Tigerella tomatoes growing on the vine

Flower Power Organic on trial

Probably like many gardeners, I don’t class myself as being an organic gardener, but I’m always happy to choose an organic alternative to chemicals wherever possible. This is especially true when it comes to growing my own fruit and veg.

When Richard Jackson brought out his Flower Power Organic Liquid Plant Food, I was keen to give it a try on my veg. But, as with everything else in gardening, are new and different things any better than the tried and tested versions we’re used to using on a day-to-day basis? To find out, I decided to give it a try and trial it in my own garden.

Tasty tomatoes

Tomatoes are probably our favourite home-grown veg – which is why tomato seeds are usually the only free vegetable seeds given away with gardening magazines! Tomatoes are also preferred for use as a “test” crop in growing experiments, as they readily show up signs of nutrient deficiencies and other problems. And I also had eight young ‘Tigerella’ tomato plants that I hadn’t planted out yet, which was more of a decider for my growing test!

Tomato trial

To try and make the trial as scientific as possible, I potted them up individually in the same 25cm (10in) pots that I grow all my tomatoes in, used the same compost for all eight, and grew them in a row in the same sunny position in my garden. They were all watered at the same time, with the same amount of water. The only difference was that four were fed with Flower Power Organic Liquid Plant Food and the other four with my usual, market leading, tomato food.

Here’s what happened

All eight plants grew well, were as healthy as expected (considering the strange weather conditions in 2021!) and produced crops and yields as I would have expected if I wasn’t trialling the feed.

Each time I harvested any tomatoes, I weighed them and kept a running total. The plants fed with Flower Power Organic all cropped very well, as did the other four, which produced a larger overall total crop of tomatoes. The Flower Power Organic tomatoes produced an average of 3.6kg (7.9kg) of tomatoes per plant, the others produced 4.1kg (8.9lb). But the Flower Power Organic ones started cropping earlier in the year, on average by nine days, and carried on producing ripe fruit later in autumn, on average by eight days. This meant that I had less of a glut and famine cycle when using the Flower Power Organic which was a real bonus. Many of the other tomato plants produced the majority of their crop in mid-summer, ripening together. I also found that I had fewer green tomatoes that needed artificial ripening or making into green tomato chutney on the plants fed with Flower Power Organic.

Richard Jackson Flower Power Organic Plant Food
Flower Power Organic Liquid Plant Food 500ml bottle

Tomato taste test

But, for me, it’s not all about yield and how much you get. One off the main reasons I grow my own is to ensure maximum taste and flavour. So, this was a major part of my assessments. Those tomato plants fed with Flower Power Organic tasted a little sweeter and had a slightly better overall flavour. They were also firmer – making them easier to cut into slices for salads and sandwiches – and remained firmer for longer after picking. They also had less of the hard, white centre. Not forgetting the positive health implications of growing organically.

All in all, apart from giving a slightly smaller yield; using Flower Power Organic had several advantages – especially in the kitchen. So, it looks like I’ll be swopping my tomato feed from now on and choosing to use Flower Power Organic on my tomato plants in future!

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