Monday 7 August 2023

Feed and Fertilisers

I came upon this post and it's so useful I had to reproduce it here with full credit to the Author and source

By Dean Mears on Facebook Group Friendly Gardeners

As growth commences thoughts turn to feeding. Below is likely to be of interest to all gardeners and is an update of my research posted this time last year with more products added as a result of various Groups feedback.
I have been doing a little research and you may find this of interest and enlightening with regard to strength and cost of feeds. This list is not to promote any particular fertilzer, but to provide an insight. You may find your current favoured fertiliser has almost the same content as a far cheaper alternative.
The proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in any fertiliser is known as the NPK ratio and is shown on the packaging as a list of three numbers. For example, the popular tomato fertiliser Tomorite has an NPK ratio of 4 - 3 - 8. This means that it contains 4% nitrogen, 3% phosphorus compounds and 8% potassium compounds. On the other hand, a balanced fertiliser will have roughly equal amounts of each element.
Plants will thrive throughout the growing season if provided ample amounts of nitrogen ­čĹÄ, phosphorus (P), potassium (K).
Nitrogen: used by plants to ensure they have the energy to generate new growth in stems and leaves.
This makes it great for lawns, leafy vegetables and big leaf plants. Lack of nitrogen: leaves discolour (often turning yellow), slower, stunted growth.
Phosphorous: Particularly important for seeds to germinate.
It will promote stronger root systems and also make plants hardier during winter. Lack of phosphorous: spindly, thin stems, stunted growth and mature leaves that turn a dark bluish green and reduce the ability to produce flowers, fruit and seeds.
Potassium aka potash: essential for producing flowers and fruit, helps with photosynthesis and the movement of sugars within the plant.
It will increase cell strength, the regulation water intake and help make the plant more resistant to disease. Lack of potassium: older leaves appear ‘burnt’ due to lack of water regulation, affects root growth and stem strength less fruit/ /flower production and fruits will be less sweet and juicy.
(P), potassium (K).
These are some approximate examples of NPK bearing in mind that it varies somewhat, according to the source. Also, manure, compost, homemade compost, mushroomc compost etc will also add to the health of your soil;
Seaweed 1.9 - 0.25 - 3.68
Baby Bio 10.6 - 4.4 - 1.7
Baby Bio Organic 3 - 2 - 5
David Austin rose food 9.5 - 7.5 - 10
Vitax Q4 5.3 - 7.5 - 10.
Thompson and Morgan Incredibloom 14 - 5 - 19
Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food 24 - 8 - 16
Ironite Plus 12 - 10 -10
Miracle Grow soluble lawn feed 36 - 6 - 6
Miracle-Gro Push and Feed pellets 14 - 9 - 11
Chempak Formula 2 High Nitrogen 25 -15 - 15
Chempak Formula 4 High Potash Feed 15 - 15 - 30
Chempak Formula 8 Low Nitrogen 12.5 - 25 -25
Elixir Bumper Crop High Nitrogen 28 - 7 - 14
Richard Jackson Flower Power Premium Plant Food 12 - 12 - 36
Solabiol Top Rose 5 - 6 - 12
Osmocote 14 - 14 - 14
Tomorite 4 - 3 - 8
Phostrogen 6 - 3 - 6
Growmore 7.3 - 1:5 - 8.00
HSK Tree Fern Feed 6.1 - 1.5 - 3.0
Palm Focus 2.1 - 0.9 - 3.6
Palm fertilizer (The Palm Centre) 15 - 5 - 15
Slow Release Palm Fertilizer (MyPalmShop) 17 - 6 -18
Plantgrow all purpose plant food of 3.9 - 0.7 - 4.3
Liquid Gold Leaf 9.0 - 5.0 - 16.0
Vitax Acer Feed 4.5 - 4.5 - 4.5
Vitex Summer citrus feed 25 - 15 - 15
Vitex Winter feed 20 - 20 - 20
Elixir Gromore Special Blend 7 - 7 -7
Elixir Spuds Galore 15 - 9 - 20
Compost tea 0.1 - 0 - 0
Horse manure 0.7 - 0.3 - 0.6
Alpaca manure 1.5 - 0.2 - 1.1
Cow manure 3 - 2 - 1
Mushroom compost 1.0 -1.0 - 1.0
Worm castings 1 or 2 - 0 - 0
Compost varies from 1.5 - 0.5 - 1.0 to 3.5 - 1.0 - 2.0
Poultry pellets 3 - 2 - 2
Duck manure 2.8 - 2.3 - 1.7
Sheep manure 0.7 - 0.3 - 0.9
Turkey manure 2.8 - 2.4 - 1.2
Rabbit manure 2 - 1 - 1
Vitax 6X poultry pellets 5 - 3 - 2.2
Blood fish and bones 5 - 5 - 6
Bonemeal 3 - 15 - 0
Vermicompost is 1.8 - 3.8 - 1.3
Fresh banana peel 0.1 - 0.1 - 2.3
Dried banana skins 0.6 - 0.4 - 11.5
Comfrey 3.0 - 1.0 - 5.0
Nettles 5.6 - 0.7 - 3.7
Coffee grounds: 2.0 - 0.4 - 0.7
Egg shell 1.2 - 0.4 - 0.1
Tea 4.4 - 0.24 - 0.25
Wood ash 0 - 1 - 3
As you can see that some stand out as the strongest, but you may want one with a higher individual nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium for individual plant types, but you could further dilute your choice from above as strongest may not be the best. Bare in mind that the list does not include trace elements, copper, boron, zinc etc, but these should be present anyway in most good soils. The goodness of seaweed gets very esoteric when you look into it and, as a natural free fertiliser, it may have additional properties very beneficial to plants. Some seaweed products claim added benefit because they are said to contain natural plant growth regulators such as cytokinins (plant hormones that stimulate cell division). Be wary of any fertiliser that does not provide the NPK or hide it in the small print. Also, any product that promotes itself on the strenght of the insignificant trace elements.

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Planning and Reviewing August in Previous Years

Reviewing the diary over the last ten years for August

2013 - Built my first Comfrey Pipe after making it in buckets and experiencing the stench, harvesting spring onions, radishes, Wyevale seeds at 50%, trouble getting a fork in the ground used a pick axe. Central path of paving slabs from front garden went in on Mill Green. Wyevale 50p seed sale

2014 - Growing Marrows for the first time, harvesting, Onions, Spring Onions, Carrots, Wyevale 50p seed sale end of August.  

2015 -  Onion End Rot on Mill Green allotment, harvesting month, Digging up paths for compost bins, First Red Tomato 6th August, Sowing Beetroots, whitlow appeared on my finger just as I got my second plot at Spencer Road.   

2016 - End July / Early Aug end of season gardening sale at Wilko, First and last time trying to grow Celery and butternut squash, Pickling Beetroot, 17th August first ripe tomato, end of season Coir top up for next year.  

2017 -  Harvesting and Pickling Beetroots, Spring Onions in cut down Flower Buckets, SF60 Potato In Buckets Harvested, Self Seeding Pumpkins, Comfrey Pipe Upgrade, Overwintering SF60 Spring Onion Experiment,  Agreed the Drop off and Pick Up area with Redrow and the Council,  August Bank Holiday - Wyevale Seed Sale

2018 -  Harvesting so many tomatoes from the three tomato plants on the allotment. Second beetroot bed planted up first week of August. Finally have the stove in the shed and can make coffee. Harvesting cabbage and cauliflower. Pickling Beetroots. Harvesting cucumbers, courgettes, runner beans.  Built the rear extension to the shed on plot 1 .Drying tomato seeds for seed circles. Harvesting potatoes and tomatoes. Picked up packs of seed from the Wyevale seed sale. Started to review my seed box for 2019.

2019 -  Harvesting spuds cucumbers, runner beans etc.. High winds had to rescue sweetcorn. Runner bean frame collapsed so made good on a temporary basis. Shed repairs & weeding. Make a plug plant extraction tool. Pick up materials for cucumber A Frame. Won Kew Gardens Collection Heavy Duty Bypass Secateurs. Segway Stag Do 

2020 -   Heatwave during the first two weeks of August then heavy rainfall and flooding under Wallington bridge. Due to the pandemic I  had been shielding my wife and had not been on the allotment between March and the end of July. Lots of weed clearing to do. Harvesting Tomatoes at home. Apple acidic compost being made as a glut of apples from home. Infrastructure works on plot 1 continues as only cleared down to the shed on plot 1, Potatoes harvested, Meeting with Adam Brind re the wall behind my sheds, Japanese Knotweed and problem plot holders & Trees Only 6 people on the waiting list. Tomato Seed saving at the end of the month  

2021 - Onions harvested and placed on drying rack. Water butt installed in the plot 1 greenhouse for the Quadgrows. This year we had so much rain that the Grotto Canal in Carshalton was once again flooded and flowing. Picked up the pebble pool off Freecycle with no idea that it would not be until 2023 that I would get it installed and operational. Harvesting sweetcorn, tomatoes and spuds

2022 - Good harvest of spuds and cauliflower before they bolt. Finally after two month of heatwave and drought we got rain mid August. Good Cabbage harvest this year. Harvesting lots of apples and rhubarb, so lots of crumble being made. Sowing and growing Mustard Caliente Green Manure to combat onion white rot . Harvesting Potatoes and tomatoes.

To Do List   

Trying to get everything up to date because of the proposed reconstruction of my jaw. I have cut back on sowing new vegetables as my girls will want to come and see me in hospital and not be down the allotment planting out watering and weeding. 

Mill Green - Plot 1A
  • Re Add additional supporting timbers to the roof of the shed - TBD
  • Tidy Up the Allotment - Ongoing but getting so much better

Mill Green - Plot 1
  • Potting Shed  - Such a game changer and a hive of activity.

  • Planning - Ongoing