Future Harvest Development, a Canadian company, was kind enough to give me samples of its Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + fertilizers. These one-part, now dye-less fertilizers contain all the micro- and macronutrients a plant needs to thrive, along with added beneficial microorganisms to promote strong, healthy roots. The Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + dye-less fertilizers are powder form fertilizers and are completely soluble, making them easy to mix and apply.
Out of curiosity, I conducted an outdoor test to document the effect, if any, these fertilizers had on plant growth. I filled 16 three gallon planting containers (Future Harvest Development’s three gallon plant life plastic containers) with a basic, store-bought, pre-packaged potting soil. Two varieties of pepper plants were used for the test: red rocket cayenne peppers and anaheim peppers. I planted eight red rocket cayenne pepper plants and eight anaheim pepper plants for a total of 16 test subjects. The 16 planting containers were separated into four groups of four. Each group of four had two red rocket cayenne pepper plants and two anaheim pepper plants. Each group of four was to be fertilized differently.
In my first grow test article, described how the Easy Grow + formula stimulated healthy vegetative growth and how the added beneficial microorganisms helped strengthen the roots and protected the roots from pathogens. After the vegetative stage, it was obvious that the plants receiving fertilizer had a stronger structural integrity and more flower sites. Those flower sites would eventually turn into peppers which means a plant with more flower sites would be slated to produce more peppers. After a few weeks of vegetative growth and after all the plants had developed flowers (some had even started developing peppers), I made the switch over to the Easy Bloom + fertilizer to promote the development of the peppers.
Easy Bloom + is a one-step, pH stable, complete nutrient formulation designed for a wide variety of plants. When mixed with standard water, Easy Bloom + will set the pH level within a desirable range (5.9-6.3) for plant growth. The solution’s pH determines the availability of the nutrients contained within the solution. By automatically “setting” the pH within the desired range for nutrient absorption, Easy Bloom + eliminates an extra step for the grower and allows them to rest assured the plants will have access to all the nutrients they need to flourish. Easy Bloom + provides fruiting and flowering plants all 12 essential micronutrients and sugars needed for bountiful flower and/or fruit production. Easy Bloom + also contains a plethora of beneficial bacteria which will establish and colonize in and around the plant’s root zone, keeping the roots happy and healthy.
The control group received no fertilizer throughout the entire test. This was rather difficult for me to stick with as I could see the plants were suffering because they were not receiving proper nutrition. One of the cayenne pepper plants yellowed out and never properly developed, while the other was able to produce a few peppers, although small in size. One of the anaheim pepper plants in this group died during a wind storm when it was literally ripped right out of the planting container. It is interesting to note that the plants receiving the fertilizer with beneficial bacteria were less affected by the wind storm than the control group. It could be that the added beneficial microorganisms strengthened the roots and, therefore, the overall strength of the plants and their resistance to environmental stresses. All in all, it was quite obvious that the control group was lacking something. Although some peppers did develop in the control group, none were as big or as prolific as in the other groups.
The light application group received one teaspoon of the Easy Bloom + fertilizer per gallon of water twice a week. Unfortunately, the region where I live had a very rainy summer and the containers never dried out properly between waterings. However, the light application group developed well and both the cayenne pepper and anaheim pepper plants developed nice peppers. The anaheim pepper plants had to be staked due to the weight of the peppers. Both the cayenne pepper and anaheim pepper plants continue to ripen. My conclusion from observing this group is that using a light application of the Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + definitely works well for growing pepper plants.
The standard application group received two teaspoons of the Easy Bloom + fertilizer per gallon of water twice a week. As with the other groups, the planting containers never got a chance to properly dry out. Despite all the rain, the standard application group takes home first prize for pepper production. By far this group had the most and the largest peppers for both the cayenne pepper plants and the anaheim pepper plants. In fact, the cayenne peppers were so closely bunched, they appeared as just a big clump of peppers. Like the light application group, these plants had to be staked to help support the weight of the developing peppers. The results of the standard application plants show me that the folks at Future Harvest Development were right on the money with their fertilizer application recommendations. When applied at the standard application rate, the peppers in my grow test outperformed all of the others.
The aggressive application group received one tablespoon of the Easy Bloom + fertilizer per gallon of water twice a week. This group performed better during the vegetative stage than in the flowering/fruiting stage. There was good flower and pepper development to begin with, but, in the end, the number of peppers was actually less than in the standard application group. Overall, it seems that this feeding regiment was a little too aggressive for pepper plants, but it may work well for tomatoes or other heavy feeding, fast-growing annuals.
Although this grow test was far from scientific, it was pretty obvious that applying Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + made a difference in the way the plants grew and developed fruit and flowers. Throughout the vegetative stage, the pepper plants that received the fertilizer were more robust and produced more flower sites than the pepper plants that did not receive fertilizer. After the peppers started to develop, the difference the fertilizer was making in fruit production was easily observed. The standard and aggressive application rates outperformed the control and light feeding groups in both size and the amount of peppers.
After the wind storm destroyed one of the control group plants, I examined the root mass of each plant by digging gently in the soil. The pepper plants that remained in the control group had roots that were tinged brown and were even a little slimy to the touch. Without a doubt this could be attributed to the very wet weather and the containers not having a chance to properly dry out between waterings. However, when examining the plants that received the fertilizers with the added beneficial microorganisms, I noticed healthy, dry, white roots. I believe this is a testament to the added benefits derived from the beneficial bacteria contained in the Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + fertilizers. Without the added protection from the beneficial microorganisms, more plants may have been lost in the wind storm or to pathogens taking advantage of the over-saturated soil.
At the end of the day, Easy Grow + and Easy Bloom + are high quality, no-nonsense fertilizers that contain all a plant needs to thrive, plus the added benefits of beneficial microorganisms.
To learn more about Future Harvest products call 866.491.0255 or visit FutureHarvest.com.
Eric Hopper resides in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula where he enjoys gardening and pursuing sustainability. He is a Garden & Greenhouse senior editor and can be contacted at Ehop@GardenAndGreenhouse.net.