All the Minerals that a plant needs have to be absorbed from
the Soil along with the Water it takes in.
When we feed a Plant it is these Minerals that we are supplying.
Main Minerals are:
usually abbreviated to "N"
- the most important Mineral and essential for growth in general
usually abbreviated to "P"
- essential for actively growing areas in the Plant
- usually abbreviated to "K"
- necessary for the production of the colours in Plants (other
Always look for the N:P:K ratio on a box of fertilizer to show you
what it can do.
e.g. Growmore has an N:P:K:
of 7:7:7 and is a good all-round fertilizer.
Bonemeal has an N:P:K
of 0:20:0. Note that it only contains Phosphorous.
Look for a high level of "K" in Tomato/flower
fertilizers, to provide the colour.
As Well as these 3 main Minerals Plants require a whole raft
of other Minerals.
Because these other Minerals are only required in small quantities
they are known as Trace Elements. e.g.
Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc. Molybdenum
It is rare for the soil to run out of these Minerals - but
it can happen, particularly in older gardens, or in tubs containing
old compost that hasn't been fertilized regularly.
e.g. Phostrogen, Miracle-Gro, the Chempak series.
These are dissolved in water and applied with a watering can
They are very quick acting - because they are soluble they can
go right to the roots -
but because they are soluble they are
easily washed out of the soil by rain.
or Granular: e.g. Growmore, VitaxQ4, Bonemeal,
Fish Blood & Bone.
Require to be broken down to a greater
or lesser extent so take a bit longer to work but don't get
washed out of the soil so easily.
Horse, Cow, Farmyard or Chicken manures are very popular.
The Fertilizer content in manures is on the low side but they
are an excellent source of Humus. "Fresh Manure" contains bacteria
that can provide heat to the soil which can stimulate earlier
root growth, particularly early in the season when the ground
is still cold.
Freah Manure is hard to come by nowadays - there must be many
a grateful neighbour!
specially formulated without using Lime for Lime hating plants.
Essential for Plants such as Heathers, Azaleas,
high in Potassium to bring out the colour.
Release: fertilizer is given out over a period
of time in a controlled manner. Some brands will feed all season.
Fertilizer: high in nitrogen for quick growth.
high in nitrogen for quick growth. Difficult to get nowadays
- use double strength Growmore as a substitute.