How to feed your plants

How to feed your plants

Plants need nutrients to bear healthy leaves, foliage and flowers. We explain the basic ways to feed your plants.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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 bear flowers and fruit, 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.

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You Will Need

  • Fertiliser granules
  • Liquid feed
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Watering can with rose attachment
  • Garden spade

Step 1

Feeding plants - adding manure
Feeding plants – adding manure

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.

Step 2

Feeding plants - using fertiliser granules
Feeding plants – using fertiliser granules

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

Step 3

Feeding plants - adding fertiliser granules to a plant pot
Feeding plants – adding fertiliser granules to a plant pot

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.

Step 4

Feeding plants - mixing fertiliser granules into compost
Feeding plants – mixing fertiliser granules into compost

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.

Step 5

Feeding plants - using liquid feed
Feeding plants – using liquid feed

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.

Step 6

Feeding plants - making compost
Feeding plants – making compost

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

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