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A Helping Hand

May 23rd, 2017

When you live in a cold climate and transplant spring vegetables into the garden, it’s beneficial to give them a weekly feed with a diluted kelp solution. Plants started indoors or purchased, are trying to produce new roots after being transplanted. This requires nutrition, which is in short supply because of the cold soil. When the soil is cold, plants have a much more difficult time getting nutrients from the soil.

Foliar feeding is the best way to give you plants what they need. While I often advocate a liquid fish/seaweed mixture, I find that sometimes this can attract racoons and skunks to the garden. Liquid kelp doesn’t have the same effect and it provides just the right amount of food when mixed half strength and used weekly. One thing to note is that liquid fertilizers can burn the leaves of plants if used in the morning on a sunny warm day. It’s best to water in the late afternoon when using a liquid feed. Your plants will thank you and you will have lush lettuce and other vegetables much more quickly than without the added fertilizer.

My favorite brand of liquid seaweed (or fish/seaweed mix) is Neptune’s Harvest. I’ve tried a wide variety of brands and find this one to work best for me. In fact, I like it so much I buy it by the five gallon bucket. I always give any transplants a watering straight away with a foliar feed and find that it helps them settle in much quicker. Tomatoes, peppers, and other fruiting plants get a feeding at the first fruit set as well. In my exeprience, this increases yeild and helps reduce drop-off of immature fruit. The variety of minerals and nutrients in kelp makes it a fantastic addition to the garden (in liquid or powdered form, more on that in the weeks to come).

What’s your favorite type of fertilizer to use in the edible garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.