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FEBRUARY: Time to Fertilise

February can be one of the hottest months of the year and your plants and garden can struggle.

Because our gardens are “man made” the natural nutrients that are normally found in gardens are lost and need to be replaced. There are also some plants that require a higher nutrient content that others, so that they will grow well.

Another reason why it is important to fertilise, is that over time, established plants can use all of the goodness in the surrounding soil. Plants such as fruit trees, vegetables and roses, are very productive and need extra fertiliser. For example, every time the lawn is mowed and the clippings removed, the plants have to begin re-growing their leaves again.

Although fertilisers are sold as a “plant food”. This is not the case, as plants naturally manufacture their own sugars from the sun, however fertilisers assist the plants to function more effectively. Generally, the term “plant food” is commonly used when referring to fertilisers.

WHAT DO PLANTS NEED TO ENCOURAGE GROWTH?

Plants needs a mixture of elements to encourage growth, such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, this can be obtained from the air and water. All other elements are dissolved in water and taken up by the plant’s roots and leaves.

The major elements which are imperative to plant health & growth are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Sulphur and Magnesium. These all play an important role in maintaining the plants life and keeping it looking beautiful.

TYPES OF FERTILISERS

There are a few different types of fertilisers for you to consider. Depending on what type of plant/lawn or area in your garden, you are going to use it on.

ORGANIC FERTILISERS

There are a few to consider, such as Animal Manures, Sheep Manures like Dynamic Lifter Organics Plant Food and BioGold are good examples.

INORGANIC FERTILISERS

Powdered and Granular Fertilisers, are available in different formulations depending on which type of plants it will be used on.

With any fertiliser it is imperative that you read the instructions to ensure that you don’t add too much, or add the incorrect fertiliser to the wrong plant, as this could be very damaging to the root system of the plants. You must ensure plenty of water is given to assist and dissolve some fertilisers.

There are also Water Soluble and Liquid Fertilisers.These types of fertilisers are designed to be an all-purpose fertiliser and easy to apply, such as Nitrosol, they dissolve rapidly in the water and are applied directly to the soil.

There is also a relatively new fertiliser, known as a Controlled Release Fertilisers. These consist of a soluble fertiliser particle surrounded by a protective layer. Water slowly dissolves the fertiliser, and the rate of release is controlled by temperature, which means that the plant receives the nutrients while the plant is actively growing.

Although there can be a lot to consider when fertilising your garden, you don’t need to be overwhelmed. It is important however to ensure that your plants do well for the pending season change, that they have assistance with some nutrients.