Tomato crop – image chatelaine.com
Whilst we’re all getting busy at the weekends preparing beds and sowing seeds, I thought we’d take a brief look at a variety of fertilisers today. It always helps when you’re in the garden centre to know which product would be best for a particular planting.
Plants need a variety of micro and macro nutrients to thrive and survive. Fertilisers add nutrients directly into the soil in a form which plants can absorb easily.
Macro nutrients are: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Sulphur (S), Magnesium (M), Carbon (C), Oxygen (O) and Hydrogen (H).
The micro nutrients, or mineral trace elements are: Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu) Molybdenum (Mo) and Nickel (Ni).
Please note that some of the below are animal based. You may prefer to choose different fertilisers depending on your principles and ethics.
High Potash liquid feed for fruiting plants
Potash is another term for Potassium rich fertilisers, such as tomato feed. There are many liquid Potash rich tomato feeds on the market to choose from, they are perfect to use with fruiting plants.
Blood, fish and bone are natural products with a high amount of phosphorus, which create good root growth. It is great as a general all purpose fertiliser and will increase crop yields and build soil fertility. It is especially beneficial for establishing trees and shrubs.
Kelp is the main variety used in liquid seaweed. It can grow over 50 metres long, and has trace elements of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and nitrogen, which are all beneficial to plants. There are many brands of liquid seaweed to choose from. I love liquid seaweed as it is organic, comes from a sustainable source and can be harvested without damaging the environment.
I particularly like using it for feeding my houseplants, but it can be used all around the garden; on the lawn, flowers and vegetables. There are some pretty impressive stats out there surrounding the use of liquid seaweed for gardening. It has been used as a soil improver along the coast for centuries. Liquid seaweed can usually be found right next to chemical fertilisers in garden centres and supermarkets and isn’t any more expensive than them, so if you’ve not tried it before, perhaps reach out for it next time you see it.
Chicken manure pellets – image Westland Organic
Chicken manure pellets are organic and can maximise your veg crops. Whilst you’re preparing your vegetable beds during the early spring sprinkle these onto the soil. You can also sprinkle onto the soil about a month after planting. Chicken manure pellets can also be used during the autumn when you are preparing your beds for the winter and year ahead.
Bonemeal – image fammagropioneer
Bonemeal is high in phosphorus which supports strong root growth. It’s perfect for establishing new shrubs and trees in your garden. Work it into the top layer of soil after planting and water it in. As with all natural fertilisers, this will slowly release its goodness into the soil during the growing season.
A beneficial fungi that is an absolute wonder of the world is Mycorrhizal fungi. Sprinkle this into the bottom of the hole when planting trees and shrubs, as well as onto the plants roots. David Austin sell it with their roses, but there are many brands on the market to choose from. Mycorrhizal fungi create a vast connection between the roots of the plant and the soil around them, which allows the fungus to take up vital nutrients for the plant’s benefit.
Image empathy rootgrow Ltd