is a nutrient-rich, organic fertiliser that is free from any animal matter. It's made from a bi-product of an Anaerobic Digester, which is fed with maize to make renewable energy for the National Grid.
Natural Grower Ltd is owned and managed by Charlotte and Richard Beaty, who live at Home Farm in Market Harborough. The family has been farming for over 50 years – originally operating as a dairy unit before diversifying into arable crops. They invested in an anaerobic digester five years ago and discovered that one of the process's bi-products was a nutrient-rich organic fertiliser, free from animal matter, that could be used to fertilise crops. They used the fertiliser to replace the use of chemical fertilisers on their land and soon saw outstanding results in their crops, and in their garden vegetables and plants.
We were sent some and some to try.
The Plant Feed is arich, organic mulch that can be mixed into the soil before growing, or added as a nutrient-rich surface dressing around plants to help boost crops as they grow.
We put a couple of handfuls under our seed potatoes as we planted them. We also added the feed to the seed potatoes that we grow in large pots in the greenhouse.
The Plant Feed is rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other trace elements. It's pulled down into the soil by earthworms, where it's broken down gradually by organisms in the soil, releasing nutrients slowly and over a long period of time.
Used as a top dressing, it's excellent at retaining water and can help to supress weeds. We also found that the pots of potatoes dried out less quickly.
Our potato plants were stronger and more healthy – and as a result, we had a good crop of tubers, which were free from blight and pest damage.
The was useful during the summer months for giving our crops a boost. It was easy to apply during watering, and we used it on tomatoes and chillies in pots, as well as plants such as beans, courgettes and pumpkins in the vegetable patch.
Natural Grower products are free from animal matter and manure, and are approved by The Vegan Society and Soil Association.