We put so much thought and care into bringing plants home and putting them in our outdoor and indoor gardens. We pick the right environment in our gardens or the ideal pot to plant them in. We give them TLC and consistent watering while we watch them grow. But what more can we do for plants to promote healthy growth and fullness? The answer is, fertilize! After several months, the soil we used to plant begins to lack nutrients which promote healthy and happy growth. Fertilizing can ensure you are giving your plants the love they need to be big and robust! In this month’s blog I am going to break down the 3 nutrients all plants need as well as share my personal favorite fertilizing methods and products.
Let’s talk about what nutrients fertilizers provide, the 3 amigos: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Each work in a particular way to benefit a plant. While of course your plants are going to receive carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen on a regular basis; Giving plants a boost of the 3 amigos will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Nitrogen supports plants in making the proteins they need to promote new growth.
Phosphorus stimulates root growth, encourages buds and flowers, and improves overall vitality.
Potassium, which helps plants to grow strong and fight diseases.
Adding compost to your outdoor perennial and veggie gardens is the most natural and effective way to boost plants. Check out our Composting Keyhole Gardens and why they are so great at encouraging this process. You can also get organic composting soil readily available at any garden center. I believe researching the plants you are investing in is important to feel confident in what nutrients they will need.
Veggies will thrive with organic compost soil and other plants, such as evergreen shrubs, may need a more direct fertilizing solution such as a granular slow-release fertilizer sowed near the root base.
For summer annuals you may want to consider using a fertilizer that has a higher concentration of Phosphorus to encourage more blooms over the growing season.
For houseplants, I recommend using worm castings, an all-natural fish emulsion, or seaweed fertilizer. They are lightweight, organic, and easy-to-use making fertilizing an effortless and sure way to improve your houseplants. Fertilizing only needs to be done during the growing season. Depending on where you live, our indoor plants go dormant during the colder months and therefore do not need a boost of nutrients during that time.
I typically like to fertilize between the months of April through to October and then I stop. The only time I will fertilize throughout the colder months is if I see a plant is still pushing out new growth, at that time I might consider cutting my usual fertilizer dose in half and giving it to the plant every other water.
Remember what works well for one plant might not work well for another, do your research, pay attention to what your plants are telling you, and enjoy the experience!
Next time you want to give yourself a little TLC, consider doing the same for your plants – you won’t regret it!
Until next time,