Forum home Tools and techniques

If you give added feed to your plants, what form do you mostly favour?

FireFire Posts: 18,144
edited June 2021 in Tools and techniques
This is for those people that give extra feed to their plants. I assume here that many/most people would use bought compost with added fertiliser, fish/blood&blone, mulches, manure at some point in the year... This poll is not including those additions.

Feed systems you use for flower production might be different for growing veg. I also imagine that many of us try out different methods at different points, depending on what's available.

I know there will be a mixed answer for most people - but consider which you find most efficient, cost effective, productive and doable for the majority of the time. Ten options is the maximum available on this site. If you use nothing, or you don't think feeds make much difference that is interesting too. There is no 'right answer'. I have no point to prove or axe to grind, I'm just interested to learn what works for growers.

(The poll is not an invitation to have a go at other people for their choices.)


If you give added feed to your plants, what form do you mostly favour? 22 votes

tomato feed root drench
DevonianAsarumnewbie77HazybedhelkaBaryonyx 6 votes
seaweed feed root drench
StephenSouthwestAthelasPlantminded 3 votes
foliar feed - seaweed etc
home made feed - comfrey, nettle, seaweed etc concentrate
Bee witchedherbaceousscottkinghorn 3 votes
plants specific feed, such as those for clematis only
madpenguin 1 vote
slow release granules
Singing GardenerB3Blue OnionBig Blue Sky 4 votes
mineral feed - volcanic rock dust, gypsum etc
I don't give any extra feed
LoxleyMary370 2 votes
Alan Clark2  in LiverpoolJennyJMopani 3 votes


  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 915
    edited June 2021
    seaweed feed root drench
    I use seaweed as a root drench every couple of weeks on most of my plants, except the ones that need no particular encouragement (lavender, Mediterranean spurge, euonymus, cotoneaster, creeping thyme, hellebores, epimedium, etc.). 

    This year having read about it on this forum I am also giving a tomato feed root drench (to alternate with seaweed) on the roses, alliums, clematis and my one and only tomato plant. 

    I feel drenches take care of both the watering and feeding in one go. I don’t like scratching around the ground much with granules and things…

    I did try using worm casts from Willy Worms as a mulch around my roses back in March which I like to think gave a good nutrient boost.
    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • KiliKili Posts: 1,119
    I put down FBB in my beds at the start of the season and the end.

    All pots get FBB when I tip out the medium and mix with FBB.

    All hanging baskets get FBB in the mix and Tomrite towards the end of the season as the slow release FBB will be waning by then.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500

    I'm a great fan of chicken manure pellets (I'm veg only) and granulated lime for crops that prefer an alkaline soil.  I have a 'walking stick' dibber with which I create deepish holes (10-12 inch) alongside any plant(s) I feel need help.  I then drop in a few pellets/granules and top up the holes with water to a) ensure there's enough moisture and b) help the pellets/granules break down into usable form right underneath the plants where they're needed.

    Having said that, it's not something I do regularly because I try to foresee the need at time of planting.  So, when planting a row of, say, peas, I add a liberal supply of pellets along the drill before adding the seed.  I also have an inverted pyramid dibber for accommodating such things as cabbage plants, and this allows me to pop a few granules/pellets in each hole before dropping in the seedlings.  They seldom need more, but I appreciate veg can be vastly different to flowers.

  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 657
    edited June 2021
    tomato feed root drench
    I have a tiny garden with only space for a wormery. So I use the compost and juice from that, but I do need extra as a top up for veg in containers. 
    East Anglia
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,997
    I couldn’t tick just one thing as I don’t use one thing more than another. 

    I use a general FB&B type granule at the beginning of the season, then through the growing season  I use clematis/rose fertilisers for flowering shrubs and climbers, seaweed solution as a root drench and/or foliar feed, and tomato feed for tomatoes, squashes, courgettes, beans etc and for tubs of flowering annuals. 

    I also use chicken manure pellets in early spring and again in early summer to pep up the veg bed ... the soil was very thin and tired when we came here and as well as using lots of garden compost, manure and soil conditioner, I find that the chicken pellets really make a difference to the health of the plants, particularly the leafy veg/brassicas etc. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,527
    edited June 2021
    plants specific feed, such as those for clematis only
    Outside I am not too hot on feeding,I may chuck a few chicken manure pellets around every few years but the garden mostly has to fend for itself!
    My indoor succulents however are fed once a month in the growing season (usually when watering) with a Succulent and Cactus liquid and they do seem to like it!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,089
    I don’t use any feed in the garden, just loads of homemade compost but I do use a feed on my baskets and tubs, usually Miracle Grow or similar after about 4 weeks. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,857
    Can't tick just one either.   

    I feed the soil with liberal applications of well-rotted horse manure or garden compost when preparing a new bed be it for veggies in rotation or permanent ornamentals.    I use pelleted chicken manure as a general fertiliser on all beds in spring.

    Roses and clematis get a specialist feed if I can find it.  If not they and the fruit trees and tomatoes get tomato feed.   The citrus plants get specialist feed for them and I make my own nettle feed for leafy plants and have just planted a patch of comfrey to save me buying rose, clematis and tomato fertilisers.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FireFire Posts: 18,144
    edited June 2021
    I can't really use FFB or chicken manure pellets as the foxes go nuts for it, even if dug in pretty deep. I haven't heard of using FBB for baskets before.... I'm kind of worried about over doing my fertilising and killing plants with kindness and ten types of product.

    Using tom feed on trees is interesting. Thortons' site say tom feed is good for clematis.
  • B3B3 Posts: 27,020
    slow release granules
    Does tomorite go off if it's left in blasting hot sun? I have a strong suspicion I need to buy some more
    In London. Keen but lazy.
Sign In or Register to comment.