Ask a Question forum: feeding vs fertilizing

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Sep 20, 2016 3:42 PM CST
just replanted skip laurels and holly bushes. I used miracle grow liquid through hose on them. My husband wants to use holly tone on them now. Is this a good thing to do?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Sep 21, 2016 4:18 AM CST
Welcome! If they were growing OK initially (in your own garden) then it would seem the soil pH is already suitable? I'm not a fan of fertillizing new transplants, if you use too much it can actually make it harder for the plant to take up water, and the root system will already be compromised by the transplanting. Both products are fertilizers, manufacturers like to call them "food" but plants make their own. Did they need to be moved for some reason, just to help understand the situation?
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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Sep 22, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Feeding and fertilizing are the same thing - applying something intended to supply the nutrient needs of plants. The idea of "feeding" plants was invented when fertilizer was accidentally discovered.

Foliar feeding seems odd to me and I haven't yet been convinced there's any benefit. Plants take in oxygen and some moisture through leaves, and nutrients through soil.

Plants in the ground shouldn't need any feeding/fertilizer. Adding compost to the surface around the root zone periodically should be more than sufficient, if you want to coddle them and spend your $ that way at all. Plants can only be as good as the soil in which they're growing. Spending 15 mins hearing about basic soil microbiology can save you a lot of time, worry, $.
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Sep 22, 2016 10:59 AM (+)]
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