Monthly Archives: September 2015

A look at Envii Feed and Protect.

This week I’m going to talk about one of our favourite products – Feed and Protect. It’s a product that we supply so admittedly my view is a little biased but I will link you to some other bloggers who have written about it over the summer to even the playing field.

What is it?

Feed and Protect is, in layman’s terms, a plant food that repels slugs and snails. It’s made up of a concentrated selection of micro-nutrients which act in the same way as a foliar feed but, by pure chance, it also makes the plants extremely distasteful to slugs and snails. This makes Feed and Protect unique in the market as it essentially acts as an all-in-one plant treatment.

Where did it come from?

We don’t actually make Feed and Protect here at Envii. In fact, we came across it whilst talking to our partners in industrial agriculture; they were using it on vast fields of crops where a high yield is essential to their profit margins. Being gardeners ourselves, we knew that there wasn’t anything else like it on the market – because we’d be buying it! The only problem was that it came in 1 tonne sacks, so we asked them if we could re-package it in more manageable quantities and sell it to the home and garden market.

What else do I need to know?

Well, there are two other main selling points to tell you about. Firstly, it’s a natural product; all the ingredients are naturally occurring and it doesn’t contain any chemicals. Secondly, it’s safe for pets; this is a big one for a lot of our customers as so many people are concerned about putting slug pellets down on the ground and having their beloved pets eat them up.

Don’t just take our word for it!

feed-and-protect-lettuce-test-crop

 

Earlier this year we sent out samples of Feed and Protect to various people in the industry. Here are links to two bloggers who wrote product reviews about it.

John Harrison

http://allotment-garden.org/garden-diary/3665/pro-biotics-the-new-wave/

Alison Levey

http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2015/08/product-review-envil-feed-and-protect.html

Soon we’ll be selling Feed and Protect direct from our website but in the meantime it’s available on Amazon and eBay.

Thanks for reading.

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Probiotics for your garden – The good bacteria

At Envii, we often talk about ‘Probiotics for your garden’. In the last ten years or so, everyone’s seen those incessant TV adverts about probiotics, the good bacteria (Yakult, Actimel etc), but what do we mean when referring to our garden? Well pretty much the same to be honest. We mean that we are adding beneficial bacteria to our growing mediums… and we all know how important healthy growing mediums are.

Last week, I posted about how to improve compost and at the end I shamelessly plugged our Foundation product. Well, I’m about to do it again! Envii Foundation is really what we are talking about when we say probiotics. By adding it to our soil or compost we’re counteracting any common pathogens and restoring the soil’s natural balance. This is why we’ve seen such dramatic results in early plant growth, as you can see in the picture underneath.

onion-carrots-and-parsnips

Not caring for your growing medium is one of the most common mistakes made by amateur gardeners. By getting the natural balance correct, half the battle is already won.

The picture below shows the difference between two pea plants from last season. The plants were kept in a greenhouse, fed and watered the same and planted in exactly the same compost. The only difference being that the one on the left was treated with Foundation. This again shows how effective it can be.

peas-planted-31st-may-photo-30th-june-2015

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Thanks for reading.

How to improve questionable compost

There is a problem in the world of compost! We are always hearing stories about the poor quality of shop-bought compost and complaints about how difficult it is to make decent stuff yourself. The quality of shop-bought has undoubtedly dropped in recent years due to competitive pricing driving down quality but the fact is compost should never be rushed or made to half measures. Originally, I was going to post a ‘how-to’ guide on making compost but there’s already loads out there on the web and they’d probably be better than mine.

This one’s particularly informative and has a table of what you can compost! http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html

So instead I’m going to write about how to solve common problems with compost that isn’t up to scratch.

IT’S TOO WET

Compost can sometimes get too wet for multiple reasons – too much rainfall, not enough aeration, not enough nitrogen rich ingredients etc.

How to fix –

  • Place a tarpaulin loosely over the top to stop any more rainfall getting in.
  • Move the compost around using a pitchfork thoroughly (every 2 weeks)
  • Add nitrogen rich ingredients
  • Add ‘browns’ – carbon rich materials

IT’S TOO DRY

Obviously happens when there isn’t enough moisture – if you live in a dry climate or there hasn’t been any rainfall.

How to fix –

  • Water it and turn it regularly
  • Leave uncovered

THERE’S A BAD SMELL

There can be all sorts of reasons why compost produces a foul smell – too wet, too many greens, too much meat or dairy etc .

How to fix –

  • Cut materials finely before putting in – smaller materials are less likely to smell
  • Turn it regularly – again turning it regularly will keep the smell away
  • Keep a better mix of greens and browns – there’s plenty of advice on the internet about how to get the perfect mix greens and browns

Now, time for a product plug! Envii Foundation improves the health of compost before using it in your garden. Use the tablets in either home-made or shop-bought compost to dramatically increase the growth of your plants. Click here for more information. 

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Autumn leaves

My drive into the office this morning was different. Same route, same car, same tunes but something had changed. Something that I might have subconsciously noticed because of the date – autumn has arrived. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly pessimistic at the brown leaves on the pavement and mention of September on Radio 2. Anyway, it got me thinking of the preparation necessary for the inevitable cold months ahead. I know what you’re thinking, stop banging on about winter just because you’ve turned the page on the calendar, but it’s important, especially to us gardeners.

Autumn is a time for preparation – if you fail to prepare for winter, you’ll create yourself twice as much work next year. Here’s a list of jobs you need to get done before the frost comes in –

  • Make sure your tender plants are under cover
  • Pick tomatoes
  • Feed soil
  • Plant or move evergreens and conifers
  • Plant spring bedding and bulbs

There is also some myth that the planting season is over; which simply isn’t true. September can be an excellent time for planting – whether in preparation for the next season or even to harvest before winter. These plants are still worth a go –

  • Broad beans and peas – these plants will establish themselves over winter which means they will flower and fruit early and increase your yield. It may be necessary to fleece them, depending on how cold the winter is.
  • Garlic – garlic is one of those rare plants that can be planted anytime during the winter.
  • Leafy vegetables – many vegetables with lots of large leaves can be planted and harvested during autumn.

Watch this space for more tips on autumn and winter gardening. All is not lost!

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Image by joiseyshowaa