WHEN IS IT RIGHT TO FEED?
Plants often need a extra boost, but when is best?
BUYING plant food can be a carousel of confusion and misunderstanding, and not just because there is an everexpanding range of products available.
What does NPK mean on the packaging? Should I use liquid or granular feeds (and what’s the difference?) and what part of the day should I apply them – and how often?
It is hardly surprising that many people stick with the products they – and possibly their parents and grandparents – have used for years, even though brands release new, improved and upgraded products at the start of each season.
In this issue of AG we aim to demystify the process of feeding your plants by talking you through the different products, which fertilisers suit which plants, and the pros and cons of each one. We also look at the dangers of over-feeding and why you should stop feeding your plants well before the end of summer.
There are no absolutes when it comes to giving your garden the nutrition it needs to perform at its best. What works for one plant may be wrong for another; some plants find enough food in the poorest soils, while others need constant topping up.
Don’t forget that plants fail to thrive because of factors other than poor feeding. There may be problems in the soil (fungus or vine weevil grubs destroying their roots), they may need watering or they may simply be in the wrong spot. Because with all the good will and correct feeding in the world, a plant that loves shade or needs acidic soil will not reach its full potential with its roots in a sunny spot or in chalky soil.
Slow-release cones are easy to use The range of plant foods available can be intimidating to new (and experienced!) gardeners
Yellow leaves are a sign of nutrient deficiency