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29/05/2013 at 23:22

I planted a few bulbs and seeds in my small garden this year and decided to sprinkle some fertiliser over the soil after planting. I never thought of fertiliser before I planted, so none was mixed into the soil.

I used a small box of fish blood & bone, which just about covered the soil and pots. Was this the best type to use for garden flowers?

That was a couple of months ago, so today I bought some more, but this was Aldi's "Growmore" general purpose fertiliser rather than fish blood & bone. It looks like gritting salts or fine builders' rubble, and has no smell at all, even when wet. And when you do wet it, it slowly crumbles between your fingers into something with the consistancy of sand, still with no smell. Fish blood & bone smelled awful (presumably a good sign), so does anyone know whether this Aldi stuff is any good?

 

Any tips for other things to use to help the flowers grow better, especilly the ones in the shade?

30/05/2013 at 00:12

It should all be fine.

Donr over fertilise....too much will damage plants.  Also, mix it Imto the soil instead of just sprinkling it on top of the soil.

Tip one....patience.  You cant hurry growth

Tip two....read up on the plants you have.  See if they like sun or shade. Putting plants that like sun in the shade wont work.

Good luck Tomsk

30/05/2013 at 16:42

Thanks for that. I can't really mix it in because there are so many fine shoots coming up at the moment. They all appeared a few weeks ago and grew very quickly (during that sunny couple of weeks we had), but seem to have stalled. One of the upshots of that is the cats causing more damage. A few of the seeds and most of the bulbs have grown better, so the cats now avoid them.

How safe are fertilisers for cats? Since I've sprinkled it on the surface, is there any risk to cats sitting on the soil for a few hours or using it as a public convenience?

One of the reasons I bought the Aldi fertiliser is that I knew it would be raining quite a bit overnight and this morning, and this would help work it into the soil. If I'd waited until today to buy fish blood & bone, I'd have missed the rain!

 

30/05/2013 at 18:00

Growmore is not an organic product, it is made of chemicals in a factory - nothing wrong with that, but that is why it smells of nothing.  One of the best general fertilisers is pelleted organic chicken manure, my whole garden, pots, hedges and everything else, gets a dose of that around now - often earlier, but everything was so late this year.  I use liquid seaweed diluted in a watering can for top ups if needed, and specialist fertiliser for the clematis ans they are such greedy beasts.  If your soil is reasonable you shouldn't need much more.  Sometimes if it has rained a huge amount and nutrients, in  pots especially, are getting leached out, a foliar feed with the seaweed liquid does well.  Ericaceous plants sometimes need a jolt of iron feed if they are not in ericaceous soild, either as a feed or a dollop of compost around them that the worms and so will pull into their roots.   Baskets and summer bedding appreciates a liquid feed as their plants have to do a great deal of growing and flowering in a very small space in a short time. 

30/05/2013 at 19:46

Fish, Blood & Bone is a slow release fertiliser whereas Growmore releases its nutrients into the soil at a faster rate. For flowers you should be OK. For vegetables such as Courgettes, Cauliflower etc that are greedy feeders FB&B will not be at all adequate and I would recommend Growmore. For plants that are not so varacious FB&B should be fine. For fruiting plants/bushes use Super Phosphate which will assist the plants to produce their fruit. For plants that produce green edible foliage i.e. Brassicas such as Cabbages, Br/Sprouts, Broccoli, Kale etc. these will benefit a great deal from Epsom Salts. Always read the instructions, don't overdo the recommended amounts, and avoid letting the fertiliser touch the plant stems. Personally I tend not to use a lot of manufactured fertilisers, preferring to use good old home manufactured compost from my compost bins as this also conditions the soil and keeps it nice and friable. Don't use manure or compost under root veg though such as parsnips, carrots & the like as the foliage will look fantastic but the roots will fork in all directions and be of little use for the table.

30/05/2013 at 23:09

Plants need 3 major nutrients in varying degree's - nitrogen for growth and green foilage, phosphate for root growth and potash for flower colour and ripening of fruit.

Fertilizers are additions to compost. Nothing wrong with FBB for bulbs it contains all three nutrients, put a small hand full in the hole if there's a next time before planting and mix it in with the soil using a hand spade, that way you don't need to worry about the cat.  

Bone meal is also a good fertiliser for bulbs, shrubs, roses and strawberries. It contains phosphate and nitrogen and can be put in the hole before planting.

You can't beat home grown compost or fertilizer though but not everyone has the room to make either.

Happy gardening. ..

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