Getting ready for spring

As spring approaches, and young men’s fancy turns to what young men are always fancying (if my memory is correct!), this old codger’s fancy turns to the approaching growing season. This season has four major requisites: something to grow (I’ve already ordered all my plug plants and packets of seeds are neatly organised in a box ready for sowing), pots to grow them in, compost to fill those pots and, last but by no means least, something to feed them with. In this article I’m looking at the feeding aspect.

Young plants need feeding and they’ll go on needing to be fed through the year, as will established perennials, fruit trees and bushes. The lawns also grow better if the grass is properly fed. And strongly growing grass will be more resistant to weeds and moss.

I’ve tried various foods over the years – Phostrogen, Miracle Grow, Tomorite tomato food (which can be used on all sorts of flowering plants, not just tomatoes) and several “own brand” ones. A few years ago, though, I discovered a product called “Flower Power”. This is exclusively sold by the QVC TV shopping channel. The sales patter sounded good so I thought I’d try some.

My “scientific” test involved the runts out of an order for bedding begonia plug plants. That year I’d bought about 600 begonia plugs but there were always more than the nominal number in the plug trays and I didn’t need all 600 anyway. So I planted up three 24-cell trays with the weakest of the plugs. One tray was then just watered. The second tray was fed with Phostrogen plant food (I’d always thought Phostrogen was the best) and the third with Flower Power. You can see from this photograph that Flower Power came out on top.

I have to admit that in that year, when I switched from Phostrogen to Flower Power, all plants flowered better and I got more and bigger fruits from all the fruit trees and bushes.

Then out came a Flower Power young plant food. Based on the success with the first product I bought some to try. My second “scientific” test involved a mystery tray of plug plants which turned out to be petunias and I was already growing more petunias than I could accommodate. This time, I potted up into little individual pots a total of 40 plugs. Half of those were fed with Phostrogen and half with the new Flower Power Young Plant Food. Tthe Flower Power-fed plants (on the left) had better root systems and better “above ground” growth.

The Flower Power range has since expanded with Lawn Food, House Plant Food, Plant Invigorator and I think a new food for container plants is coming out soon. All these are no-doubt based on standard offerings but there must be something in them as they have all produced better results than I have found with other plant foods. I now use the Flower Power range exclusively and my garden’s a lot better for it.

The downside of this approach is that QVC always seem to have less of the products than they can sell which, I suppose, keeps the price up. So if you want Flower Power, keep an eye on their website. You may also want to check out the Flower Power website run by Richard Jackson (the “inventor”).