Most plants need three major nutrients to thrive; nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which are generally known as NPK (their chemical symbols).
The three main nutrients are needed by plants for different reasons.
Nitrogen promotes leaf growth, phosphorous is for the roots and potassium is needed for flower and fruits.
In this video Alan Titchmarsh shows you the best way to feed your plants – what to feed, how much, and when.
- Greedy flowering plants, such as sweet peas, clematis and roses, will benefit from a mid-summer ‘top up’. Sprinkle fertiliser around plants and water in. There’s no need to feed in late summer. This only encourages a flush of late, lush growth that’ll get hit hard by frosts.
- During the growing season, feed flowers in hanging baskets, pots and containers once a week, using a liquid feed applied from a watering can.
- Apart from providing fertilisers to the soil, it’s a good idea to enrich soil before planting by adding plenty of organic matter, such as leafmould, garden compost or well-rotted manure. Not only will this boost the nutrient content of the soil, but it will improve its structure and help it to retain moisture.