Most people know that fertilisers help plants grow, but many don’t know what they actually are, what they contain and how to decide on what fertilisers to use in certain conditions. So, we decided to take a closer look at fertilisers and share a little of our expertise.
What is fertiliser?
"What is in fertiliser?" is a question we often hear, so we want to share some knowledge on the subject. Fertilisers are a convenient and practical alternative to give your garden a lease of life, and knowing what fertiliser to use will help a lot to get the results you require. Fertilisers are a handy plant food resource that massively benefits plant growth and strengthens everything from its leaves to its roots and shoots.
Plants need various nutrients in different quantities to promote efficient growth. The specific nutrients and amounts needed will depend on the individual plant, its growth stage, and the season when you add the fertiliser.
In short, fertilisers help maintain soil fertility, so plants have an abundant food source to thrive.
What is in fertiliser?
Fertilisers feature concentrated plant nutrients that help plants grow. In addition, most fertilisers contain essential nutrients which plants use to aid growth and development.
As a result, fertilisers will promote faster growth and help them recover quickly from seasonal diseases.
The majority of plant fertilisers contain three major plant nutrients:
- Nitrogen (N): offering plants green, healthy and leafy growth.
- Phosphorus (P): boosts root growth and healthy shoot growth.
- Potassium (K): helps grass extract nutrients from the soil and increases disease resistance.
All fertiliser packaging should quote its N.P.K. ratio. For example, a mix ratio of 10.10.10. specifies that it’s a balanced fertiliser with all three plant nutrients in equal quantities, but this would not necessarily be the best mix for the plant. Whereas a ratio of 3.7.12. would indicate a high potassium count that promotes stronger growth and good protection against winter borne diseases such as Red Thread and Fusarium Patch (Snow Mould).
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are the most important elements in fertiliser.
When to use fertiliser
Let’s have a look at some example products below to help illustrate how their nutrient ratios differ and how this benefits your lawn at different times of the year:
Our QUICK RELEASE: Spring / Summer Fertiliser has an N.P.K. ratio of 9.7.7., and you can see it has a higher nitrogen (N) count that promotes faster growth. Once applied, this fertiliser feeds your lawn for up to six weeks, and you will soon notice the colour of your grass becoming a deeper green and looking even healthier.
In contrast, our SLOW RELEASE: Autumn / Winter Fertiliser has an N.P.K. ratio of 8.0.6. it's high in nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) to keep your grass healthy over the cold winter months. Best applied in the autumn months, this fertiliser works over four months to ensure you have a rich and healthy lawn the following spring and summer. You may have noticed this fertiliser has 0 quantity of Phosphorus (P) because it dissolves quickly in water. Winter in the UK typically has a lot of rainfall, meaning the added phosphorous will get washed away, so this winter fertiliser has a low Phosphorus count.
Similarly, our QUICK RELEASE: Pre - Seed Fertiliser has an N.P.K. ratio of 6.9.6. This higher phosphorus (P) count packs the soil with nutrients to aid development, and it also contains potassium, which helps new seedlings fight foliar diseases such as pythium. This fertiliser is an excellent choice before seeding a new lawn to give your newly sown grass seeds an intense burst of nutrients for rapid growth from the offset.
For further information on how to choose the right fertiliser, you can find more information on our fertiliser guide.
Feed, Weed and Mosskiller
Finally, our Feed, Weed & Mosskiller is a multi-purpose lawn food that does what its name suggests - it feeds your grass, giving it strength, while the included moss and weed killer overpowers weeds and gets rid of moss. If you have a problem with weeds and moss in your garden, then a Feed, Weed & Mosskiller will help restore your lawn to its former glory.
Our Feed, Weed & Mosskiller has an N.P.K. ratio of 10.2.1.7. +8fe – This means it is very high in nitrogen (N) and has added iron (Fe) to help your grass fight the weeds and mosses. These fertilisers can be used all year round with excellent results.
The benefits of fertilising your lawn
Fertilisers can be quick or slow-acting depending on their N.P.K. levels, which will also dictate what time of year they are ideal for use. A quick way to understand what to expect from each fertiliser is to check out our fertiliser guide, and the user guides on our fertiliser product pages. These guides will help you determine when it is best to use the fertiliser and give you the best indication of how quickly it will begin working (quick release) or for how long it will remain active (slow release).