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Overfeeding container plants

London_to_LatimerLondon_to_Latimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 211
Hi all,

I've been slowly potting up containers over the last few months, stuff I inherited from my parents, supermarket impulse buys etc etc but my planting regime is inconsistent to say the least!

Some were in just compost, some in compost with grit and vermiculite, some with BFB added. Some are in pots from last year, and I've topped up the compost, some are as they were. And I couldn't tell you when they were done!

Is there going to be a problem if I give all of them a weekly seaweed feed? Or am I going to do no harm but just waste feed on some of them unnecessarily?

Thanks!

Posts

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,174
    Opinions may vary, but I weekly feed all my container flowers without a second thought when they are actively growing, always been pleased with results.

    I think as a general rule it works, as with anything there maybe varieties that have very specific requirements that differed from the above, but generally it is where I would start with things in containers.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 846
    Weekly feed here too for all of my pots, from Spring through to Autumn.  I use a nitrogen rich feed for anything that doesn't flower, and a tomato feed for anything that does.  Seaweed feed would probably be fine to use as an alternative.  Perhaps more important is that you don't use too much of the feed.  It's usually a capful per watering can for most brands, but read the instructions carefully.

    Shop bought compost will have it's nutrients used up quite quickly by plants in pots, so they will still need to be fed.  
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 780
    Weekly feed here too for all of my pots, from Spring through to Autumn.  I use a nitrogen rich feed for anything that doesn't flower, and a tomato feed for anything that does.  Seaweed feed would probably be fine to use as an alternative.  Perhaps more important is that you don't use too much of the feed.  It's usually a capful per watering can for most brands, but read the instructions carefully.

    Shop bought compost will have it's nutrients used up quite quickly by plants in pots, so they will still need to be fed.  
    What is a good nitrogen liquid feed? 
  • London_to_LatimerLondon_to_Latimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 211
    Thanks @GemmaJF & @KeenOnGreen. I'll keep on feeding!

    @Dirty Harry I couldn't tell you without looking! Tomato feeds are high in potassium (I think!) which feeds fruits. Nitrogen feeds greenery. A homemade version of a nitrogen rich feed is nettles, a homemade potassium rich feed is comfrey. On the back of the bottles it'll have numbers for NPK, you want one with a high N number.
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 780
    Yes I was meaning what can I actually go and buy as a good nitrogen feed.
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 354
    edited 28 June
    Actually.. if you’re partial to odour and can get over the idea of it.. diluted human urine is an excellent organic source of nitrogen fertiliser. And it’s free range too. 😜

    All free of charge and saves you a trip to the GC. 
  • London_to_LatimerLondon_to_Latimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 211
    edited 28 June
    Yes I was meaning what can I actually go and buy as a good nitrogen feed.
    Sorry, don't know off the top of my head. If you check out the bottle on the shelf you need to look for one with a high N (nitrogen) number!

    Actually.. if you’re partial to odour and can get over the idea of it.. diluted human urine is an excellent organic source of nitrogen fertiliser. And it’s free range too. 😜

    All free of charge and saves you a trip to the GC. 
    At least I'll have an excuse to tell the missus when I get caught short at the end of the garden! 😀
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 846
    @Dirty Harry   We are not fussy, and neither are our plants.  Currently we are using Asda's (other supermarkets are available) concentrated plant food for the foliage plants, and their tomato feed for the flowering ones.  Under non-lockdown conditions we will buy whichever brand is the cheapest, and quite often (but not always), this is B&Q's own brand of liquid feed.  There are lots of well known brands out there, but we find that they are generally more pricey.

    At our allotment, we make Comfrey feed.  If you have the space to grow it, and don't mind the awful smell, it does indeed make good free feed for flowering plants & veg.  Haven't tried the nettle feed, as we don't have enough nettles (something I never thought I'd hear myself saying)
  • HotwaxHotwax Posts: 51
    I once went to a nursery where they had quite mature trees and shrubs in relatively small pots. When I asked how they could keep these big plants so healthy, I was told they used a very dilute feed every time they watered. Unfortunately i’ve been too lazy to follow this advice.
  • mikeymustardmikeymustard Posts: 232
    Keenongreen is right - those plants just aren't fussy!
    Generally, anything is better than nothing (and even the best compost will probably be fairly exhausted given the last 2 months of growth
    Unless you're growing specifically leafy stuff, to simplify even more you could just use a balanced feed, or tomato/rose fert. This year I'm mostly using Tomorite, cos that's all I could get during the lockdown, and I cant say it's any better than the cheap stuff i used last year.

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