Feeding the gardens in winter
While the garden is in winter sleep this is a great time to give it some extra love. There are many ways, here are some of our methods.
Green manure/cover crops.
Directly sow nitrogen fixing seeds like blue lupin, red clover, phacelia, broad beans and peas. This feeds the soil, keeps it moist and gives a beautiful flower display at the end of winter.
At the beginning of spring, chop plants, leaving roots in the ground, and dig into or lay on the garden.
Mulching with pea straw and compost
Lay compost around plants, water well, top with a good layer of pea straw and water again. The straw feeds the plants, adds carbon and keeps the soil moist all winter..
Seaweed tea - nitrogen, magnesium, potassium and phosphate fixer and an antifungal.
Fill a large bucket with water and seaweed, leave to sit for at least three weeks. It is recommended to rinse the salt off the seaweed before you do this.
Dilute the brewed tea 1:10 with water before feeding the garden. Water directly onto the soil around plants.
Seaweed tea is also great to fight fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Spray diluted tea directly on the leaves.
Seedlings can also be boosted with seaweed tea before they go in the ground.
Molasses tea - calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium fixer and encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
Dilute molasses in water on a 1:20 ratio. Add directly on the soil in your garden.
Comfrey, nettle, yarrow, chickweed tea - fixes nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
Mix leaves 1:10 with water and leave to sit for at least two weeks. Dilute brew 1:10 to apply directly on the soil around plants.
Epsoms Salts - magnesium fixer, enhances plant’s green colour and improves blossoms.
Dilute 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salts in a watering can and apply around the drip line of citrus trees. Or make a foliar spray by mixing 2 tablespoons in 4 litres of water.
Microbial potato fertilizer - activates microbes in the soil
Bake two potatoes in their skins. Put these into a small mesh bag together with two cups of soil from four different parts of the garden.. Tie the top of the mesh bag closed with a long piece of string.
Create two holes in the top sides of a 20l bucket and poke a stick through. Thin bamboo works well. Fill the bucket with water and mix in 1 tbsp of salt. Hang and tie the mesh bag on the stick and squeeze the bag with your hands to crush the potatoes and release the juices.
Leave this to sit with a lid on for 1-3 days, until you see foam forming on the surface.
You will have quicker results in warm weather. This should look like the foam which forms when bread baking with yeast. It is at it’s optimal point when it is an unbroken layer. Use immediately. Activate soil by applying 1:10 in the garden.
In a bucket mix together 10l water,2l raw milk and 2l molasses. In a large container mix together 100l water + 50l cow manure + 2kg ash + 2k tuck powder then add milk mixture to this.
Leave to sit for 2-3months then dilute 1:20 to garden
Aloe vera liquid feed
Chop up aloe vera and mix in a blender together with water. Dilute on a 1:10 ratio and apply directly to the garden.