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Fertilizing... Please help as it's driving me mad!

Hi there, I am new to forum so hello everyone I am very new to gardening but I have recently planted lots of plants in my garden and it's all looking lovely. However I have been reading that I should use fertilisers and the best is usually a well balanced slow release. However I have been reading that for example the miracle gro slow release fertiliser is not actually well balanced even tho it says it is. So I would really like to know which fertilizer would be best for the majority of my garden plants and something I can buy in the UK. Also how often should I fertilize? One more thing... If I used well rotted horse manure as a top dressing to be soil.. Would I still need to use other fertilisers? Thanks and sorry if I haven't made any sense. Craigh


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 25,217

    Welcome Craigh, by the way , is it pronounced the same as Craig? sorry if not. never come across it before.

    Fertiliser frequency is different from garden to garden. eg sandy soils need more than clay soils. Use something like Fish , blood and bone as a nice balanced slow release. Well rotted manure is a great top dressing, if it's a bit fresh , don't let it touch foliage / stems. The worms will bring it down into the ground.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,822

    Hello Craigh, here is something I found. It is a short summary of what the major ingredients in fertiliser do for plants.

    In simple terms, nitrogen promotes plant growth. It is associated with leafy, vegetative growth. It's part of every protein in the plant, so it's required for virtually every process, from growing new leaves to defending against pests. Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. Lack of nitrogen shows up as general yellowing (chlorosis) of the plant. Because nitrogen can move around in the plant, older growth often yellows more than the new growth. Phosphorus is involved in metabolic processes responsible for transferring energy from one point to another in the plant. It's also critical in root development and flowering. Because phosphorus moves slowly through the soil, it's important to work it into the soil, where it's needed by the roots.  Potassium helps regulate plant metabolism and affects water pressure regulation inside and outside of plant cells. It is important for good rood development. For these reasons, potassium is critical to plant stress tolerance.

    Any fertiliser that has the letters NPK on the packet will have notrogen, phosphorus and potassium in it - the percentage of each ingredient can vary and that is why some fertilisers are used to promote flower growth and others to promote leaves.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,293

    Well rotted horse manure would certainly be the best overall and you would normally spread that on flower beds and shrubs in early spring.  Put it on veg. beds in the autumn.  However, fish, blood and bone fertiliser is an excellent slow-release organic fertiliser which you just need to tickle-in to the surface with a small rake, hoe or similar andis usually added in spring.

    If you have clay or sandy soil, then a top-dressing of well-rotted manure will improve the soil structure as worms will pull it down into the soil.  If you are lucky enough to have a good loamy soil then F,B & B will be enough but adding manure is good for any type of soil.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 611
    Hi Hostafan image I'm growing some hostas from seed btw! Looking forward to them sprouting.

    My name is indeed pronounced Craig but my mum thought it a good idea to put a h on the end to confuse people haha

    Thanks for your advice btw. I shall definitely look into what you mentioned. The one I have actually bought is

    Would this be ok for now?

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 611
    Thanks for your info too pansy.

    With the blood, fish and bone fertilizer would I need to re apply every 6 weeks?

    I have to say, II have learned a lot about gardening recently and I am loving it. It's so relaxing being out there and I'm seeing great results already. I'm only 31 years old so who said gardening was only for the oldies! image
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,293

    Hi Craigh, FB&B is long-lasting, so you only really need to use it once a year (apply as recommended  on the packet) , although most of us will add a little to the planting hole when something new goes in.  I started serious gardening in my mid-20s as an escape from technology (my work) but it has proven to be relaxing, exciting, keeps me fit and provides the tastiest fruit and veg I have ever eaten - what's not to like! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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