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Inexperienced but enthusiastic


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  • Inexperienced but enthusiastic

    Hi Guys .I sowed my garden last year for the first time in years and grew Potatoes ,Cabbage, Peas ,Beetroot and Scallions .I used farmyard manure as fertizer and it possibly was too fresh .Potatoes and Cabbage grew well although I lost some of the cabbage to flys .I started sowing due to the closure of my Bar because of Covid and really enjoyed it and it probably kept me sane .Scallions were delicous and the beetroot too .This year I sprayed for weeds in October and now have it fully dug .However I need some advice regarding fertizer .I was wondering what artificial fertilizer to use and how much to apply and actually how to apply it .If I test the soil for PH and its good do I actually need any fertilizer .Should I apply artifical fertilizer now and sow in a month maybe .All guidance greatly appreciated .Thanks a million for reading this .

  • #2
    Couple of basics, manure and fertiliser a two quite different things and have slightly different applications, manure, as well feeding the soil for the plants to use, also helps with the soil structure. If it's sandy or light soil, manure helps with moisture retention, if your soil is heavy, then the manure, especially if it's got some straw in it, helps improve and lighten the heavy soil. Compost does a similar job and can be used where you grow root veg like carrots or parsnips
    , you should not apply either less than a couple of weeks before you plant or sow seeds. Fertiliser really is a top dressing, I don't use artificial fertiliser, I grow using organic methods, better for the soil and for you, I use blood, fish and bone, a few days before planting and again in mid summer as a booster. Hope this helps, oh and welcome to the vine.
    If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.
    Gardening in the NE of Scotland


    • #3
      Hi there and Welcome to the Vine from me !
      "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

      Location....Normandy France


      • #4
        Thanks a lot guys .So compost first and then the fertiliser a few days before .I better get cracking .Weather is lovely


        • #5
          Hello and welcome.

          I have to own up and say I do use artificial fertiliser (meaning chemical fertiliser in granular form) rather than blood, fish and bone (BFB) because it's all I can get where I live. I also use manure for the same reason that Bernie outlines: it's good for the soil structure.

          For me, the problem with granular fertilisers is they're all or nothing, so lots of N, P and K. Whereas leafy veg want N and fruiting veg, like tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, want P and K when the flowering starts and fruit appear. To add P and K when the time comes, I tend to add hard wood ash that I save up in the winter from our wood burner. Don't use ash on your potatoes, as it encourages scab. I know in the UK you can buy special liquid fertilisers for tomatoes. If you use that at the right time, you won't need ash.

          If you do buy a granular fertiliser, make sure you buy one with trace elements as well, not just N, P and K. Cabbages, for example, like a small amount of boron and you should get that in with the trace elements. Also, one thing I tend to do is work some in to the soil at the start of the season, half a handful per square metre and then add a tiny weeny amount, maybe two or three grains, to plants every couple of weeks or so, along with a small scattering of ash for plants that will appreciate it. Water just before you put down the grains and again immediately afterwards. A very small amount at regular intervals is better than a great load all at once. Better for plants, better for your pocket and better for the environment.

          Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.


          • #6
            Hi Jack

            I am also inexperienced and enthusiastic and I have been doing it for 50 years!

            The pH has nothing to do with fertiliser requirements as its a measure of the soils acidity/alkalinity. Basically acid for tatties,alkaline for brassicas and neutral for everything else ish.(I know there are other crops requiring differing pH but this is jut a rough guide.)
            BFB is just the organic equivalent of National Growmore, both of which are balanced fertilisers(7-7-7) with equal amounts of each element. National growmore was developed during the last war to help feed the nation so should be OK for your plot.

            Both fertilisers are relatively cheapo and could be applied shortly before planting.
            My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
            to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

            Diversify & prosper


            • #7
              Happy gardening and spend a bit of time making compost if possible - it's a great way of recycling stuff.


              • #8
                Welcome to the forum Jack
                Good tip from nickdub on making your own compost cheapest (free) way of feeding your growing area.
                Any contacts from your bar days for getting used hops/coffee grounds/vegetable scraps as these are ideal for composting.


                • #9
                  I make compost in a deep trench under a layer of horse manure and grow squashes over it in the first year and roots in the second year.
                  It has to be deep enough to deter rats.
                  Near Worksop on heavy clay soil


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