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Fertiliser: Feeding Your Plants Properly

We’ve had some enquiries about fertiliser and have recently been stocking up for our maintenance and soft landscaping projects. We use organic products or as close to certified as we can get.

We have found that sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for plants and soil. Sometimes it is tempting to use more than recommended or increase the concentration – however, I’d like to discuss why little and often is better than lots in one go.

hands holding organic compost

Fertilisers come in two forms: liquid or solid — usually granular/tablet/pellet form. Both have their applications and uses. Typically, the liquid form is a more instant ‘hit’ of nutrients for the plant in either a foliage (leaf) spray or sprayed around the roots of the plant. These are great for once you have identified what the soil or plant is lacking. These liquids are usually as a concentrate for delivery and reduced weight – however, as the plants wouldn’t naturally have evolved to deal with this strength of liquid we need to dilute this to reduce ‘burning’ the plants cells or roots. The liquid form is easier for the plant to absorb. However, rain and irrigation can further dilute and wash away.


This is where solid fertiliser has a benefit. If they are placed on top of the soil they are slowly broken down by rain and organisms making nutrients available to plants as they do. The same applies to adding granules into the hole you are planting; the idea is that each time you water the plants it can have a little more fertiliser right where the plant needs it.


Do you need to fertilise your garden? Not all plants and gardens are the same however, if you would like more vigorous plant growth, plants to be less likely to suffer from disease, produce more flowers or better fruit, then you will want to fertilise.

We fertilise all the gardens we maintain and plant out. The minimum fertilising cycle you could introduce into your garden would be seasonally. This is due to each plant having growth, recovery, flowering and maybe dormant stages, however the fertiliser will help the plant to recover from a previous growth or prepare for the next one.

Just remember: like all of us, things tend to slow down over winter so don’t go and over fertilize your plants and soil. Less is more. Plants and soil need time to react to fertiliser and process it. If there is too much or it is too strong then this process may not even happen and cause leaf drop, stem and leaf discolouration, plant death and fungal growth in the area as the soil tries to break down the excess. If you have over fertilised, then you will need to dilute the area with watering.


Finally, living compost is a great natural soil conditioner full of life, not just nutrients and minerals. If you can have both synthetic and natural fertiliser in your garden, you will see great results over time.

Would your garden benefit from a boost? Book a consultation with Tim or come along to one of our Compost 101 Workshops to learn the ins and outs of creating your own rich garden compost.

Tim Morozgalski from Tim's Garden

Tim's "happy gardening" signature sign off

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