How to feed your plants

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

20 minutes

Plants are able to make their own food by capturing the energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar. But in order to stay healthy and give the best results they take additional nutrients out of the soil or compost, so it's important to provide them with supplementary fertiliser. The basic nutrients required by plants are nitrogen (N) for leaf and stem growth, phosphorus (P) for root growth and potassium (K) for flowers, fruit and to maintain healthy growth.

You will need

  • Fertiliser: granular, liquid, powder, or organic manure
  • Watering can (for liquid application)
  • Spade or fork (for digging in manure)

Advertisement

Well-rotted horse and cattle manure contains plenty of nutrients for plants. It can be added before planting or used as a surface mulch around established plants.

Adding fertiliser to the base of planting holes for new plants will encourage good root establishment and growth in the first season. 

Balanced granular fertiliser can be applied around all established plants in spring, especially those growing in pots. Distribute it around the base of plants at the rate recommended on the packaging. Avoid getting granules on soft stems and leaves as it may scorch them.

Slow-release granules or pellets can be mixed with the compost in pots when planting summer bedding to provide nutrients for the whole growing season.

Fertilisers are also available to mix up with water for liquid application. Liquid concentrates and ready-to-use liquid feeds are also available. These are quick acting as the plant roots can take in the dissolved nutrients with the water.

Recycle the nutrients that you apply to your garden by composting leafy prunings, dead flowers, vegetables peelings and any other suitable material.

Advertisement

Diluted liquid feeds or fertilisers can be applied to the foliage of many plants for quick results. Always check packaging for details.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Five tips for feeding plants in pots

Feeding and watering plants in pots

How to grow potatoes for Christmas

Related offers

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save 15% on strawberries

Exclusive offer for subscribers - save 15% on top strawberry varieties, including 'Elegance', 'Florence', 'Honeoye' and more at Pomona Fruits.

Unlock now

FREE P&P

Save £5 plus free seeds

VegTrug is a handy, collapsible raised planter and comes in a choice of four vibrant colours. Save £5 on a VegTrug planter, plus receive free seeds (worth over £20) with your order, and free p&p.

Order now

Offer

40 free pansies

Buy 12 pansy 'Cool Wave' jumbo plugs and receive 40 pansy 'Frizzle Sizzle' plus for free. Plus, save £5 on Allium 'Purple Sensation'.

Order now