Hello, does anyone feed their established perennials & if so, what products do you like? I have mostly xeric: columbine, valerian, lavender, agastache, yarrow, coral bells, salvia, etc. Also I would like to know if I should feed any of my native grasses. Thank you!
What Do You Feed Perennials?
Depending on your soil, you shouldn't need to feed much other than compost or leaf mulch.
Xeric plants are used to growing in environments that lack nutrients. I do not feed my xeric garden, nor did I use Biotone when planting them and I always use Biotone when planting anything. As for the rest of my perennial beds, I use Espoma's Plant Tone. It's a slow release fertilizer that's organic. I like to feed, some people don't, it's all a matter of preference.
I mulch mine and that's pretty much it. I have been known to hit mine with a fish emulsion/seaweed combination but that's pretty much if I'm bored and have nothing else to do (grin).
I have so many tree roots in my garden that I think most of the fertilizer is sucked up as if by a straw! I have a friend who feeds with Miracle-Gro weekly. Her impatiens are huge and floriferous. There is one Miracle-Gro that doesn't have the huge nitrogen ratio, and I occasionally use it as a picker-upper; mostly I use Espoma Plant-tone organic to dress the bulbs after flowering and encourage greedy eaters like peonies.
Mostly compost, seaweed and fish emulsion, although I do use Osmocote at planting since it is time released and not effective until 70 degrees here.