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01/11/2012 at 20:14

I have planted some flowering shrubs in my garden. Come early spring what do I sprinkle around them. I read about General fertiliser, Bone meal, Fish and Bone, manure...the list is endless.please help...from one very confused woman! Thank you

01/11/2012 at 20:19
Fish blood and bone .....every time. It's the best fertiliser you can use
01/11/2012 at 22:08

BFB contains phosphate, good for root growth. Nitrogen, good for top growth and green foliage and potash, good for flower colour,and ripening of fruit and veg.

Bone contains phosphate and nitrogen, good for bulbs, shrubs, roses and fruits like strawberries.

Manures improve the soil structure and helps with moisture retention in the soil.  

BFB is a good all round fertilizer, and my preference, although I'm using bone this year for bulbs to see if there's a difference and was going to sprinkle it round the alpine strawberries I've grown.

I also use manure but this needs to be well rotted down which means keeping it for a year to rot down before using on your flower beds.

Hope this hasn't confused you more, I guess it's a case of choosing your poison.

02/11/2012 at 00:18
Rose lady, whatever you choose it's good you are thinking organic and not artificial. Bone meal,is more expensive, I think, when I first got into gardening I used Gromore and realised how caustic it was both to the soil and to the worms in it. Organic fertilisers "feed" the soil; artificial fertilisers deplete the soil.
02/11/2012 at 07:00

I use chicken pellets and BFB. I did'nt realise Growmore was caustic Verdun.

02/11/2012 at 07:04

Deplete the soil and caustic Verdun??-sorry but I have to disagree-I feel you are going to have to justify that statement-this is news to me

Organic based fertilisers do feed the soil, artificial fertiliser do feed the plant but they do not deplete the soil and caustic makes it sound like a bad thing,

All fertilisers contain NPK in different amounts it just depends on what is needed as to what you should use

Growmore or National Growmore as it was originally called is a useful and cheap all round fertiliser developed in the 1940's as part of the Dig For Victory campaign and has by used by millions of gardeners gardeners since then with no ill effects.

Manure/compost etc condition the soil have few nutrients but do encourage worm and mini-organism activity

02/11/2012 at 08:29
Morning sotongeoff. Bit early for challenging issues....fun though!
When I say "caustic" I mean the effect I saw on worms after I applied Gromore. They writhed in apparent agony and were dead within short time and my immediate conclusion was that gromore burnt living creatures in the soil until fully diluted. Maybe i used particularly powerful Gromore but it was 7 7 7. This was many years ago now.
When I say "deplete" soils I mean on some thin, sandy soils, Gromore seems to make matters worse....I would prefer to use a liquid fertiliser in these cases. No expert.....clearly....but organic fertilisers like FBB, chicken pellets, concentrated manure, etc do add something to the SOIL. Gromore is fine as a supplement on land already in decent condition. Personally I would not use it
02/11/2012 at 09:57

When I plant things they get BFB sprinkled in hole/on compost.

Every Spring I use pelleted chicken manure around the borders. Potash around the fruit bushes to encourage fruiting.

I tend to mulch as I go along, as long as the soil is moist beneath. Borders packed & lots of bulbs, so no ideal time for me.

If I had a thin sandy soil then adding as much bulky organic matter, eg well rotted manure & homemade compost, would be my choice. J.

02/11/2012 at 11:40

Such a useful thread. to a relative novice in these things. I have always just sprinkled growmore, but last year began to plant with bone meal, have also started to use chicken pellets on veggie beds. 

Reading this I am heading in the right direction but need todo better next spring.

Just top dressed clematis with bone meal.

Wood burner will I think provide potash but am unsure what to put it on and when. and how long it will store.

02/11/2012 at 12:25

Hi Roselady,if this is any help non of us on the allotments buy anything, we use Comfry,nettle juice ,woodash and if coastel seaweed,or a mix of all and all free and they work if you saw Gardeners world a few weeks ago one gardeners veg was almost unbelievable they were so good, he told  Monty who said it was one of the best he had ever seen  "he only ever uses nettle,comfry,woodash ,"as i said all organic and FREE hope it helps,

Alan4711

02/11/2012 at 14:53

WOW....bags of knowledge guys thank you! Sounds like Organic fertilizers are pretty well respected, thinking much clealy now, and it really helps to understand what each and every element provides our plants with. I was just so confused the other day when I found myself tearing my hair out in the garden centre. Now I'm happy!!!

02/11/2012 at 15:36

Rose ,Garden centres aren't always wot there made up to b, i went into our local garden center  ,asked for a garden and they don't even sell them, wots that all about then, cant win can u

02/11/2012 at 17:34

I love the idea of a garden centre selling a garden!! However, it is true that on the whole the people who stock them only want a profit, and most of the people who work there don't know a dahlia from mint -  nurseries are very often the best places to get things,.  Specialist nurseries for specific plants are often wonderful, with people commited to the particuar group of plants, or even sigle type of plant  that they grow.  If they are not in yur area, many give advice on line, and supply their stock on line too.  Have had no troube with any specialist nursery used in this way - not quite the same for the big 'we sell everything' sites, but some of thise are better than others, some are fairly well informed too. 

02/11/2012 at 18:35
Its quite a different experience visiting a nursery ....little gems, unusual plants, greater variety, cheaper, and skilled advice from the grower. You can chat using Latin names too without embarrassment and enthuse without feeling odd.
02/11/2012 at 19:19

This is why I joined this forum so much info and I guess no one single answer works for all or else we would all be gold medal winners

02/11/2012 at 19:30

remember bone meal is poisonous to dogs who like to eat this given  a chance.

02/11/2012 at 21:56

V. funny Alan 

Nurseries are miles better than the so called 'Garden centres' the people who work there are so much more friendly, and you're absolutely right verdun no hang ups about using latin names. I asked somebody at our Homebase garden bit about my ignorance in relation to fertiliser, he replied....'sorry love but i'm not a gardener' which is why I joined this forum. Thank you Gardener's world

28/01/2013 at 18:22

no intention to offend anyone; i at times have used non-organic fertilisers. but they do do harm to earthworms and soil organisms which are very important to plants. organic fertilisers might be slow and less effective, in comparison with non-organic fertilisers, but they also improve the structure of the soil -- in the long run, they are better. when i don't have choice, i use non-organic fertiliser, but when i have the choice, i always try to avoid them -- it's not for showing i'm a organic person or something, it's just i believe they aren't really that good for my plants!

28/01/2013 at 18:30

no intention to offend anyone; i at times have used non-organic fertilisers too. but they do do harm to earthworms and soil organisms which are very important to plants.

organic fertilisers might be slow and less effective, in comparison with non-organic fertilisers, but they improve the structure of the soil -- in the long run, they are better.

when i don't have choice, i use non-organic fertilisers, but when i have the choice, i always try to avoid them -- it's not for showing i'm an organic person or what, it's just i believe they aren't really that good for my plants.

28/01/2013 at 18:39

....  or for the rest of the planet!! Luckily there is room for us all, organic and otherwise.  I do know that since I stopped using any non-organic anything in my garden about 12 years ago, the difference in the numbers of insects, birds, & happy plants has to be seen to be belived.  That is not to say that the occasional use of something less delightful has not happened, it has, twice in the last 12 years, lily beetle gets excluded from all kindly thoughts, but natural must `i feel be best for nature. 

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