Feeding plants in autumn will help them withstand the colder winter months, as David Hurrion explains in this No Fuss video guide.


David begins by outlining the benefits of applying well-rotted organic matter, forking it into bare soil or laying as a mulch around plants.

Then, he looks at ‘true’ fertilisers such as pelleted lime and potash. He also recommends sulphate of potash, in both solid and liquid forms.

Finally, David reveals a great way to encourage root development through the winter months, even while top growth is dormant.

Related videos: Feeding plants in spring and Feeding plants in summer

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Watch now, for all you need to know about feeding your plants in autumn.

Feeding plants in autumn: transcript

Once you get through to autumn, you might think that your responsibility for feeding your plants comes to an end. But actually, there's a little bit more feeding that you need to do, not least by adding this stuff, organic matter. Plenty of well-rotted garden compost, bagged compost, or even well-rotted manure, added to the soil -
it's the ultimate in slow release fertiliser. It contains lots of nutrients that are gradually given up to the soil as this breaks down. So, you add this to the soil either by digging it in to bare ground or, by adding a 2-3in layer on the surface of the soil around your plants and letting the worms take it down into the soil. The other thing that this does is that it acts as a buffer. It holds on to other soil nutrients and stops them being washed away during the heavy winter rains.

When it comes to true fertilisers, then probably one of the most important to add at this time of year is garden lime. Now, this is a pelleted form that I've got here, and this will break down during the course of the autumn and on into the winter and be released into the soil. And then it can be taken up by the plants during the course of the growing season next year.

Then you move on to the roots of the plants and actually, below ground, plants have the ability to keep growing constantly during mild weather. And so, what helps them is potash. Now, potash helps not only to promote flowers and fruit, which are less important at this time of year, but it actually helps plants to toughen up. Sulphate of potash, this solid form, can be added around the base of plants, but if you want a really quick fix, then you can add a liquid tomato fertiliser, dilute this into a watering can and then water it around the plants, where it'll be taken up very, very quickly.


Underground, there's plenty of growth happening. There, you need to think about the nutrients that the roots need. And the most important one of those is super phosphate. Phosphate is used by the roots to encourage them to grow very, very slowly during the winter months, carry on taking in moisture, taking in the nutrients that the plants need, even if the top growth isn't performing well. So, there we are, a quick encapsulation of all the feeding that you need to do this autumn.