Plants are living creatures, and living creatures need proper nourishment to survive. Feeding plants, however, isn’t just about putting fertilizers on your garden beds. If your plants are well-fed, you’ll know. You’ll see verdant leaves, sturdy stems, colourful blooms and healthy fruits. At the same time, well-fed plants become healthier, making them more disease resistant.
If your plants are famished, you’ll know it, too. Usually, you’ll see yellowed, mottled, shrivelled or rotting leaves; plants are stunted; fruits don’t mature (or they don’t fruit at all) and flowers are ugly, disfigured or drop before setting fruit.
The principal nutrients that plants need are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K), conveniently abbreviated to NPK. There are also trace elements, called micronutrients, which plants need to be healthy and hardy. Your plants need these elements only in small amounts and trace elements can be sourced from both synthetic and organic fertilizers.
You don’t want to feed your plants only when they’re showing signs of disease or distress. They need to be fed before they get that way so that you’ll have a chance to reap the fruits of your labour, especially in your vegetable gardens.
The best time to feed plants is when they’re at their most active in terms of growing. Typically, this is when you’re preparing beds, transplanting seedlings, and when the plants are setting out blooms and fruiting.
Be aware that plants have different nourishment needs. If you need guidance in this area, make sure you pop in and chat to our team experts.
If you’re planting out new beds, mix the fertilizer in with the soil and make sure you incorporate it thoroughly.
It’s important that you follow the recommended application rates from the manufacturer. Your plants won’t thank you for excess fertilizer. The extra plant food doesn’t do much to boost their growth and could actually burn or injure your plants.
Remember – if you are unsure or would like some assistance or gardening inspiration, we’re here to help.