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When To Feed? Why Feed? What To Feed?

Trying to prevent problems in beds and borders before they start is essential to keep plants looking healthy and feeding the plants with the correct food that has the ideal nutrients will encourage good growth and healthy looking plants. Poor growth, poor blooms and leaf discolouration usually indicates a feeding problem.  Always use the correct amount of food that's indicated on the packaging and don't be tempted to over feed as this will also cause problems with the plant creating irregular blooms and leaf scorch, too much nitrogen creates to much lush green growth.

Border plants, shrubs, bulbs and trees all require feeding and the easiest method is to use a granulated or pellet balanced feed such as growmore, fish blood and bone or chicken manure pellets applying at the beginning of spring or when the plants are actively growing, apply to the base of the plants working into the soil while it is moist. Using homemade compost as a top dressing is also beneficial as it will help retain moisture and nutrients.

All plants have different feeding requirements and there is an array of feeds on the market directed at specific plants some needing more feeding than others, for example container grown plants require regular feeding and a liquid feed is the easiest one to use as it's applied with a watering can and feeds the foliage as well as the roots. This is also an ideal feed for annuals grown in baskets and hanging baskets and should be done every 7 - 14 days to help produce many flowers. There are many feeds on the market directed at specific plants.
Plant Feeds
What is N.P.K?
On the reverse of chemical and organic fertiliser packaging is the letters N.P.K these letters stand for the elements found in that particular feed.
N - Nitrogen this helps to promote growth and makes the leaves of the plants green. P - Phosphorus this helps promote good root growth and creates flowers this element is also great for fruit.
K - Potash or potassium promotes root growth and disease resistance.
The number beside the letter EG. N7 means that the mix contains 7% nitrogen.

Organic Gardening
There are many benefits to organic gardening one big one of course is being environmentally friendly. Well rotted manure, homemade compost and leaf mould are all great ways to create rich productive garden soil that contains plenty of humus and nutrients both are extremely beneficial for healthy plants. However as with all gardens the soil may be lacking in certain nutrients chicken manure pellets, fish blood and bone along with liquid seaweed are all excellent commercial feeds again these display the N.P.K on the reverse of the packaging.

Making Your Own Feed
Making your own liquid feed from comfrey couldn't be easier this is not only eco friendly but also kind on the purse strings!! From spring onwards pick the leaves from the base of the plant and soak them in water in a watertight bucket as the leaves break down the liquid will begin to smell dilute the liquid 1 part comfrey to 10 parts water. Keep topping up the bucket with leaves and water.
Comfrey Feed
This feed is high in potassium and will encourage flowers to bloom also use on tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and strawberries as it will also help any fruit to set.


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