Which fertiliser to use | Gardening 101 | Gardening Australia

Which fertiliser to use | Gardening 101 | Gardening Australia

Jane clears up fertiliser confusion with a masterclass on feeding your garden the right diet.
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We all need food to stay happy and healthy, and plants are no different! They rely on us to provide most of the nutrients they need but selecting the right fertiliser from so many products available can be overwhelming.

Soil Conditioners v. Fertilisers

Soil conditioners are necessary to improve soil quality including water holding capacity, compaction and to alter pH. They are things like compost, manures, worm poo, and liquid seaweed.

Fertilisers are different as they deliver essential nutrients to the plants. They will always have a breakdown of NPK content – that is Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, key elements most plants require to survive and thrive.

Inorganic v. Organic Fertilisers

Inorganic fertilisers are synthetic, concentrated forms of often naturally occurring minerals. Their main advantage is that they deliver precise concentrations of nutrients to the plant and are often tailored to a specific group of plants, such as citrus or roses.

Organic simply means they contain ingredients from once living things, such as fish, manure, or blood & bone. They can be made up of one ingredient or a combination. Organic fertilisers usually have a lower concentration of ingredients than inorganic but are slow releasing and less likely to harm the plant if too much is applied.

Liquid v. Solids

Plant roots take up nutrients when they’re in liquid form, so liquid fertilisers can be a great quick fix. The best time to use these in during the growth season (usually spring and summer) when the plant is flowering, fruiting, and putting out new growth.

Organic liquid fertilisers work a treat on fast growing green vegetables and can also be used when you’re planting something in the garden or for indoor plants. It works quickly and is good for microbial activity in the soil.

Inorganic liquid fertilisers generally come in powder form, so they need to be dissolved well in water. Follow instructions on the packet as giving the plant too much can do more harm than good!

The common factor with solid fertilisers is that they are slow release, so you only need to apply them once or twice a year. They can also be organic, such as pelletised chicken manure, or inorganic. Inorganic solid fertiliser comes in small beads called ‘prills’ and are often found in bags of potting mix and labelled ‘controlled release fertiliser’. They slowly release nutrients when they come into contact with water and during warmer weather.

When selecting a fertiliser, there is such a huge range that it really comes down to personal choice. By doing a bit of research, reading instructions on the label, and experimenting in your own garden, you’ll find the perfect one (or more!) for you.

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26 Comments

  1. Mohit Mohit on May 26, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Techno

  2. catey62 on May 26, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you for this. lately I have been using Seasol powerfeeder on my veges and 3 citrus trees I all have growing in pots and little raised garden beds on legs I got from Bunnings. the improvement is amazing, everything had exploded with new growth and is looking so much healthier and stronger now. I’m still using my blood and bone as well. will have to get some composted cow manure too to add the the little raised beds as they do seem to need more constant feeding and topping up, as it’s easy for everything to get washed out with the watering.

  3. Eyeball on May 26, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Hi, thanks Gardening Australia!

  4. Caesar La Rosa on May 26, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Jane, you are an absolute gem for information and experience. You should be listed as a national treasure… excellent info and always love hearing what you have to say.

  5. David Redman on May 26, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Wow, I would have expected gardening Australia would have had a much better understanding of the soil food web and the effects of synthetic NPK on soil and plants, you are force feeding a plant, like feeding a child only sugar, they will bounce for a wile but will have no resilience, there is so much back yard alchemy out there that will replace all those fancy coloured plastic bottles, and build healthy soils producing heathy abundant plants. I would be horrified to see synthetic fertilisers on the shelves of Costa’s garden shed, maybe covered in dust pushed to a corner. 
    I hope I didn’t come across rude, I do understand that we are all at a different stage of enlightenment.

  6. DGlove on May 26, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    I love gardening…. TQ Gardening Australia..

  7. MTran0708 on May 26, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    very informative, great job

  8. Aspry Writes on May 26, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Well, you were just delightful. Thank you for the video.

  9. Richard Higel on May 26, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for speaking about organic, and synthetic fertilizers. I’m a gardener who does a little of both. As much organic as I can(because I hate waste), but I’m not ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ when it comes to using synthetic fertilizer, especially on my grass.

  10. Tezzasbigbuz on May 26, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Don’t use any like that learn about knf or jadam Korean natural farming!!!!!! Thanks me later

  11. Vanaja Mani's Kitchen on May 26, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Wow super garden sister👍👍💐

  12. Margaret H on May 26, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Gosh i need a masterclass on feeding soil.

  13. Arah Panah on May 26, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    Smart mama 😘

  14. Ali on May 26, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you

  15. goo757 on May 26, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    i wish bunnings had a 10/10/10 or a 20/20/20 fertiliser

  16. Cynthia Jones on May 26, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Something else for you to consider.
    If you die today will you go to heaven? Have you ever lied, stolen, used God’s name as a curse word (O-M-G)? According to God’s law, you’re guilty, your headed for hell, ignorance will not be an excuse… But wait, God loves you, he made a way out for you, God’s son Jesus died paying for your sin.
    God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not die but have everlasting life. John 3:16
    God is warning the world. End Time prophesies are jumping off the pages of the Bible, plagues, violence, scoffers, government control, earthquakes, fires, floods, people will be lovers of themselves, money, lovers of pleasure rather than God, evil will be called good and good called evil, sexual immorality rampant adultery, fornication, abuse… the ultimate in child abuse mommies killing their babies in child sacrifice (abortion), World leaders are prepping for a One-World order, government, religion (please don’t take a number on your forehead or right hand, read Revelation a number means no heaven, and there’s only one alternative) The government is also prepping to have you believe that UFO’s are real… Soon the antichrist will come and fix everything, everyone will love him, he will deceive many… then the tribulation will start, life on earth will be horrific. Today if you hear God whispering to your heart please respond before it’s too late. Say a humble prayer, pour your heart out to God, receive Jesus as your savior, believe God raised Jesus from the dead, and repent of your sins.

  17. Nena Enriquez on May 26, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Heard a happy gardner got more fruit production mixing yeast with declorade water.

  18. Zodd Sonofthor on May 26, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    vermi compost

  19. gone fishing on May 26, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Shiploads of Dynamic Lifter twice a year and seasol every 3months and my garden goes nuts.

  20. Anjali Chandra on May 26, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Please Hindi video

  21. Kimmie Bui on May 26, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for explaining 🙏

  22. christine sandilands on May 26, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    Plant food in green bottle does the trick 🙏👍😊🌻💗🌞

  23. Chris M on May 26, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting how synthetic fertilisers were demonised once upon a time. Looks like we have turned full circle….. Certainly not a criticism of GA or the hosts.

  24. Jo on May 26, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Is cow manure a conditioner? Whereas chook manure an organic fertiliser??

  25. sarcasmo57 on May 26, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Welp, now I know.

  26. cameron floyd on May 26, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    I want to know how they made the can planter :O

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