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Time to MULCH! Talk to us about your summer garden needs.
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As gardeners, we love to nurture and fuss over our plants to encourage them to flower, fruit, and grow quickly. We often enjoy meddling and “helping” nature along – whether or not it may really be necessary.
One of the ways we all like to “help” is to fertilise plants. Fertilisers are a way of feeding up plants, providing nutrients which the plant needs to function.
There are many forms of fertilisers available, and each provides nutrients in a different ratio. There is a very complex science involving chemistry, plant nutrients and nutrient imbalances – and there are many excellent books and articles on this topic. In this fact sheet we are aiming to provide general information only – please do further research if this is an area of special interest to you.
There are organic and inorganic fertilisers; ie. Those that are naturally sourced, and those that are manufactured combinations of elements. To a plant, the elements that are supplied by either form are identical. There is no difference. Well - Kind of.The main difference is that organic fertilisers contain organic matter – they are made from the remains of plants (eg. Compost) or animals (eg. Manure, blood & bone), or rock minerals, and help to improve the soil structure over time. This improved soil structure makes the growing environment more habitable for beneficial microbes, worms, and the plants themselves, and generally promotes plants more resistant to pest and disease attack.
And sometimes when we start to meddle – adding bits of this and that – things can get out of balance and like a see-saw, take time and effort to reach a settled equilibrium. But don’t despair. Unless you have an absolute life-or-death rescue of a valuable specimen to perform, then the ‘slow and gentle’ approach is usually best.
Peas and beans, due to their ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, will also often do well without additional fertiliser during their growth season.