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Tim’s tips for a bountiful vege and berry patch – part two

Tim’s tips for a bountiful vege and berry patch – part two

Tim’s tips for a bountiful vege and berry patch – part two

Tim Mounsey, Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative in Canterbury, shares his suggestions on how to grow a successful vege and berry patch, focusing on adding organic matter and fertiliser to your soil to boost nutrient levels and increase earthworm activity.

Organic matter matters

Consider applying organic matter to your soil. Tim says by mixing into the soil, organic matter improves soil structure and increases microbial and earthworm activity. Take note, if you have very light soil that doesn’t hold moisture well, organic material helps retain moisture and assists with the nutrient exchange process.

Looking to add compost as organic matter to your soil? Head to our online store to purchase Tui Compost, a combination of organic matter, blood and bone and gypsum which helps break up heavy or clay soil and improve drainage and water holding capacity in all soil types.

For more products designed to add organic matter to soil, visit your local PGG Wrightson store. Tui’s range includes Chicken & Sheep Pellets designed to top up nutrients in the soil and Gypsum, a slow-release source of sulphur and calcium, both of which improve soil structure, aeration and water retention.

You’ll need a fertiliser

You can’t go wrong with a good all-purpose fertiliser according to Tim. Consider a NPKS fertiliser with a range of trace elements including, for example, boron, iron, manganese and zinc. In case you didn’t know what NPKS stands for, it's nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and sulphur (S). These macronutrients each perform a different role in boosting plant health and performance. Nitrogen encourages green growth while phosphorus aids root development. Potassium helps form flower buds and fruit. The amount of each of these macronutrients varies, depending on the plant the fertiliser is designed to boost.

Tim says you can choose from a standard broadcast fertiliser or a slow-release product, designed to deliver nutrients over several months into the soil.

Are you wondering how often to apply fertiliser? Tim says to apply over the surface of the soil when you’ve first planted, being careful not have the fertiliser come into contact with the plant’s roots. Fertiliser can then be applied again in say a couple of months, and again in late summer. If you’ve used a slow-release product, you’ll only have to apply once a year.

An all-purpose fertiliser recommended by Tim is Ballance Agri-Nutrients YaraMila Complex. Head to our online store to purchase.

For more fertiliser options, specifically designed to meet the requirements of vegies or berries, visit your local PGG Wrightson store. Tui’s fertiliser range includes Strawberry Food, containing nutrients that encourage fast establishment and growth of strawberry plants.

Tui’s Lime fertiliser improves soil structure by naturally adjusting pH levels, an important component of soil health.  

Tui’s Vegetable Food includes dolomite lime and blood & bone to support vege growth and microbial and earthworm activity in the soil.

Tui Potato Food contains macronutrients, phosphorus and potassium, which are needed to produce yummy potatoes.

Consider a foliar fertiliser

A foliar fertiliser, or biostimulant, is worth considering, according to Tim, to promote general plant health. This type of product helps a plant flower, fruit or aids in the fight against disease. Tim explains if you want to grow more fruit, apply a foliar fertiliser containing potassium or to stimulate plant growth early in the season apply one with nitrogen.

For a foliar fertiliser from Tui, head to your local PGG Wrightson store. Tui’s Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic strengthens a plant’s ability to tolerate temperature extremes, particularly hot summer days, while also supporting healthy plant growth, fruit and flower production.

To read part one of Tim's tips for a successful vege and berry patch simply click here. Or you can view more products to purchase online by visiting PGG Wrightson's gardening section.