Plants are just like us, they need water and food to survive.
But it's important that we don't feed too much to our sprouts, too early. Or feed too little, too late.
The best rule of thumb I have for feeding the plants is, when the seedlings are approximately 2-inches tall, is the perfect time to give them their first meal (I'll be coming back to post pics when I feed mine).
If you are growing tomatoes, peppers or basil, this is the point where you will remove the two smallest seedlings, leaving one in the Shimo container.
Feel free to give the remaining seedlings away, or plant them in the ground or in another container.
If only 1 or 2 seedlings sprouted that is fine to. Just be sure, that there is 1 seedling per container as it grows. If there are more than one, it won't grow to it's best ability, it will be to crowded.
If you are growing the lettuce, mustard/mesclun greens, or carrots and you can feed them when they are about this size.
Spicy Mustard Greens (feed when Mesclun Greens are same size)
Red Lettuce Blend
Add half the packet of plant food to the surface of the Shimo soil.
You will want to do this before you water for the day. You want your Shimo sprouts dry so that the fertilizer won't stick to the leaves of sprouts, but rather falls down to the soil surface.
Use your hands to gently brush any plant food residue off of the leaves.
If you get plant food residue on the leaves of the sprouts, you may "burn" the leaves, which will either discolor the leaves, or even kill the sprout itself.
If you do get plant food residue on the sprouts while they are wet, it's not the end of the world. All you have to do is wash off the residue with a mist of water.
If you are growing tomatoes or peppers you can feed them when they are approximately this size (2-4 inches tall). You will add half of the packet of plant food in a circle about 2 inches from the plant stem/stalk, and water thoroughly.
An alternative method to to feed your plants, is to take 1/2 of the plant food and put it into 1/2 gallon of water and to leave it for 24 hours. Then water your plants with the 1/2 gallon of water that contains the food.
Either method works fine.
Over the next couple of days, you should see your sprouts really start to grow.
One week after the first feeding, you'll feed your Shimo again, the same way as described above.
That should be enough food for your Shimo to sustain your plant throughout it's lifetime.
However, we like adding some organic compost every month or two during the plant's lifecycle, which makes it even happier and healthier.
To learn more about how to maintain your Shimo read the blog post titled "Maintaining your Shimo."