Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Better Plant Food for a Better World

So I've been looking for a better plant food, one that is not made of petroleum and other nasty chemicals and feeds the soil so the plant gets fed properly and this is what I found. It's called "Better World Plant Food" and it's home office is here in Toronto. Carla, one of the owners at Davenport Garden Centre also in Toronto suggested it as it's the first time she has carried it and wants to know how I do with it. At $19.99 for 500 ml it's a little pricey BUT if it works, it's well worth it.

What is it made of you ask? Answer - bug excrement. Yep, that's right. I had the good fortune of catching one of the owners, Nick Chilikoff, at his home office and he explained, in detail, what it was, how it was produced (more or less as he could not tell me exactly understandably in order to protect their their trade secrets) and how it works. I include information direct from the pamphlet to pass on some of that info. Here it is below.

the front of the brochure
lovely illustration and design by the way

top of the back of the brochure

bottom of the back of the brochure

The reason I called the company is I didn't know if it was safe to just pour the tea I had made from the dry solution right onto the soil of the plant or if I had to wet it first, like you normally have to do with the regular chemical fertilizers or you run the risk of burning the plant. He told me that I could pour it directly onto the dry soil. I loved hearing that. It seems that with this product you don't run that type of risk and if you do over feed it, it won't harm the plant. 

So I added the recommended 4 teaspoons of dry plant food to one litre of water. I used an old 4 litre water container so I added 16 teaspoons in total. This is what it looked like about 22 hours later of steeping.

steeped Better World plant food granules in water

And this is what it looked like poured into a cup. I was to use one cup full of tea to one square foot, or litre, of soil. I had to eyeball it with my containers. It felt relieved that if I did too much that I wouldn't harm the plant. For the larger containers it was easier to judge, but the little ones, I may have over-fed just a wee bit.

one cup of plant food tea

I fed my peonies and my lilacs first as I have had them for a few years now and really, I don't think I have fed them properly since I got them. We'll see how they like it. It seems, a few hours later my peonies are standing straight up! Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I think they may just be happier. I also fed the regular peas and spinach as the rest of my containers were still wet or very damp. It hasn't been that warm here today and it's been overcast. You can use the dregs of the tea, just mix it into the soil of the plant. 

I am looking very much forward to use more of this product on the rest of my balcony garden. I will let you know how it goes!

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