All you need to know about using fertiliser to improve your plants
PUBLISHED: 16:39 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 18 October 2019
Thinking about giving nature a helping hand by adding some natural fertiliser to your garden? Here's some handy advice to get your green spaces looking at their best.
We've all been there - jealously admiring our neighbour's hanging baskets or immaculate lawn. Just how do they get their grass so green and their blooms so bright? Or perhaps you've got your eye on that enormous marrow which makes you question whether yours is simply still a courgette.
The missing piece in your garden jigsaw could simply be plant fertiliser. But aren't fertilisers bad for the environment? And what are they anyway?
Daniel Suggitt, operations manager of PlantGrow, a natural, sustainable and chemical-free range of organic plant fertilisers and plant foods, shares his expertise.
Are plant food and fertiliser the same thing?
By definition, they are virtually the same - it's simply adding a substance to increase fertility.
Typically, plant fertiliser ingredients include the major nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK), which are essential for plants to grow.
PlantGrow natural fertiliser and plant food contains NPK and also micronutrients and other essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes that are natural growth stimulants.
Can fertiliser kill plants?
Yes. Chemical feeds in the incorrect ratio can burn and kill plants. Overfeeding can lead to excess fertilisation, which alters soils and results in a high salt concentration which harms soil microorganisms.
Overfeeding can also prompt sudden growth without a sufficient root system to supply the required water to the plant.
PlantGrow is rich in its own microorganisms and is 100pc plant derived, allowing greater flexibility without the worry of overfeeding. Whether poured as a liquid plant food or mixed into soil in its solid form, it is difficult to go wrong.
Is fertiliser good for soil?
Artificial fertiliser doesn't do anything for soil health - it's completely aimed at the plant. Although chemical plant fertiliser contains artificial nutrients, these are quickly taken up by the plant and won't do anything for the structure or long-term fertility of the soil.
Organic matter is essential to get the best out of your garden. Whether you grow fruit, vegetables or flowers, adding organic plant food will supply nutrients, increase fertility and add structure.
PlantGrow soil conditioner provides excellent conditions for growing, supplying essential nutrients long term while retaining moisture.
What is the best plant food for hydrangeas?
Firstly, hydrangeas need good drainage - its succulent leaves and large stems tell you it's a heavy drinker.
Adding liquid plant food once a week throughout spring and summer is recommended, but organic matter in soils will provide nutrients and retain moisture which will help overall.
Is fertiliser bad for the environment?
There's a lot of discussion about the impact of artificial fertiliser on the environment. It's usually higher in NPK, which can negatively impact on the natural balance of the soil. The fossil fuel production process and chemicals it contains also make it bad for the environment and wildlife.
Organic fertiliser, on the other hand, supplies nutrients and micronutrients plus vitamins and minerals which improve soil health without the high levels of chemicals.
PlantGrow is sustainable, peat-free, chemical-free and animal-waste-free, so it's safe for all. Locally-grown crops, fruit and vegetables are put through a process of anaerobic digestion to create a natural plant tissue residue. We use no garden clippings or general green resulting in a higher quality, weed-free product which is unique to the market.
Electricity is also created during the process and fed back into the grid.
Our strapline is "By nature, for nature" - everything we use comes from nature, and it all goes back to nature through the soil.
PlantGrow is produced in Attleborough by farming family Steve and Sarah Suggitt. All crops are grown locally and are fed into the anaerobic digester in consistent amounts to ensure an even blend which has been tailored to suit horticulture and agriculture.
The Suggitts use the product on their own fields, completely replacing chemical fertiliser, and creating a rich soil ready for the next batch of crops to be processed into PlantGrow.
For more information visit www.plantgrow.co.uk