Unless you’re blessed with flawlessly fertile soil – not likely, except if you live along the Nile delta or near an active volcano – you should be enriching your garden.
Tips and tricks:
- Do not overfeed and always follow directions precisely for the amount and frequency of application. Too much can do more harm than too little.
- Slow-release pellets or granules save a lot of time, particularly with container plants.
- Liquid food is easy and effective because you can apply it by watering the ground or spraying the leavse for instant absorption.
- Change your method of feeding every now and then. Switch from granules to liquid and back again, for example.
- Worm tea is a fantastic organic liquid feed – investing in a wormery is an option well worth considering.
- Always wear gloves when applying fertilisers and take the necessary precautions with children and pets.
- Feed at the beginning of the growing season (spring or autumn) and stop when plants go dormant. (This applies especially to bulbs and pot plants, but all plants need to rest.)
- Feed after heavy rains, which tend to leach nutrients from the soil.
- Feed af ter pruning.
- Multicote Controlled Release Fertilizer is handy for potted plants.
- Neutrog Seamungus Organic Pellets are a health tonic for plants.
- Multifeed, Seagro and Nitrosol are all good liquid fertilisers.
- Trelmix is a trace-element solution that is useful for ailing plants and those with yellowing leaves.
- Biogrow fertilisers are organic.
- Talborne Organics has an excellent range of natural fertilisers and a helpful website, www.talborne.co.za.
Text originally appeared in Good Housekeeping magazine.