bone meal fertilizer or liquid fish fertilizer

Hrose(6 A)April 14, 2012

What's better bone meal or liquid fish fertilizer?

is bone meal only for newly planted roses that haven't developed a lot of roots and fish fertilizer for mature roses?

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seil zone 6b MI

Well, the bone meal thing is considered old hat now and a lot of people no longer bother to put it in the planting hole. Fish fertilizer, on the other hand, is great stuff for roses any time!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Hrose(6 A)

Thanks for the quick reply

I understand it all except for the "planting hole" part

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:17PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Because they don't readily dissolve and move around, phosphorus fertilizers are often mixed into the root zone rather than applied on the surface. However, in my opinion, seil is correct that bone meal doesn't do much good.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Hrose(6 A)

Thank you

so as far as fertilizers go fish fertilizer is the best for hybird teas?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:47AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Like Michael said, most people don't use bone meal as a top of the soil additive. It's usual mixed in at the bottom of the hole when planting a rose. Because it's slow to release it will have a better chance of breaking down and becoming usable food for the rose if it's deeper into the soil.

Fish fertilizer is a very good organic feed for your roses. But you should also be looking at feeding them a well balanced traditional fertilizer, like Miracle Grow but any one will do, as well. Fish alone doesn't provide a wide enough range of nutrients. Any well balanced garden fertilizer should give your roses what they need. Most of them will have a set of numbers on the package like, 10-10-10, for the N P K, which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium. If you want to be more accurate you can get your soil tested and find out if you are already high or low in any of these areas and then adjust those numbers to supplement your soil's needs. Otherwise it's best to use a fertilizer that has a balance of NPK.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:47PM
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I tried fish fertilizer for the first time several days ago and the smell was frightening. I've read that it's supposed to be great so I can tolerate it. I also sprinkled some bone meal in with my new roses...hope it helps get them over the shock:)


    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:58PM
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I use Milorganite a lot and it has very little scent-odor-smell considering the source... I've read that it is an almost perfect food for roses...sally

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Hrose(6 A)

this fish fertilizer apparently is unheard of here in Ontario Canada I went to Home-depot,Lowes,Canadian tire none of the stores had any I guess i'll have to use Bone meal or this "Milorganite" stuff

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:26PM
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I gt my fish "fertilizer" at the farm supply store. Lowes and Home Depot don't have it here either.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:12PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

As long as the numbers are right and you are getting balanced nutrition, it really doesn't matter even a little bit about the brand you buy. Ralph Moore always used to say, "Rose can't read"... so, use what works.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:20AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I really like the fish fertilizer used as a foliar spray. And the strong smell in our heat reminds me of the beach :D :D

I usually only do it a few times a summer. I'm probably just playing in the garden, but the plants don't complain.

For something awesome to give roses regularly, however, get some unsalted alfalfa pellets at the feed store. I have a mixture of stuff I put down for organic nutrition (heavy on the alfalfa); the foliar feed is just extra for me. Alfalfa is the top fertilizer (of sorts) that I suggest.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:08AM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

I started using fish emulsion for my roses last year after it was recommended by Marissa at Greenmantle Nursery. Marissa grows her roses organically. I tried multiple brands, and they do not all smell alike--with some the stench is so strong it is enough to make me want to keel over. The difference appears to be in the way they process the fish, with some cheapy brands having the most disgusting odor. I have found two brands whose products smell MUCH better than the others and which give good results with my roses. My favorite is Gro-Tone from Espoma. It's 2-2-2, and while it does smell fishy, they've added mint which makes it less so. The other brand I like is Neptune's Harvest. Their fish fertilizer is cold-processed so as not to destroy "all the good stuff". It too smells fishy, but it is a much fresher smell than other brands. I use mostly Gro-Tone, and diluted to half the strength recommended on the bottle. I find that is plenty and works well with most of my roses (only a few are more avid feeders and need a boost from a powdered organic fertilizer).


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:54PM
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I use an avg of 3 bottle of fish fertilizers, during the course of spring through July. I get it at HD. The smell dissipates the next day. I recommend it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:27PM
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