17 Dec 2015
Select the Right Fertiliser for Garden Maintenance

Considerations When Selecting a Fertiliser for Garden Maintenance

The use of fertiliser has long before been regarded as an important part of garden maintenance. Fertilisers contain nutrients that promote plant growth, and are particularly important in gardens where the soil is poor and does not provide everything plants need in order to thrive.

Fertilisers can be divided into two categories, inorganic and organic. Inorganic fertilisers are created using chemicals, whilst organic fertilisers consist of natural ingredients, like bone meal, plant matter, or manure.

Inorganic Fertilisers

Both types of fertiliser have advantages and disadvantages. Chemical fertilisers are usually concentrated, and produce results quickly. Because this type has been artificially created, the proportions of ingredients are carefully controlled, for optimum results. However, in the long term, use of chemical fertilisers can damage the soil and upset the ecological balance in your garden.

Organic Fertilisers

Organic fertilisers, on the other hand, take some time to act, but have longer lasting positive effects than inorganic compounds. It can improve soil quality over time, benefiting your plants far into the future. Since an organic fertiliser does not contain harmful chemicals and comes from sustainable, renewable sources, these are also better for the environment. These will not damage soil, or affect bees and other co-operative insects.

Storing the Fertiliser

All fertilisers present a potential poisoning hazard to pets like cats and dogs, especially those with added chemical ingredients like insecticides or weed killer. Keep pets away from areas where you have recently spread a fertiliser, and store opened bags out of their reach.

To make the most of your fertiliser, it is important to choose the right type for your soil and plants. Follow the instructions on the packet, spreading the fertiliser at the right time of year and in the correct amounts. If used properly, organic fertilisers will greatly improve your garden in the long term, making it worth the extra money.

Sources:

Fertilisers, Royal Horticultural Society

What garden dangers must I protect my pet from?, RSPCA