Feeding plants advice (Foliar and more)

Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 235
edited July 2018 in Plants
Do any plants in particular benefit more from foliar feeding as opposed to feeding normally into the soil?

Not been able to find a huge amount about it and wonder if it's best to mix it up between this and regular feeding?

On the feeding note in general, are there plants at all that really shouldn't be fed? Tomorite, miracle-gro all purpose and azalea/camellia are the liquid feeds I have.

I have lavender and erysimum bowles mauve which I know not to feed other than perhaps a touch at the start of the season with something like fish, blood and bone but I'm not sure about these that I have for feeding weekly-

African Marigold
Dwarf Buddleja
Hardy Geranium
Holly (Common)
Skimmia Rubella

I know the likes of tomato feed are typically good for strong flowering plants but that's evidently not always the case given the likes of lavender and bowles mauve.


  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 235
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,109
    edited July 2018
    Your best plan is to feed your soil, then your soil will have all the ingredients available to feed your plants all that they need.
    A good all-round foliar feed is seaweed extract. It supplies all the micro-nutrients important for plants that may not be found in general fertilizers and the soil. If you use it, only use it on a cloudy day or it'll burn off before being absorbed. You can spray it on your veg too and eat it the same day - but a rinse first would be a good idea. It's not a fertilizer, but a tonic.
    Roses and shrubs get a dusting of BFB in the spring and the beds get a reasonable layer of rotted farmyard manure in the autumn, that's about it.

    Some tomato feed for your sunflower is a good idea as they are very hungry

    I have most of the plants in your list above, and I don't feed them at all except as above - the soil does the rest.
    The only plants I feed are toms etc in the greenhouse (Tomorite) and pots of plants on my patio for which I use miracle grow - and just about everything gets seaweed as some stage.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 235
    Well I've already got it so it'd be a waste not to use it on plants that would still benefit.
  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 404
    All the plants you've listed grow happily and vigorously without any feed. Pete8 is right about the sunflowers being hungry plants and they will grow bigger and more vigorously with regular feeding.

    However, they grow quite happily without it, I've seen sunflowers growing out of tiny cracks in concrete paving.

    If you have any dahlias they will definitely benefit from regular feeding, especially with seaweed extract.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 235
    I’ve got some fuchsias and dwarf dahlias I’ve been feeding anyway. Will make sure to give the sunflowers a feed too in that case.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 11,734
    I don’t  feed anything in the garden, I absolutely agree with Pete, get your soil in good condition it will then make and store what it needs.

    i definitely wouldn’t feed anything in the garden in this hot weather, trying to make them grow when they have actually gone into rest to conserve their energy, feed is not a good idea. 

    But thats just me, (and Pete🙂) others pile everything on their gardens.  I like a natural balance. And it works. 

    However, I do occasionally feed my tubs and baskets with Tomorite, or Wilco’s own tomato feed and I have fed my tomatoes once. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,109
    Completely agree Lyn.
    If it's hot and the soil is dry, feeding garden plants is not a good idea. The water will evaporate leaving concentrated fertilizer around already stressed roots - not a recipe for success. Of course if your plants are well watered it wont harm them - but is still rather pointless - in my (and Lyn's) opinion
    Tubs and baskets get tomorite or seaweed extract every 10ish days, but they are kept well watered
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 235
    Everything is well watered and growing strongly though, certainly not resting. 

    Watering as required isn't an issue where I am.
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