We put a charcoal-based soil conditioner and two organic plant feeds to the test on the allotment.
Last year at the allotment, I trialled three different products aimed at getting the best out of my plants and improving the soil. All three are organic. This is what I thought of them:
1. Gro Char
This organic charcoal-based soil improver is supposed to improve soil structure, retain moisture, and encourage stronger growth. I trialled this in two ways, and the results of the second trial won’t be available until the end of this year. The first planting was in the pumpkin patch, mixed into the mounds of manure that I planted the squash plants on. This certainly helped during a summer of mixed weather, and the side of the bed that used Gro Char had plants that seemed stronger and more fruitful.
The second trial is in a lasagna bed that I’ve created, ready for planting this year. There is a good layer of Gro Char in this bed, and I’ll report back on this as part of my general trial of no-dig lasagna gardening.
You can buy Gro Char here. I was supplied this product for free, but in this instance, I’m going to buy it again this year, which is the true acid test of any product review.
2. Fulvic booster
I was recommended this product by Sara Venn of the Physic Blog. She swears by its abilities to help plants absorb nutrients from feeds like comfrey and nettle tea. What did I think? Well, the results with nettle tea were pretty disappointing, to be honest. Perhaps it was other problems with last year’s weird growing season, but the plants fed with nettle tea weren’t really happy bunnies.
But when I used the booster with manure and comfrey teas that I made later in the season, they perked up the plants no end.
Would I buy it again? I probably wasn’t sold enough on its benefits above and beyond the normal offering I get from feeds that I can make myself for free to buy fulvic booster myself. But have a chat to Sara on Twitter: she’s on @saralimback and is a professional gardener. You can buy fulvic booster here.
3. BioBooster organic ultimate plant food
This is another Symbio product, but I found it a bit easier to see good results from this plant feed. It perked up my chard on my balcony, and did brilliant things for my young pumpkin plants. If I weren’t so keen on making my own extremely stinky plant feeds from comfrey, nettles and manure, I’d buy this again as it worked well and a little of it went a long way, too. You can buy it here.