Perfect Fertilisers for a Perfect Garden
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Published by TOP4 Team
Garden centres offer a bewildering range of fertilisers — some balanced, some providing high rates of particular nutrients, some designed to be used during particular seasons, and some with weedkillers. In the perfect garden, all can have a place. But most gardeners can do perfectly well with these.
Granular general fertiliser
It’s a granular formulation of a balanced general “complete” fertiliser which contains 7 per cent each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Gardeners who prefer to use organic fertilisers should go for dried blood, pelletised poultry manure or seaweed fertilisers. Use these fertilisers ahead of planting and sowing.
Liquid general fertiliser
This is a balanced liquid fertiliser for general feeding during the growing season.
Liquid tomato fertiliser
Liquid tomato fertiliser contains a high proportion of potash for swift results on flowering and fruiting plants, as well as on tomatoes.
Spring lawn feed
Lawn fertiliser for spring and summer use contains a high proportion of nitrogen. It can be used to encourage leafy growth on shrubs and fruit trees during spring.
Autumn lawn feed
Unlike the spring lawn fertiliser, autumn lawn fertiliser contains a low proportion of nitrogen. The same fertiliser can also be used as a pre-seeding or pre-turfing dressing for new lawns. A “complete” all-purpose fertiliser fills this bill.
Sterilised blood and bone
Sterilised blood and bone are a source of phosphorus that aids root development. Mix it into the soil when planting out herbaceous perennials, shrubs, roses, bulbs, climbers and trees.
Controlled release fertiliser
This one is ideal for containers. It comes as granules that are mixed into compost and release their nutrients over a long period of time, some for up to 12 months. Plugs made from granules bonded together are also available - these can simply be pushed into the surface of the compost.
Slow release fertiliser
This is good for feeding plants in the soil. It’s usually applied as a powder that can be scattered around perennials, trees, shrubs and vegetables.
Fast acting fertiliser
This is ideal if a plant is suffering from a deficiency, and is usually applied in a liquid form that can be used by the plant quickly.
Many gardeners argue passionately that plants grown with organic fertilisers are better than those that are grown with artificial ones. Ultimately, the choice between organic and artificial fertilisers is personal, but it is more likely made based on moral rather than economic or scientific grounds.
If you’re starting or maintaining a garden, seek the help of gardening experts.