Feed your plants!
Are you really starting to feed your plants now?
I hope you are because this is when they have the greatest need for plant food.
Why feed your plants?
So you fed your plants in early spring and you think that’s enough? Well think again!
If you really want your garden to look great then you’ll need to add more feed now!
This will ensure that you have big crops of veg and beautiful blooms.
The growmore, fish blood & bone meal or chicken manure pellets that you gave them in early spring are all very well but they need more!
These fertilisers are a good start and provide the base nutrients.
With plants now growing fast they need more feed!
I find that plants benefit from a top up and it’s particularly nitrogen and potash feed that will bring the best results.
What feed to use
Fortunately there’s an easy answer with several readily available fertilisers on the shelves.
Miracle-Gro, Phostrogen, Maxicrop and Gro-Sure are the main contenders to feed your plants.
They will quickly add the nutrient boost that garden plants need at this time of the year.
These are diluted in water and applied when watering your plants or garden.
If you are watering with a hose then a hose end dilutor unit makes it even easier to feed your plants.
However do make certain that your tap has a non-return [check] valve fitted! This will stop back-siphoning of the diluted feed getting into the mains water.
These fast acting feeds need to be put on your plants regularly during the growing season and they are both foliar and root feeds.
Special Plant Feeds
There are specialist mixes of these fast acting fertilisers.
You’ll find ones that are more suited to blooms than say to leafy vegetables.
For leafy plants such as cabbage, spinach and lettuce, look for a fertiliser that has a high nitrogen content.
For best blooms look for one that has plenty of potash such as Phostrogen.
And for tomatoes you’ll get the best results with one that has plenty of both!
Fortunately bedding plants, hanging baskets and patio containers will do well on tomato feed.
So if your budget will only stretch to one fast acting feed then go for the tomato feed!
Seaweed Plant Feed
Seaweed based fertilisers produce great results. Maxicrop is the seaweed fertiliser brand leader.
These feeds have growth stimulating properties and it’s claimed they help plants resist disease too.
They certainly have useful trace elements that plants need to stay healthy.
Even more Specialized Plant Food
If you’ve got more exacting plants in your garden then it is important to have a specific liquid feed for these.
For instance rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias have different plant needs.
What these need is often called an “Ericaceous” liquid feed. The balance of nutrients are altered to suit their particular needs.
And it is particularly important to feed these plants during June and July since they will be initiated flower buds. Those buds will be next spring’s flowers!
Some garden centres will offer specialised fertilisers for fuchsias, citrus, box plants, Clematis and even potatoes.
If you want to get the very best from these plants then it will be worth using these.
With some spectacular roses this summer I mustn’t leave them out!
This is a great time to give them some additional feed!
You’ll no doubt have given them a special rose food when you pruned in March.
But now it is important to give them even more rose fertiliser. This will encourage them to keep on blooming for longer.
Scatter ordinary dry rose food around the root zone and lightly hoe it in.
Houseplants Need Feed Too!
While you’re about it don’t forget those hungry indoor plants need feed too!
Use high nitrogen liquid feed for foliage houseplants and high potash feeds for flowering plants.
The dilution rate and frequency of feeding will be printed on the pack.
Get a better background knowledge on plant feeding here.
Happy houseplants can purify the air in your home or workplace. Read about that here.
The pH of soils – whether acid or alkaline – has a big effect on availability of essential plant nutrients. I’ve explained that in my blog here.