Category Archives: help blog

‘Please explain the merits or benefits of using seaweed as a fertiliser…’

Full question:
Please explain the merits or benefits of using seaweed as a fertiliser. Plus which type of seaweed to source? Thanks.

Our response:
Seaweed is the mainstay of a healthy organic edible garden. It’s full of trace elements, something like 60 of them, thus enabling your plants to become nutrient-dense. It helps resist fungus and disease by making plants strong and healthy. Seaweed collected from the beach can be dug in or laid on the top of a garden bed like a mulch.
Foliar application of liquid seaweed works well as it’s readily absorbed by the plant through its leaves. Soil applications act as a conditioner.
Finally, seaweed comes from a sustainable source.
Kelp, the big straps, is the best as it contains more minerals, but any seaweed collected from the beach is good.
If you’re after liquid seaweed, we like the Ocean Organics brands – they do a Foliar and Soil Liquid Seaweed which we sell online…Liquid Seaweed This is just the foliar one, but we have the soil one too.

‘I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit.’

Full question:
I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit. The flowers fall off. What am I missing?

Our response:
Eggplants haven’t done so well this year and we think it’s because there haven’t been so many bees around this summer due to all the rain we’ve had. That will affect your pollination. You can pollinate by hand – take a small paintbrush and flick it around gently inside the flowers which will result in pollen being transferred from the stamen to the stigma. This can be quite successful.
You may be short of potassium in your soil – comfrey is full of potassium, so making a comfrey tea is worthwhile and sheep pellets have a reasonable amount of potassium in them too. Potassium helps plants to set fruit.
Also two plants are better than one – if bees are around and about, there will more chance of them doing their pollinating work successfully.
Good luck! 🙂

‘I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins…’

Full question:
I’m growing pumpkins and get lots of flowers but very few – 2 – pumpkins. I see earlier Q&A and will stop watering them. A friend mentioned male and female flowers. How do I get more flowers that will develop into pumpkins?

Our response:
Yes, if you don’t have an abundance of bees in your area, it’s possible the flowers aren’t being pollinated. And yes, you can do what the bees would do for you with the aid of a small paintbrush. It’s not necessary, but you can identify the male flowers being the ones that form from long, thin stems. The female flowers are closer to the vine and have a small ball shape behind them, which is the beginning of the pumpkin. Carefully dab your paintbrush in the male flower and transfer the pollen to the female flower. But if you just dab the pollen carefully round all the flowers, you’ll do a pretty good job, even if you can’t see the difference between male and female flowers.
Just a reminder that one pumpkin plant doesn’t produce an endless supply of pumpkins – a crown pumpkin will only produce 2; a butternut or buttercup pumpkin will produce 3-4 at best per plant. There are often more flowers on a plant than it can ever physically turn into pumpkins.
All the best! 🙂