About Us


Garden Wheel

Garden Planning

Seasonal Ideas



Contact Us



What is Bone Meal made from? &   What is it’s purpose?

Hoffman Organic Bone Meal is a by-product of meat from rendering plants.  The bones are cooked, steamed and ground up to produce bone meal.  It provides slow, steady feeding of phosphorus and nitrogen, two primary nutrients required by all plants.  It helps develop sturdy root systems and stimulates growth. It is an all-natural and perfect for Organic gardening.

Is there the possibility of contracting  Mad Cow disease from Bone Meal ?

Hoffman Bone Meal produced from the bones of USDA cattle only.    Since there have been no cases of mad cow disease with any United States meat suppliers, there is NO way for mad cow disease to be transmitted through Hoffman bone meal.

My dog has eaten Bone Meal  (either directly out of the bag or from the garden)

What do I do?  &   Is it deadly to them ?

Hoffman Organic Bone Meal invariably attracts dogs due to the fact that it is derived from real animal bones.   As you would with children, you should always keep any garden products “out of reach” of pets.  When applying bone meal, work it into the soil so it does not lie directly on top of the ground where pets are more likely to notice it.

If your dog does eat bone meal -- In most cases -- it is NOT a serious condition.  The effects on your pet will vary depending on the size of the dog and how much bone meal was consumed.  In most cases bone meal will only cause minor stomach discomfort to the pet.  Affected pets should be given plenty of water and / or milk.

If more serious side affects occur, such as vomiting, fever, or overall malaise for more than 24 hours, contact your Veterinarian.

How much Hoffman Dog & Cat Repellant  Do I spread and How do I spread it ?

Hoffman Dog & Cat Repellant should be spread according to the severity of the problem at hand since every consumer’s problem is different.   It should be applied directly to the affected areas in a border-like manner.  For example if a pet is favoring a particular part of your yard, spread it not only on the affected area itself but also within in a 5-10 foot radius around the spot.   This further discourages the animals before reaching their favorite spot.

Hoffman Dog & Cat Repellant can be applied by hand or with a garden spreader.  If applying by hand, wear gloves.

Hoffman Dog & Cat Repellant will Not harm lawns or shrubbery.  It will Not discolor concrete and blacktop driveways or patio stones. 

 For flowerbeds and vegetable gardens, sprinkle a border around the entire perimeter of the beds.   DO NOT apply product directly on plant foliage. 

Hoffman Dog & Cat Repellant will need to be re-applied after a heavy rain, as this will affect its potency. 

My Orchid died (or will not bloom) from using your Orchid Mix! 

 Not likely!  -   Orchids by nature are a very fussy plant to grow and maintain.  Even many good gardeners have trouble getting orchids to bloom successfully and consistently.

The most frequent reason for failure of orchids to bloom and flower is inadequate temperature variations between night and day.   All orchids need a 10-15 degree temperature change between night and day - cool nights (around 60 degrees) and warm days - to set buds.  Often a spot in a poorly insulated window will provide this temperature swing.  Otherwise, you may have to do some shuffling around with this high-maintenance plant!

Another cause of orchid problems is insufficient light. Once buds are present, make sure they get plenty of natural light.  A lack of insufficient light will make them “leggy” and they will flop over.   Move them to a sunnier location if you think this might be a problem.  Also, orchids like a lot of humidity.  Mist the leaves daily or place the plants on a “pebble tray” to create humidity. 

 Note that some orchids bloom in the spring while other bloom in the fall and winter.  Consult your  Garden center on the various types.

What do I use Aluminum Sulfate for?

 Aluminum sulfate acidifies (reduces the pH of the soil).  Some plants have a high requirement for microelements, which are more available in the acid pH range 4.5 to 5.5.  These acid preferring plants include: Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Holly, Birch, Blue Hydrangeas, Blueberries, Begonias, Camellia’s, Fuchsia’s, Gardenia’s & Magnolia’s. 

Symptoms of sulfur deficiency include light green to yellow leaves and stunted growth. 

 Gardeners realize that the key to increased yields and a successful garden is knowing their soil pH and nutrient levels.  Soil testing can be performed anytime of year that the ground is not frozen.

Do you put Bulb Food or  Bone Meal directly on the bulb?

No.  Bulb Food needs to be applied in the planting hole or around the base of existing bulbs.   The proper feeding procedures for Bulbs are as follows:

At Planting Time  – Mix Hoffman Bone Meal (4-12-0) into the planting media at a rate of 8lbs. Per 100 sqft.   Be sure to put a handful of bone meal directly into each hole dug so it reaches the root zone. 

In Fall – Add Hoffman Bulb Food (3-10-6) as a top dressing to the flowerbed using 5lbs. Per 100 sqft.  Water in thoroughly.  This will provide proper nutrients to the bulb during the fall/winter period when root growth and development for spring flowering is occurring.

 In Springtime – Add Hoffman Perennial Flower Food (12-12-12) as a top dressing after leaves appear.  Take care not to get food directly on the plant.  Use 5 lbs. Per 100 sqft.  Water in.  This provides proper nutrients for the bulb for the entire year. 

What is the difference between Hoffman Hydrated Lime and dolomitic lime and what is it used  for ?

Hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) has more neutralizing power than the more common dolomitic (calcium-magnesium carbonate) limestone.  Dolomitic lime is usually sold in 40-50lb. Bags vs. the small bag of Hydrated lime.  This means that for gardening purposes, you should apply about two-thirds the recommended amount of Hydrated lime. 

It’s main usage is to alter soil pH.

What is pH?

pH is a measure of the acidity ("sourness") or alkalinity ("sweetness") of soil. The scale ranges from 1 to 14, but few soils are more acidic that 5 or more alkaline than 9. A pH of 7 is perfectly neutral, but most plants grow best when the pH is a slightly acidic between 6.5.

Soils in areas with low rainfall tend to be alkaline. Where rainfall is high, soils are more often acidic. This happens because rainfall gradually washes calcium from soil. In practical terms, if you live east of the Mississippi River, you’ll need to add calcium to your soil to raise the pH.

Soil testing is the best way to learn about your soil, including the pH.

Is there Asbestos in Hoffman Vermiculite??  


Vermiculite in Lawn and Garden Products

In past months there have been several news articles regarding the issue of vermiculite and possible contamination with asbestos. Initially, the articles focused primarily on minerals that were mined out of a single vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana. This mine reportedly was the source for vermiculite contaminated with a certain rare kind of asbestos.

Though the mine was closed 10 years ago, a store in the Seattle area dealing in liquidated goods was recently found to be selling some 10-year-old packaging material called Zonolite Chemical Packaging Vermiculite as a lawn and garden soil supplement. This material, which was mined at the Libby facility, was reported to contain high amounts of asbestos. The discovery of this product being sold to retailers as a soil supplement prompted a regional study by the EPA of lawn and garden products containing vermiculite and being sold in the northwest United States.

Subsequently, that study was expanded nationwide, and the EPA recently released its report. The conclusions of the report were that vermiculite used in lawn and garden products poses only minimal health risks to consumers, when used according to recommendations.

The A.H.HOFFMAN CO. prides itself in the quality and safety of our products. Hoffman has sought and received numerous lab tests and other documentation assurances from our vermiculite suppliers that their materials are safe and asbestos-free.

The majority of EPA tests clearly support the conclusion that most lawn and garden products containing vermiculite should not be a source of alarm among home gardeners.

Vermiculite has been used and trusted by gardeners for years to grow healthy seedlings and beautiful flowers in containers and garden soils. It has unequalled qualities, creating potting mixes and garden soils that are light weight with excellent characteristics for drainage, aeration, and easy root penetration. Never in the past have any health problems been associated with its use in the home and garden, and we continue to believe that you can use Hoffman Vermiculite and potting soils containing vermiculite as recommended with confidence and safety.

Finally, if you would prefer a formulation without vermiculite, you can also buy many quality Hoffman planting mixes that contain perlite instead of vermiculite. Perlite is another mineral substance that is heat expanded to create a lightweight pellet-shaped substance that, like vermiculite, increases drainage and porosity of potting mixes and garden soils.  Or you can make your own potting mixes with a other Hofffman products, including Hoffman Perlite & Hoffman Sphagnum Peat Moss. 


Good Earth, Inc.
Marketing Department
P.O. Box 290
Lancaster, NY 14086
Tel: 716-684-8111
Fax: 716-684-3722

, Good Earth, Inc.