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Fertiliser for shrubs in flower bed


 
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tommo2
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:26 pm    Post subject: Fertiliser for shrubs in flower bed Reply with quote

Hi,
I am looking for a suitable fertiliser. I have a mix of shrubs, azalea, rhododendron, lillies, roses, berberis, purple hebe, etc.
The flower bed is covered with weed control fabric and a layer of chipped bark on top.
Is there a suitable fertiliser I can apply without having to dig it in below the fabric. I ideally want slow release pellets that i can just sprinkle on top and forget about, but most I have come across recommend mixing it into the top layer of soil. I really dont want to disturb the weed fabric, the dog already tore it to shreds once and it took a lot of time and effort to fix.

Thanks.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certainly no expert on types of fertilizer but, if you find something that looks to be right for the mix of shrubs you have, what I've done in the past is to put some of the dry fertilizer in a plastic bucket, or similar, add water and swish it round and round until it goes all cloudy (the actual goodness has washed off the grit it's stuck to), possibly dilute it if you think fit, and then use it as a liquid feed. As I'm told, most of these products are basically useless grit to which the chemicals are stuck, so all you need to do is separate it again?
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is interesting, learn something new everyday.
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tommo2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. So maybe just buy a liquid feed? I was hoping for something that i could just apply a couple of times a year, seems like liquid feed would need to be applied weekly?
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a clue, I'm afraid, but, in order to get the nutrition through the weed control fabric, it'll need to be in liquid form I presume so I can't see much sense in buying fertiliser, much of what you buy being very expensive grit, just to make a liquid?

If you can find a proprietary brand of liquid feed that contains what you want, I'd buy it but, if you want to do it on the cheap, get a forkful of farmyard, put it in a barrel, fill with water, leave it to stew for a couple of weeks, strain it and use that. This was a common ruse in days gone by and soot water was another variation.

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tommo2
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks blowin.
I dont mind paying for good liquid fertiliser, I was just hoping for the convenience of sprinkling granulated fertiliser over the entire flower bed and let the rain do the rest, kind of like lawn fertiliser. But failing that I'll get some liquid fertiliser. Any particular product u recommend?
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, not a clue. Just consult books to see what type of nourishment your shrubs need, and then buy a feed with those things in it. I never use the stuff so can't be of any help. Wait for Sue Deacon. She'll probably know.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for you confidence in my knowledge Blowin, I hope I'm up to it! Very Happy

tommo2, the plants you have mentioned all have different needs when it comes to feeding. Roses are known to be 'hungry' but hebes, it seems, can survive on fresh air.

If you use pelleted fertiliser it will eventually dissolve and get through to the plants. It will take a little longer than liquid feed but if your soil is moisture retentive you may not want to water feed on to it.

For a general feed I use pelleted chicken poo and for a liquid feed, a good seaweed mix. They are both general fertilisers, but they also contain many other trace minerals. You can get a liquid seaweed mix for ericaceous plants too. It has sequestered iron in it and is good for azaleas etc.

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree, Sue, about chicken manure pellets. I basically use nothing else (bar my own compost) and am not disappointed with the results. After all, if you can get a large plastic bucket of pellets from Aldi for well under 10 - I don't use the whole bucket in a year - plus it's nice and clean/easy to handle, why bother looking elsewhere? My only practical reservation about using it over weed control fabric revolved around something I noticed early this year. I got part way through planting a short row of spuds in a wide drill mentioned elsewhere and scattered some of my pellets along it. It rained a bit during the night and, when I went out again next morning, my pellets had all 'fluffed up' to look like willow flowers and I wondered whether, in that form, they'd filter down through the fabric freely? Just a thought.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean, but I seldom dig them in and although they do 'fluff up' in the rain, they do eventually disappear. It might be down to worm action but it can't all be the worms.
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tommo2
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. My flower bed is slightly raised so is free draining and needs a lot of water. Also, the bed is at the base of very tall leyllandii spruce trees, they suck up moisture like a sponge.
I have bought a liquid feed which I just applied yeaterday, I'll let u know how it goes. Its miracle grow soluble multipurpose fertiliser containing the usual npk etc plus trace elements.
Thanks for the replies, any more advice greatly appreciated.
I might try chicken pellets, maybe mix them in with the chipped bark might work. I think this might be a more gradual release, I am sure the trees are soaking up most of the liquid fertiliser immediately.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, you've probably hit the nail on the head. The Leylandii could well be your problem.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that sounds about right.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leylandii??? KILL KILLL KILLLL!
That's my opinion of them anyway - I'm so glad I got shot of mine.
As for fertiliser, mostly, these days, I use comfrey tea, diluted 1:10 or nettle tea, ditto. Some chicken poo, too. The only other thing I've used in recent years was some chelated iron on a sulky magnolia stellata, following advice on here - it worked well.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in a place recently that mixes and heat seals bags of various fertilizers to be sold to garden centres all around the country and I queried what the bulking agent was. (Well known brand)

It was limestone granules being put into slow release shrub fertilizer and I thought to myself, "There's nothing on the packaging to say, do not use on Rhodos or Camellias, etc."

What I did get this year was Pigeon Poo. Only a bag of it unfortunately: they mustn't poo very much. It's the dog's danglies. Best stuff I've ever used. So if anyone keeps pigeons and doesn't want their poo, send it on to me. Smile Smile

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