What was this fertilizer?

pasackMarch 23, 2012

Several years ago, my mother-in-law brought us several bags of rose fertilizer that were unlike anything I've seen before or since. It came in large clear bags, was brownish green and looked like little rabbit pellets about 1/2" long.

For each rose, you took about 1 cubic foot of the stuff and made a mound around the rose directly against the stem (these were tree roses). There was no mixing into the soil or watering required nor did it burn the roots. We did this at the start of the season and the mounds lasted at least three months. It worked great and seemed to do a really good job of enriching the soil as well.

Does anyone have any idea what this might be? I don't need a specific product name, I'm just wondering what it was and how I can find more of something like it.

(If you're wondering why I don't just ask her, it's because as soon as I did, she would insist on buying it for us and doing all the work herself. Helpful people can be so annoying :)

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Sounds like alfalfa pellets from the feed store. It has an analysis of 3-1-2. A cubic foot sounds pretty heavy-handed. I've used 2 cups every 2 months as a primary fertilizer.

Tree rose trunks are gnarly old canes. Young canes of regular roses might not be able to take that treatment.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 5:06PM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Sounds like alfalfa pellets but I have never heard of anyone using them like that before. As mentioned above I don't think canes on a rose bush would be able to take having all that alfalfa piled directly on them. They'd rot. Most people scatter the alfalfa and scratch it in just like any other fertilizer.

Unless you live in a wet climate like mine, I'd water them in. They don't work unless they're wet enough to start decomposing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 12:11PM
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