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Fertiliser 101

12 Minute Read
Fertiliser is an essential addition to the garden and works by giving plants a boost of the nutrients they need to thrive in the garden. In this guide we look at the different fertilisers available, what they do and how they can be a handy garden assistant when it comes to feeding your plants.

What is in fertiliser?

The main ingredients in fertilisers are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which is also known as NPK. These vital ingredients are essential to delivering the required nutrients to plants, with the help if these three key nutrients your plants will be happy, healthy and thriving!

Nitrogen: helps to support healthy leaf growth.

Phosphorus: stimulates root development and helps plants to convert energy to assist with photosynthesis. 

Potassium: also known as potash, supports fruit and flower production and helps plants fight disease. disease.

You may also see secondary ingredients including magnesium, calcium, iron as well as trace elements and other micro-nutrients.

For more information on Lawn NPK Ratios, click here.  


What are the different types of fertilisers?

Some fertilisers are made with added chemicals and secondary ingredients while others are made of purely organic material. Fertiliser can come in many forms including as a soluble, a liquid, as a powder or in pellets; some composts can come ready mixed with fertilisers already included within the structure. So it's always worth reading the ingredients list!

All fertiliser packaging will usually display an NPK ratio, main nutrient contents, as well as any secondary nutrients, further trace ingredients and if there have been any pesticides or herbicides added to the product.

There are specially formulated fertilisers for use on specific plants, such as flowers and fruits or lawns, etc. These specific products will have the correctly listed NPK ration based on the typical usage for that specific plants requirements.


A Handy List of Products and Categories


How to apply fertiliser

There are multiple ways in which fertilisers can be applied, the method of application will ultimately come down to the type of fertiliser you are using. 

Here are the most common ways in which fertilisers can be applied and what they mean:

Top Dressing: Applying the fertiliser over the existing top layer of soil to feed and stimulate growth.

Foliar Application: Spraying plants with a liquid fertiliser solution so it can absorb the nutrients through its leaves.

Base Dressing Application: Applying the soil to the ground or pot before planting which is then dug into the ground.

Broadcast method: Good for covering large areas with granular fertilisers before planting. Can be done by hand or with a spreader.

Some fertilisers require application during certain times of the year, for example in Spring or in Autumn while some can be applied all year round. Always consult the information as per the manufacturers instructions regarding specific application methods and if it is recommended for use at certain times of year within the growing phase.

Related Products

Sportsmaster Spring & Summer Lawn Fertiliser 25kg

Spring & Summer lawn fertiliser designed for rapid uptake by plants early in the growing season. Sportsmaster Spring & Summer has balanced NPK nutrients to feed lawns when they need it most.
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Lawn NPK

It gets mowed frequently and walked on often; dogs chase balls on it and, if there are youngsters about, it might even be subjected to the occasional football game. 

Because lawns endure so much wear and tear, more than any other plant in the garden they need extra TLC, in the form of fertiliser.

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A definitive guide to MO Bacter, and the results from our own experience using it in the garden.

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Osmocote Professional Fertiliser Information

Osmocote is a brand of slow release fertiliser that has been used by the professional horticulture industry for generations, and is now available to you to buy online from The Garden Superstore.

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