Our garden is in full swing right now, with our fruit, vegetables and flowers all romping away – which means we’re keeping a careful watch on the feeding they require to give us the best possible results. Feeding provides a balance of nutrients to help healthy plants grow. Without the correct food, plants are vulnerable to disease and growth problems – and this is particularly true of plants in pots as nutrients can just leach out of pots. Often, your plants will tell you if they need feeding, with signs including a yellowing or paling of leaves, slow or no growth, wilting of lower plant leaves, and root rot or brown edges on the leaves.
There are two main types of feed – mineralised feeds, which can leach from the soil more rapidly when there is run off of water, from either over-watering or a sudden downpour, and sugar based feeds which tend to stick to the root system better.
Our feed of choice is the ecofective® Organic Wonder Feed, an organic sugar based feed which contains a bio-stimulant that encourages plants to take up the nutrients quickly, giving a higher yield than other leading brands. For the technically minded, it has a Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium (NPK) balance of 2-1-3. We find it easy to use, the 1.5 litre container makes up to 50 1-gallon watering cans, and of course the naturally derived ingredients have no negative impact on the environment and do not disrupt the important ecosystems.
To get the best yields from our fruit and veg garden, we feed regularly once a week through the growing season. Crops which are above the ground, such as tomatoes and strawberries, have a high water content and tend to be hungrier for food.
With plants in our greenhouse, most are grown in containers and have no access to naturally occurring nutrients, so some of these we feed twice a week.
For our outside pot plants and baskets, we make sure that we give them a good water before feeding, so that the goodness in the feed is not washed out of the pots straight away. Here’s hoping for a bumper harvest this summer!