I know we all have our own opinions on how best to go about things and that is how it should be but that is the point of blathering in a blog; it is a way of sharing those opinions. So anything I write isn't the 'law' and meant to be followed, it is just a record of how I go about my doings and might help someone very new and now and again spark an idea for someone else, if only to go in the opposite direction!
So, for what it is worth, here's how I save a bit of money on plant food.
I don't buy propriety boxed stuff that is easily available in B & Q and all the garden centres and, over the years, I have stopped buying specialised food for particular plants. I am SURE that is the way to go for a 'show' garden or a treasured plant but I have reverted to exactly what my mom used to do and she always had a great garden.
I buy bone-meal and a general purpose fertiliser (Growmore) by the pound from wherever I can find it for the cheapest. I think Diggle Lane beats my next recommendation in price but it is not so easy to get to it at a time when there is someone there to sell it to you.
I store it in a couple of airtight kitchen containers. Do this even if you do buy the boxed stuff as the cardboard boxes are useless at keeping stuff fresh. They suck up moisture like blotting paper.
I then write on the lid how I use it. If you enlarge the photo you will see the Growmore is used a week before sowing - when I remember!! and then scattered anywhere and everywhere once a month through the growing season - veg garden and flower borders alike. The rain does the rest. My mom actually swore by Phostrogen but I haven't found that loose yet.
The Bone-meal gets used when I plant as I just said in the post about the roses. It is also flung around as my last ritual in the autumn on the garden and lawn, basically it is to make good strong root growth to make plants tougher for the winter.
I bought my last lot from Gordon Riggs at their Rochdale branch. I was a huge fan of Riggs some thirty years ago - the Todmorden one. It was a very rough and ready nursery that grew its own stuff, so I knew it would survive Bury blasts and it was cheap. It was a regular outing for me, my husband and the kids. They were always on a promise of an ice cream (all weathers) from the van outside if they were 'good' and at about half-time the non-gardening trio would buy a drink and maybe some chocolate from the machine they had 'under glass'. So everyone came home happy. It is still known in my family as Griggs - when you wrote a cheque (remember those?) you wrote G.Riggs and it sort of read as Griggs! Well it worked for us.
Sadly like Summerseat and New Bank and just about everybody else these days most of the stuff is bought in (from Holland?). A bit like the High Street, the nurseries that were now all look the same. I suppose there is more money to be made in Restaurants and nick-knacks and they get you through the bad weather times, not to mention you don't have three generations of family pricking out thousands of seedlings any more.