Give your plants a pick-me- up with a midsummer feed to take them through the rest of the season in tip-top health. After months of non-stop growth, levels of essential nutrients like nitrogen for leafy growth, root-promoting phosphorus and potassium for flowers and fruits are in short supply. In confined spaces like greenhouses and containers feeding is even more critical: multi-purpose compost runs out of nutrients after about six weeks, so your plants become entirely dependent on you to feed them after this time.
Give everything a general feed by topping up your slow-release fertilisers. Sprinkle bonemeal, pelleted poultry manure or a general-purpose feed like Vitax Q4 onto beds and borders and they’ll release a steady stream of goodness through till autumn.
Start feeding greenhouse crops once you see flowers forming: potassium-rich liquid tomato feed added to the watering can fortnightly encourages more flowers and a better harvest. And look out for signs of mineral deficiencies, when plants really start to suffer through nutrient shortages. Pale yellow leaves and poor growth indicate a shortage of nitrogen, treatable with a fast-acting dose of liquid seaweed feed; while magnesium deficiency is revealed as yellowing leaves with bright green veins. A weekly spray with dilute Epsom salts returns things to normal.