Gardening – Fertilisers

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Fertilisers, their applications and purposes:

PurposeFertilisers and rates

The encouraging of root growth and boosting newly planted vegetables, lawns and most other plants.

Superphosphate (alternatively bone meal)150g, or more, to planting hole, and 120g p.m. ² for beds.

The establishing of flower and vegetable beds, shrubs, trees and lawns.

2:3:2 (22) Add 120g p.m. ², dug 15 cm deep prior to planting.

Establishing new plants with little potassium. Ideal for fertilising root crops.

2:3:4 (40) Spring applications of 60g p.m. ²

For semi-established lawns.

3:2:1 (28) SR (with slow-release nitrogen) 45g p.m. ², applied during spring, summer and autumn, every six weeks. Alternatively use LAN.

Fertiliser for lawns.

3:2:1 (25) Spring application of 60g p.m. ², watered immediately afterwards.

Fertiliser for established lawns.

4:1:1 (21) applications during spring, summer and autumn of 60g p.m. ²

For new, semi- and established lawns.

WONDER LAWNS AND FOLIAGE 60g p.m. ² applications monthly, from spring to autumn.

Encourages fast leaf growth, ideal for citrus trees and lawns.

LAN (28% N) 30g p.m. ², every 5 weeks during growing season.

Top dressing for lawns.

Similar to LAN in every respect, with 15 g applications.

For flowering plants.

3:1:5 (26) SR (with slow-release nitrogen) Six weekly applications of 60g p.m. ² during growing seasons.

Flower beds

Superphosphate, applied at 90g p.m. ² or 45 g p.m. ² of 3:2:1 (28) SR.

For flowering shrubs and trees.

WONDER FLOWERS, FRUIT AND SHRUBS Four weekly applications of 60g p.m. ² during growing season.

Balanced fertiliser for many plants, such as flower beds, roses, shrubs and trees.

5:1:5 (44) (with slow-release nitrogen) Six weekly applications of 30g p.m. ² during growing seasons.

For acid loving plants.

Sulphate of ammonia (21%N) Applications of liquid fertiliser, or 30g p.m. ² Colourburst Azalea for Azaleas, blue Hydrangeas and Camellias.

Planting shrubs and trees.

WONDER PLANTING AND VEGETABLES 2:3:4 (21) Add 300g (shrubs) or 600g (trees) with digging soil and use this mixture when planting.

Products may seem complicated with their numbers and host of names but are in fact quite simple once understood. Inorganic fertiliser of
compound mixtures for example 2:3:2(22) consist of three elements and the numbers indicate their ratio. For instance: 2 parts nitrogen (N), 3 parts phosphorous (P) and 2 parts potassium (K) in 22% (indicated in brackets) available food for the plant. These fertilisers provide information on the bags for easy use. The percentage of N, P and K is calculated the following way:
2 + 3 + 2 = 7
2 x 22 ÷ 7 x 1 = 6,3% of each N and K
3 x 22 ÷ 7 x 1 = 9,4% P

Straight fertilisers consist of a main element indicated by a chemical symbol. These fertilisers supply a single nutrient, essential for plants; for instance super phosphate provides mainly phosphorus. Some do not purely serve as fertiliser; LAN for instance is limy, which improves soil composition, prevents stickiness of clayey soils, improves the retention of nutrients and neutralises acidity.

Soluble fertilisers are available in liquid, powder and granular form. By following instructions they can be used on all soil types or sprayed on foliage (but only when stated so).

Slow-release fertilisers supply nitrogen in small doses, preventing nitrogen-burns. This option enables the gardener to apply a substantial amount with no threat of burning and saving time and effort by not applying small amounts regularly.

Remember when fertilising.
Before applying a fertiliser, water the area well.
Water plants immediately after applying granular (dry) fertilisers, thus preventing nitrogen burning.
Do not choose windy days to use dry fertiliser.
Wait for the cooler times of the day to fertilise, especially if the plants are in direct sunlight.
Never fertilise during rain, too much watering could cause it to wash beyond the root levels.
Symptoms of nutrition deficiency should not be confused with what could be undesired lighting, drought or disease.


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