The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Marion1

Avon, United Kingdom Gb

I have mixed borders with wisteria, ceonothis, all kinds of clematis, daisies and Heliems, rhododendrums, Japonese anenomes, azelias, lavender, camelias, magnolias, hydrangeas, lilacs alliums, peacock orchids and a few other things. I have stopped using miracle grow as a food as I was told that it promotes leaf growth and not buds, is it ok to mulch in blood, fish and bone as a general feed for all of these as they are all mingling together it would be a bit impossible to give every plant the appropriate feed or do you have any other suggestions for a good feed. Many thanks.



Well it is not surprising that you find your plants are producing excessive foliage because Miracle Gro is a high nitrogen fertiliser 24-8-16

Fish blood and bone is a high potash fertiliser so useful for fruit and flowers.

In my herbaceous border which like yours contains all sorts I find a balanced fertiliser best e.g. growmore

I usually apply a top dressing in spring as I do my annual weeding and feeding of the border.

Spread it at around 2 oz / sq yd Or 60 gms / sq m if you have gone metric

5 Jun, 2012


Thanks for that Teegee, I have not used Miracle Grow for over a year now I was using Tomorite last year with good results but its so expensive to be doing every week so I will try Growmore.

5 Jun, 2012


Every week???

I feed once a season!

As an aside; if you have fish blood and bone at hand then use it rather than going buying growmore, FB&B is a little higher in potash which is fine for any of your flowering subjects.

5 Jun, 2012


lol Teegee, perhaps I over done the Tomorite, on a positive note my wisterias flowered for the first time this year and everything is looking lovely, I cant wait to try the growmore and will be even better if I only have to do it once a year!

5 Jun, 2012


I agree with the use of Growmore - sprinkle it everywhere in spring around March and turn the soil over - repeat six weeks later if the weather has been very wet (as this year). Another way to 'feed' your plants is by feeding the soil, Marion - adding humus rich materials at least once a year increases the fertility of your soil, thus enabling your plants to get whatever nutrients they need when they need them.

6 Jun, 2012


Thank you ever so much for your replies, I will try both sugestions.

6 Jun, 2012


With due respect Bamboo,it won't be easy to " turn the soil over" as the border is full of plants,

May I suggest the use a light forking over with a border or hand fork taking care not to damage the root systems.

I agree with the suggestion of adding humus but again for the same reason, this should be applied as a mulch.

This method will conserve moisture,keep the weeds down and eventually it will rot down and worms will take it into the soil.

Any compost / mulch that remains can be forked in when applying the top dressing the following year.

Repeat annually thereafter.

6 Jun, 2012


That is what I meant, Teegee, when I said 'turn the soil over' Maybe I should have been clearer, but I tend to assume that people who have plants and gardens, unless they say they're beginners, know that they can't dig properly around plants. So to be clear, I mean apply the Growmore, and prick the soil over, if that means anything to anyone, around the base of plants, and turn it over where you can, using a fork, not a spade. Doesn't everyone do this in Spring, even if they don't apply a feed?

Marion, another option is to apply Growmore and then put a mulch over the top - the Growmore supplies instant nitrogen etc., whilst the mulch breaks down much more slowly to improve the soil, and, in fact, nicks a bit of nitrogen while its doing that, so applying Growmore underneath solves two problems - the plants have instant food available, and there's plenty of nitrogen for the mulch to absorb as well.

7 Jun, 2012


I thought that Bamboo, and I understood what you meant but I was not sure if Marion was experienced enough to realise this hence my comments!

I'm afraid I look at questions in a different way to you i.e. I assume they know nothing so I try to give them chapter and verse and if they know about something I said then they can ignore that particular advice!

I like to think this is a better view, but thats me!!

7 Jun, 2012


Marion's been a member of the site for nearly a year, and its become obvious she's a real garden/plant freak, so because I know that, I assumed I could use 'shorthand' to describe what to do. As you've not been a member so long, Teegee, I guess it would be difficult for you to make that kind of judgement - though it doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, I just try to be as descriptive as possible in as few words as possible.

7 Jun, 2012


Thanks ever so much to both of you for your detailed replies, I really appreciate all the help that I can get.

7 Jun, 2012

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Previous question

« cherry blossom tree dying help


Not found an answer?