Why do we feed plants?
Feeding plants doesn't just improve growth each year but also encourages a higher yield of flowers, fruits and vegetables. A strong healthy plant will be able to withstand any disease infections or insect infestation.
How to feed plants After the very dry summer of 2022 when much watering was required the available fertiliser will be inadequate and it is vital to add some extra nutrition now. The plants in beds and borders will also benefit from some extra help now to revitalise them.
As the soil temperature gradually warms the plants will become more active and become responsive to additional fertiliser so now is the time to prepare a programme of feeding for the forthcoming season. There is a myriad of choice when it comes to choosing which fertiliser to use, and the guide below will give you some pointers to success. If in any doubt please ask one of our experienced staff for help.
Fertiliser Confusion? Have a look at our recommended fertilisers below:
MiracleGro Continuous Release Plant Food
Every plant which we grow on the nursery has the benefit of Continuous Release Fertiliser. It is ideal for either planting out new plants whether it be for a tree or shrubs and perennials. The hard outer shell is broken down by a combination of temperature and water and so more fertiliser is released from each tiny ball just when the plant needs it. Clever stuff! Established plants in either pots or in the borders will benefit from a sprinkling around the base of the plant.
Liquid Plant Food
Liquid plant foods are generally faster acting but quicker to expire. Suitable for all plants and easy to apply when watering. Add to the base of the plant once a week from March to August/September, avoiding the foliage. Liquid plant foods can be bought either ready mixed or as a concentrate for you to dilute.
One of our favourite foods for later in the summer as Tomorite or any other tomato food is higher in potash so promotes extra flowers and strong leaf colour. If you are wanting plant growth then do not use this plant food. Tomorite will encourage more flowers on your annual bedding plants, more tomatoes, strawberries, aubergines and cucumbers too, a great food for hanging baskets.
BOOST by Westland
Boost is the latest plant food introduction and has been formulated specifically for to be used with Peat Free Compost. The water retaining technology mixed with plant food will encourage 4 times more blooms, fruits and vegetables.
We recommend using BOOST alongside other plant fertilisers for best results.
Vitax Plant Foods
We use Vitax to feed our established plants. Available for Rose, Tree and Shrub, Acer, Olive, Buxus, Hydrangea, Clematis and Ericaceous plants. For strong growth and brighter blooms, use according to the back of the packet . Some are single annual use and others 2-3 times over the season.
£6.99 - 2 for £12 (March 2023)
Natural Fertilisers These natural fertilisers are ideal for mixing into the compost or soil for added nutrients.
Bonemeal - Ideal for trees and shrubs, promotes strong and healthy rooting.
Blood Fish and Bone - High in phosphorous, builds soil fertility and increases crop yield.
Chicken Manure Pellets - Source of nitrogen, improves soil for healthy leaf growth. Can be used all around the garden.
Gromore - General purpose feed, balanced nutrients promote growth in all plant parts meaning lots of fruit and flowers.
Seaweed - promotes healthy growth while also helping them withstand environmental stress and attacks from pests or disease.
Always read the label!
It is important to check the labels on the back of bottles or packets. Overfeeding can cause scorching and leave them vulnerable to disease while underfeeding will mean less success.
The quantity of feed is largely one that has to be obtained from experience. Periods of prolonged drought will mean more watering is required which will leach the fertiliser from the soil and more applications will be required. Our experience is that it is easier to keep a plant healthy than it is to try to restore plant health to an under-nourished plant.
Our plant experts are very knowledgable about what to feed and when, so feel free to pop into store and ask for their advice!