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Feeding Time

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Jul 25, 2016

What food should I give my plants?
The growing season is in full swing now which means one thing. Our gardens are full of the plant equivalents of teenagers. They are moody, if they don’t get what they want they will get stroppy. And most importantly they are constantly hungry.

Around this time each year you can almost predict the questions you will get asked as you walk around the garden centre. ‘What food should I give my plants?’ and ‘How often should I feed my plants’ are the two most common things people ask me about on a regular basis.

I have spoken about feeding before and explained my preferred way of doing things. I like to make up a half strength feed in a water barrel so that I can feed every time I water. If you decide to do it this way you want to make up your feed to a 1/2 the recommended strength because you will be feeding more regularly. If you decide to feed plants less often you can use a full strength dilution every 10-14 days.

growing plants need more foodIf you look at the ingredients of the back of plant feed (because yes even plant feeds have ingredients on the label) you will see every nutrient and mineral the feed offers. The majority of them are a N.P.K solution of some ratio or another. But the more additional nutrients, such as Iron and Magnesium, you can get in your plant feed the better it will be for your growing plants.

Earlier in the season a sales rep gave me some Baby Bio Flower and Shrub feed to sample and as I often do in situations like this I brought it home and conducted a bit of a trial. This is really the only way you truly tell if the product lives up to what it claims. I tested it out on my carrot seedlings by treating one row for a couple of weeks and leaving one row untreated. The result was that the feed did give me better yields and much better quality which was great in my eyes.

You still have your Baby Bio Original for house plants that every gardener in the country must know at this stage. But you also now have “Flower and Shrub” and another for “Fruit and Vegetables”.  The Baby Bio Outdoor Fruit and Vegetable plant food is a NPK fertiliser with added iron, manganese and zinc. These added bio stimulants help the plant to make the most of the nutrients you are feeding them to help promote healthy and balanced growth. Which ultimately results in better quality crops and yields for you. This is also one of the feeds that I trailed at home and it worked wonderfully for me.

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at:

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!