ash. you're only getting minerals. Are the cremains like fine ash, or gritty?

I can't think of any nitrogen compounds that would not burn away. But phosphorus and potassium salts should remain, along with calcium and iron. I'm just guessing, from general chemistry.

Maybe (MAYBE) the ashes are pretty basic (meaning high pH). They might be caustic or rasie the soil pH too much if too much was used in one spot.

If some plants reacted very favorably, they needed something like the phosphorus, or maybe calcium, or MAYBE the raised pH.

If you can check the soil pH, maybe they would also appreciate some form of lime. If you add soluble fertilizers, some of those can be on the acid side. HOWEVER, from what I read, both tomatoes and peppers prefer slightly acid soil: like pH 6.0 to 6.8. So don't add too much lime!

Name: Jordan
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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DadofVlad
Jul 2, 2013 7:04 PM CST
The ash is like a fine sand that put in my plats. Thanks Rick that makes sense
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Jul 4, 2013 12:50 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Where do you work?? My husband died in November and three months later I had to send my beloved D*O*G to Rainbow Bridge. My vet, bless his heart, paid to have him cremated for me Lovey dubby I was quite surprised at the difference between the two cremains...Bill was more gritty where as D*O*G was more like actual ash.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Jordan
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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DadofVlad
Jul 5, 2013 2:26 PM CST
I work in California. It sounds to me that they did not fully burn and grind the ashes. They should be white and like fine sand
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Jul 6, 2013 2:00 PM CST
interesting
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.

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