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top dress with fertiliser?


By Sanbaz

staining blackpool, United Kingdom Gb

being quite new to gardening this year i have noticed on alot of my plants it says to top dress with general feriliser in spring, not sure what this is or what to get, can anyone tell me please :o))



Lots of different things are general fertilisers, pelleted chicken manure, National Growmore to name an organic one and a chemical one. Take your pick.
Unless your plants are not growing well, or your soil is poor, there is little need to feed them in their first year, in my opinion.

9 Jun, 2009


thank owdboggy,, when i started my raised border i put chicken pellets in before planting so guess i did the right thing because my plants have done really well,, thanks again :o)

9 Jun, 2009


When they talk about a "general fertiliser", they always mean a nitrogenous one like Growmore; this works differently from your chicken pellets (which are good to use when you dig, as you have).Growmore or similar gradually dissolves in water and supplies nitrogen plus other elements to the plants for up to six weeks in a form which is instantly available for take up by the plant at a time when they're growing strongly, i.e., spring, early summer. Sorry to get technical on you, but thought you might like to know how the chemical fertilisers work compared to the organic ones. The difference is that the chemical Growmore one feeds the plant directly, but does nothing for the soil - your chicken pellets improve the soil by nurturing organisms which help the plants.

9 Jun, 2009


cheers for that bamboo, i understand what your saying so will do that, :o)

9 Jun, 2009


There are also specific fertilsers which provide a particular 'chemical' to aid plant growth. Things like Sulphate of ammonia to give plants which need high levels of nitrogen and Sulphate of potassium for ones which need stimulating to flower. There are others which give various trace elements which may be lacking in ones soil.
The speed at which the 'food' gets to the plant varies with the type of fertilser too.
This is a whole big subject which to be homest is not that important in general gardening terms.
So now I suppose people want an explanation of the N:P:K followed by numbers on the bags of fertilsers?

There are big arguments about whether one should use 'artificial' or natural plant foods.
Personally I would never use Chicken pellets. How do you think those hens are kept so that they can provide the amount of 'manure' needed to make the pellets. They certainly do not scrape it up from hens running round in the open.
Still do not think you need to feed plants in the first year after planting, if the soil is ok.

9 Jun, 2009


thanx owdbobby, well i didnt even think about where the chicken pellets came from but didnt think hens were caged for this, if so i wont be using it again as im against cruelty to any animals .

9 Jun, 2009


When I kept free-range chickens they made most of their deposits whilst perched at night, indoors and easy to collect - I put it on the compost heap, great activator.

9 Jun, 2009


thats a great idea wagger, maybe i should get chickens,, lol,,

9 Jun, 2009

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