Feeding and Watering.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender July 11, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

I have always been suprised by the number of people who ask if they should feed their plants, and also by the number of people who never feed their plants. It doesn’t matter what the plant is, from small potplant on a windowsill, to the largest oak tree in a forest, all need feed, and of course, water.

If a plant or crop is growing in the open soil, in a bed or border, it will have access to a wide variety of minerals and nutrients, even so they will be flower and crop better if given extra feeding. In most normal seasons they will have access to sufficiant water in all but the hottest weather. The last few years have been been anything but normal. With our weather swinging from drought to floods, our plants need our help. We cant always do much about flooding, though improving drainage will help. I keep adding organic matter to my borders each year by mulching, this has the benefit of feeding and helping with drainage. Mulching also helps in drought conditions by conserving moisture. I always feed my beds and borders each spring and early summer with Chicken Pellets. These pellets are an easy way to feed, you just scatter them between your plants and either lightly hoe them in, or leave the rain to do the job. I like to add Bonemeal or a Fish, Blood and Bone fertilizer to the beds in autumn. An autumn or winter topdressing of well rotted manure would be very benificial too. This feeding I carry out on all my vegetable beds, fruits and my flower borders. If the weather is dry and there is little rain, I would water selectively in the evening. Many large established plants can cope quite well in dry conditions, I would save my watering for the newly planted and in the veg plot for salads and other shallow rooted crops.

It you are growing any plants or crops in pots tubs or growbags, then you are the only way the plants can get nutients. Most growbags or composts have enough feed for a couple of months, after that the compost is exausted and they rely on you. Plants will survive without feeding, but will only thrive and crop well, with regular feeding. When friends comment on how well my pots of flowers look, or on my wonderful crops of blueberries. I tell them thats because of regular feeding. Many people feed their tomatoes and peppers, but forget their flowers, herbs and other fruit and vegetables. All plants will thrive and benefit from feeding. So many times I have been asked by friends, what I think is wrong with their sad potted plant or shrub, with spindly growth and yellowing leaves, when I ask what they are feeding it with, I get a suprised response. Feed! I didnt know they needed feeding! Then how amazed they are some weeks later when the plant is transformed, just because they started to feed and water regularly.

What to feed? Well there are many different types and makes out there. You will also get many different answers from gardeners. Your own homemade compost or well rotted manure will come at the top for your veg plot and garden borders. Then a good general fertilizer, a Seaweed based one is what I prefer. All bought fertilisers and feeds with come with full instructions, follow them, dont be tempted to add more, thinking stronger is better. You can scorch or cause damage by exceeding the dilution. For all fruiting plants including toms and peppers, a feed high in Potash is recommened, Potash encourages fruit and flowers. A feed high in Nitrogen encourages green fresh growth. All the information you need will be on the container. There are also specialist feeds available for Citrus, Orchids and Houseplants. I believe they are well worth the money.

Remember, it’s not just your toms that need feeding, ALL plants benefit from food, if they are in a pot, they cant get if for themselves, be kind to your plants and feed. They will reward you!

 

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