I top dress them with the finished compost from my compost bins. I just spread it on top of the soil and let rainwater wash the nutrients into the soil where the roots of the perennials can get to them. In the fall, rake the beds to remove any leaves, etc, and put an inch or two of compost on the beds. You can also use chopped leaves over the beds in the winter. No need to even rake the remaining leaves off in the spring, as long as they are only a couple of inches deep. They will continue to break down and also will help retain water and keep down weeds in the flower beds. If there are more than a couple of inches of leaves left, then do remove some of them and add them to your compost bin or set them aside to put back on the beds later in the season when the plants are taller.
You can also water your plants with organic fertilizers like liquid kelp or fish emulsion. You can buy fish emulsion in a concentrate, but if you know someone with a fish tank, it would be great if they would save the water, etc, that they clean out of the tank to use for your beds. That's what I used to do when cleaning out my tanks.
Another possible option is to sprinkle used coffee grounds on the beds. They are small enough that they won't clump, they don't look or smell unattractive, though they might compete with the scent of flowers. And they don't attract any pests like rodents, flies, or gnats that I know of.
You can also spread dried composted manure on the beds. I don't know that the bags of manure you buy at the store are 100% manure though.
| Pounds lost: 7.0