What is a fertiliser?
Fertilisers consist of many different materials that act to provide nutrients to your plants. These can either be of organic or inorganic origin. These usually consist of 3 major ingredients – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K).
Nitrogen assists in foliage health, Phosphorus helps with root, seed, flower and fruit development, whilst Potassium is necessary to aid in strong stem growth and provides additional assistance in flowering/fruiting. These main elements are usually combined with secondary and trace elements to make purpose built fertilisers for different applications.
There are generally 4 main types of fertilisers:
Organic – Made from natural products. Ie: Manures, blood and bone etc. These provide the least amount of beneficial nutrients.
Inorganic – These come in a variety of formulations for specific applications. Can be damaging to root systems etc. if not watered in adequately as they have a high soluble nitrogen content.
Liquid – These types are designed to dissolve rapidly. Can be applied directly to the plant.
Slow release/Controlled release – Are a relatively new development in fertiliser technology. They consist of a soluble NPK formula that is surrounded by a protective coating that releases nutrients over time.
Why is fertilising important?
Fertilising is an important process to aid your plants/trees/shrubs and lawn in having a healthy lifestyle. Fertilisers add important nutrients and elements that are used by these plants to become stronger, have lush foliage and assist in promoting root, seed and fruit growth. Choosing the most beneficial fertiliser is not easy and we recommend to always seek professional advice if you have never performed this process yourself, to avoid damage to your landscape. 1300 4 Gardening is always on hand to help!
How to fertilise:
Always read the directions/instructions for each fertiliser.
Do not over fertilise – apply at the recommended rate. When it comes to fertilising, less is more.
Water before fertilising – Do not apply to dry soil to avoid damage to roots.
Do not fertilise Australian native plants with a product that contains a high phosphorus content.
Use organic fertilisers on delicate plants.
Apply fertiliser to the ground from the drip line of your plant/tree/shrubs, outward.
Water in the applied fertiliser with a generous amount of water