Emerald wrote:Since I have come to this forum I have learned much about the synthetic fertilizers and need to ask a few questions.
How do I go about this change in my flower gardens? I have been using miracle grow every two weeks and I do have beautiful flowers but want to start using things like bone meal, blood meal, and compost. Can I just switch? Do I need to also get a regular granulate fertilizer to spread around?
I have all my beds smothered in mulch and need to know how to go about putting these things in and how often. Should I pull the mulch back and sprinkle around the plant? Should I water then pull the mulch back around? Can I do this change for everything including roses?
Sorry, you have a convert on your hands here and I need as much advice as possible. Get me through this season I just might be a prow by next year.
I switched over about 10 years ago. I am completely organic now.
I would wait until the autumn on your flower beds. To add compost in the summer can be a waste of time as it gets so hot that the organic matter breaks down too fast for the plants to make full use of it.
Start in the autumn by adding a sprinkling of bonemeal around each plant. Do not overdo it as too much is as bad as too little. Then add your mulch of compost and manure. Pull your bark mulch (is that what you mean by mulch?) back, spread compost and manure in a circle around each plant but not right up to the base. Give each plant about 2 inches depth then push the bark chip back. I do not use bark chip or woodchip at all. I just top my soil twice a year with compost and added manure.
In the Spring feed your plants with blood, fish and bone and add another layer around them. Do this just before your soil starts to warm so it is ready for them to use the minute it does.
Unlike veges you do not want to overfeed or you will get lush foliage at the expense of the flowers. This is all I do each year unless a plant looks a little sickly then it gets a dose of something (seaweed extract, chicken pooh etc.) just to give it a boost.
Roses can be treated in exactly the same way as all other plants but they do benefit from a little wood ash added to the soil.
The main difference with natural food and synthetic is natural breaks down slower so your plants have a little over a long period. This means less work for you and stronger, disease resistant, more robust plants.
One more thing. If you add a new plant to the garden put a little Blood fish and bone in the planting hole.