Plants grow right through the year and even though some may seem to be standing still their roots are always growing. It is important to feed all plants, even indigenous ones need to be fed to perform at their best. NB: Always use fertilisers sparingly and according to directions to avoid fertiliser burn, whether you are using a slow release, quick release or organic fertiliser. There are a few things to consider before buying your fertiliser and with so many on the market we decided to make it easier with this quick guide for summer. Organic fertilisers are by nature slow release.
Binding with the soil they do not leach out finding their way into underground water and rivers. Feeding with an organic fertiliser is an on-going process and regular applications are required for best results. Plants grow with stronger structure when fed organically instead of being forced with a chemical fertiliser which results in plants that are hardier to the elements such as cold or water extremes. Modern chemical fertilisers are kinder to the environment and better suited to our soils than their traditional counterparts. Similarly as one uses the latest technology in your mobile, car or face creams, why would one not use the newest information available in fertiliser technology to grow the best garden and be kinder to the environment?
Gone are old fertilisers such as 2:3:2, superphosphate and LAN well suited to European climates and soils, they are not good for the environment and should not be used at all. Healthy plants consist of roots, leaves and flowers. With this quick guide we have listed the most common fertilisers needed to grow the best and most healthy garden.
Always plant using a fertiliser that will give you strong development of roots in the early life of the plant. Roots are the foundation that carries the rest of the plant for its lifetime so even though you don’t see them you see the results of strong roots.
Bone Meal: Bone meal is an organic phosphate that won’t get into underground water, staying close to the roots of newly planted plants. Use about one handful per shrub into the hole as you plant. Roots grow slower but stronger with Bone Meal but be careful as dogs often dig looking for the bones you buried! If you have dogs rather use an alternative planting fertiliser.
Vitaliser 2:3:4 Plant & Veg: Our top selling planting fertiliser. This is the replacement for 2:3:2. Stimulating root growth as well as leaf growth, this is the easiest fertiliser to add at planting or to feed plants that you want to encourage stronger roots on. With bio-carbon nutri-boost it is a fast acting alternative fertiliser for vegetable and fruit trees. Apply at a rate of one handful per shrub at planting or feed the veggie garden at a rate of one handful per m2 This is the most general fertiliser on the market and can be used on almost everything in the garden. We recommend using it as a planting fertiliser and to feed plants like Bougainvillea’s and irises that prefer a bit more phosphate.
Nothing looks better than bright green healthy leaves and the only way to ensure that is to feed with a fertiliser that is higher in nitrogen. Healthy leaves are what we need to improve the air quality we breathe every day as plant leaves absorb the carbon out of the air and provide fresh oxygen for us. It is leaves and plenty of them that we need to offset our carbon footprint.
Vitaliser Lawn and Leaf: A 7:1:3 fertiliser with bio-carbon to boost leaf growth. Perfect for getting shrubs that have lost their lustre healthy again and the best lawn fertiliser for use on lawns that are well irrigated. As a quick release it has faster results but should be applied every six to eight weeks to keep lawns looking great. The bio-carbon helps the plant absorb the nutrients easier. One of the most economical fertilisers with 10kg feeding around 200m2
3:2:1 SR: A sustained or slow release fertiliser to boost root and general growth on lawns and shrubs. As a slow release fertiliser it will not damage your lawn if you water less frequently. Do not use on lawns that are well irrigated as it leaches out before all the nutrients are available. Apply every six to eight weeks for best results.
Wonder Organic Lawn and Leaf: A slow release fertiliser that will not leach out when watered regularly. Safely used on lawns with irrigation or that are watered less frequently. 5kg feeds 100m2
Everybody loves flowers. The potassium rich fertilisers stimulate flowering and will also maintain a prolonged flowering season.
Sudden Impact: Being organic this fertiliser is safe for the environment and is easy to use. Ideal for roses it can also be used on all flowering shrubs. Safely used throughout the garden even in containers. Reapply every four to six weeks. Regular use ensures strong roses which are less susceptible to disease and insect attack.
Ludwigs Vigorosa: A premium brand of fertiliser for roses and flowering shrubs. This quick release fertiliser contains additional elements to give the best results and is endorsed by Ludwig Taschner, South Africa’s rose guru. Reapply every six to eight weeks. Use sparingly and water well as the additional elements can easily burn your plants.
Vitaliser Rose and Flower: The popular 8:1:5 fertiliser is suitable for all flowering shrubs, roses and bedding plants. With bio-carbon colour boost it is a fast acting and sustained release fertiliser. Reapply every four to six weeks through summer.
Multifeed Flowergro and Classic: Suitable for all plants and especially recommended for bedding plants. A water soluble fertiliser for use in containers and for foliar feeding throughout the garden. Apply every two to three weeks throughout the year. This is the fertiliser we use in the garden centre to keep our container plants looking fabulous.
General Garden Fertiliser
Sometimes you need to feed the whole garden in one go and not focus on specific plants. We recommend the following two fertilisers for all purpose feeding. Being organic these fertilisers are safe for the environment and can be used safely used throughout the garden.
Vita Boost Organic Pellets: Our bestselling all-purpose plant food. Bio-carbon enriched this South African product is easy to apply and has no odour. Apply across the beds or as a boost per shrub. Reapply every four to six weeks.
Bounce Back Organic Pellets: A premium brand of organic fertiliser. Safely used throughout the garden even in containers. Regular use is recommended for best results. The manure odour dissipates in about three days if well watered. Reapply every four to six weeks.