How do fertilisers help plants grow?
Fertilisers contain essential nutrients that plants need to grow healthy and strong. Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus boost green growth, flower and fruit production and when used properly, can increase the size of your harvest and the amount of flowers and healthy growth your plants produce. Fertiliser provides an extra boost of nutrients that may be naturally deficient in the soil.
Apply fertilisers either via a foliar leaf spray, by diluting and watering into the soil, or by applying mulch around the base of the plant to be slowly taken in by the plants’ roots. Always read the manufacturer's instructions before applying fertilisers to your plants.
Which plants don't like seaweed fertiliser?
Seaweed fertiliser is an excellent source of trace nutrients and contains high levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. It works well as a general use fertiliser. Some plants such as wildflowers, ornamental grasses and drought tolerant Mediterranean plants don’t like nutrient-rich soil, so avoid fertilising these groups; they naturally thrive on poorer soils.
What's a good lawn fertiliser?
The best lawn fertiliser contains a balanced mix of nutrients to promote healthy green growth. Busy gardeners may benefit from a slow release lawn fertiliser that can be applied with less frequency, otherwise as a rough rule, aim to fertilise your lawn once in spring and re-apply every few months until autumn. Remember to keep growth in check with regular cutting using a mower or strimmer.
Always check the manufacturer's instructions for dilution ratios and reapplication times. If your lawn is looking tired, it could be a good time to aerate and reseed with quality lawn grass seed. Treat an acidic soil with lime to increase the pH and improve grass growth across the lawn.
How often to fertilise indoor plants
Leafy indoor plants need regular feeding to keep growth green and healthy. Aim to apply an all-purpose fertiliser every few months during the growing season when light levels are better. Remember to dilute your fertiliser to the manufacturer's specifications. Avoid feeding your indoor plants during the winter months, the low light levels cause etiolated, leggy growth that easily snaps.
Succulents and cacti respond better to less frequent fertilising. Use a well diluted, balanced fertiliser every six months as a rough rule. It’s a good idea to refresh the compost in your houseplant pots every spring, adding slow release fertiliser, and making sure to keep on top of watering during the summer months.