The best way to get your soil in good condition to plant is to fertilise it but with different kinds of fertiliser available, how do you know which one is the best kind for you to use?
It is a question often asked here at the Buderim Landscape Centre. Our basic answer is that the type of fertiliser depends on the nutrients you want/need to add to the soil for the best growth.
This will indicate which nutrient is needed to bring the soil into balance: it might be oxygen, hydrogen or carbon. When this is known, we can advise you on which is the best fertiliser.
There are five major types:
These are synthetic or artificial fertilisers made by the Haber-Bosch process and deliver an immediate hit of ammonia to dying and malnourished plants.
Because of this, it is a good idea to always have some inorganic fertiliser in your shed.
Plant specific fertilisers
Some plants are very choosy. They thrive better in certain soil types and like a specific ratio of nutrients.
This degree of specificity required by these plants means that general fertilisers don’t do the business. Too much or too little of a general fertiliser can also be harmful.
Plant-specific fertilisers are designed to meet the nutrient needs in special formulas. Fertilisers can be sourced for roses, tomatoes, orchids, fuchsia, clematis and citrus fruit plants.
Fertilisers in a liquid form are the most effective at delivering nutrients to plants because it seeps quickly into the soil where it can be sucked up by the roots.
However, the effects are short lived and it is necessary for repeat applications when using liquid fertilisers. Liquid fertilisers are uneconomical for large areas and also not very good for plants that like well-drained soils.
Time release fertilisers
One of the most popular types, this fertiliser slowly releases its nutrients over a period, usually from two to six months.
The biggest benefits of time release fertilisers are that plants are not in danger of being over fertilised with a blast of nutrients and doesn’t need re-application until the time period has lapsed.
This type is generally more expensive than other types.
Fertilisers with Pesticide
As its name implies, this is a double-duty product. This product delivers the nourishment plants need but also provides them with protection against pests.
The one you buy should be well-balanced where the pesticide is not so strong as to kill the plants. The advantage of this type is that a mixed product is cheaper than buying the two individually.
We are happy to provide your landscape supply on the Sunshine Coast and our staff are always willing to answer any questions.
For more gardening information, read our previous blog on how gardening can reduce stress!