Best fertilizing for healthy plants?
I tried many fertilizers for the past 3 years ... made plenty of mistakes. Finally came up with the cheapest, and most healthy for plants:
1) Chickity-doo-doo dried & heated manure at $8 for 25 lbs., NPK 5-3-2 get my vote as the healthiest manure for plants. It's in Espoma Tomato-Tone & Plant-Tone & Rose-Tone. Chicken manure is high in boron, copper, zinc, and calcium ... thanks to the additives to chicken-feed. Boron is vital for plant's growth, and zinc & copper & calcium are anti-fungal agents. Chicken manure is dry and alkaline.
2) Alfalfa gets my 2nd vote, if topped with something dry and alkaline, to prevent fungal and pest germination on its being sticky and acidic, with pH 5.7. Plants get so many lush, shiny, and healthy leaves. Alfalfa NPK is 2-1-2, but it acts like NPK 5-1-2 with tremendous growth. Alfalfa has zero salt, decent calcium, plus growth hormone.
3) Sulafte of potash. It's a mined, natural deposit in the earth. NPK is 0-0-50, high in potassium. Potassium is essential for blooming, disease-prevention, and drought-tolerance. I use that together with chicken manure, or to balance the calcium in gritty lime during prolonged rain.
4) Gypsum. Good to mix in the planting hole and mixed into potting soil, to promote root-growth. My cuttings root best with 1/2 potting soil & 1/2 perlite and some gypsum.
Below is a bouquet next to Annie L. McDowell plant. Annie bloom is fertilized with chicken-manure, with gypsum in the planting hole. It's always clean & lots of leaves. Dark red W.S. 2000 bloom is fertilized with compost, the bloom is lesser size than with chicken manure.
Orange is C.P.Margareta, smallest in bloom, blah-color, fertilized with Milorganite & some red-lava rock for potassium. Milorganite is stinky LONGER than chicken manure ... lasting for 10 days, great to deter animals, including deer and rabbits.
Chicken manure is mighty stinky at first, the smell goes way quickly after a rain, versus Milorganite' sewage odor lingers for more than a week. Dark pink is Frederic Mistral, with cow manure high in phosphorus. There are many 4" blooms of Fred on the bush, which I didn't cut.