Your hardy perennials will be starting to pop their heads up above the soil, your shrubs, roses and trees will be forming buds and preparing to put on new, fresh growth. These tough plants will have survived another long winter, and will now need all their energy to give their best in the spring. Like us, to be at their peak, plants need a good balanced diet, full of nutrition and goodness, so with that in mind, this is the ideal time to feed.
Fertilisers come in many shapes and sizes, some specific to certain plant types, others just right for any situation.
All plants require certain basic nutrients to be at their best, they are Nitrogen, Phosphates and Potassium, and these are found in the most popular fertilisers such as Growmore, which is a manmade product, therefore not suitable for organic gardening – pelleted chicken manure is an ideal choice for the ‘green’ gardener.
If your plants need particular help, there are a number of fertilisers ideal for certain tasks. For instance, Bonemeal promotes strong and healthy root growth, Fish, Blood & Bone will increase crop yield while Sulphate of Potash improves fruit and vegetable quality. Acid loving plants such as Camellias and Azaleas cannot be grown successfully in our chalky, Alkaline soil, they must be planted in tubs with Ericaceous compost. You will need to keep an acid balance by applying a liquid Ericaceous feed two or three times a year. You can use all these fertilisers on established plants, but of course don’t forget to add a handful of one of them when planting new plants. Another great help in the feeding department is organic farmyard manure. A good mulch around the base of shrubs and trees will feed, prevent weeds establishing, protect from hard frosts and retain moisture when the weather improves.
Don’t forget to look after your vegetables and fruit bushes too. Applying regular feeds of liquid tomato food will really improve your crops of tomatoes, peppers, chillies and cucumbers, just wait until the first flowers start to show, then feed weekly.
Hanging baskets and containers will thank you for adding slow release fertiliser, which is available in pellet form. Just pop a couple in each basket or pot and the pellet will break down over the season, slowly releasing the nutrients into the compost, giving you much more colour and growth throughout the season.
We stock all these fertilisers, and indeed many more, so if you require more information, just pop in.
Simon, Alison, Edith the Jack Russell (who celebrates her 16th birthday soon!), and all at Askett Nurseries.