In order to keep your blooms at their most perky it may be advisable to use an organic fertilizer. As you may already know we make masses of our own compost here at Higgledy but shop bought fertilizer still has its place. Chicken manure also gets added to the mix as does fish blood and bone. Seaweed is also a great fertilizer but presently there is some debate on the impact of its collection on marine life so the happy Higgledy hippies that we are have suspended its use until we know more facts…Big Al has gone down to ‘City Hall’ to rattle some cages and see what falls out. (He’s an American chap you see.)
Fertilizers usually have three elements: nitrogen, which promotes green, lush growth; phosphorous, which helps flowering; and potassium, which contributes to root formation.
Worm castings. Worms are our best friends. (We don’t get out much.) They aerate the soil allowing free flow of nutrients and great root growth. As they wriggle around being all wormy they swallow a load of soil…and later it all comes out. Worm poo poo kaka is the ambrosia of the soil world…plants just dig it…(yeah I know…great pun) These castings are nitrogen rich, can be bought by the bag load and won’t burn your plants if you put too much on. A winner all round.
Wood ash. Wood ash is rich in potassium so is great for plants that are coming into flower. It sweetens up acidic soil making it more alkali…so obviously don’t put it on acid loving plants. Put it straight on the beds not on the compost heap as it will quickly leech through the heap to the ground underneath.
Leaf Mould. Collect a massive pile of leaves…shove in a corner for a year…and you will have fantastic soil improving fertilizer. Pile separately from compost as it takes longer to break down and only use conifer needles sparingly as they take longer to break down.
Horse manure. We tend to avoid this as unless it is some years old it has a high concentration of soluble salts which are bad for our flowers. Also its phosphorous count is low.
Organic fertilizers work synergistically with your soil and leech out their goodness more slowly than their synthetic cousins. Using them will help make your flower bed a groovy little ecosystem.
Image from kidport.com
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October 27, 2010 @ 2:54 pm
Higgledy Garden, you are making my dreams of cut (and uncut) flowers into a tangible reality. After years of unfulfilment I am absorbing your botanical tips as thirsty roots in barren soil would suck in but a single drop of rain. Even my son is transferring his obsession with In the Night Garden to In the Higgledy Garden as he helps with my attempt to translate some of your genius into our own modest patch. Not long ago I viewed gardens as something to tackle with fear, like a complex mathematical problem. Now, with the help of your blogs and vision, I see them as a place where I can take it right back to Mother Nature. Breathe in the scent of those flowers, even as they lie hidden in the soil, come little seeds, bring us your joy.
October 27, 2010 @ 6:44 pm
We are so pleased to have you as a fan….we will soon be starting The Higgledy Cult which you won’t be able to resist joining….you can wear purple and everything.
It is such a delight to be of some assistance to one so fair as yourself.
October 27, 2010 @ 7:44 pm
The Higgledy Cult-ivators
October 27, 2010 @ 7:56 pm
Ouch! You are so sharp young lady!!!