To fertilise... or not to fertilise?

Plants need three main nutrients to do well: nitrogen for leafy growth, phosphorus to produce strong roots, and potassium, for flowers and fruit. If your plants go short, they'll grow poorly, fail to flower or fruit, and develop sickly, yellowing foliage.

If your soil is in good heart, all you'll need to kick start the year is a spring dose of slow-release fertiliser such as bonemeal or pelleted chicken manure, both available in our garden centre. Repeat in mid summer for greedy plants like vegetables, sweet peas, clematis and roses. Stop fertilising by late summer, though, as new growth after that point is more vulnerable to frost damage.

Plants in containers rely on you for nutrients. Balanced liquid seaweed added to your watering can once a week keeps them healthy. In our garden centre you'll also find controlled release fertilisers, available as granules or handy pellets to insert into the compost, releasing nutrients for up to 12 months.

Big heavy-fruiting greenhouse plants also benefit from some extra help: give them weekly feeds of potassium-rich tomato feed, also available in our garden centre, as soon as they start flowering.

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Poynings for more information and advice about choosing fertilisers for your garden.

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