The simple guide to fertilising this spring

As gardeners, we know that each garden is unique, and there is no “one-size-fits-all’ guide to fertilising during springtime. Learn the way of the fertiliser and give your garden exactly what it needs by reading the advice and tips we’ve gathered below. Our fertilising guide is going to take you through the how-tos, types of fertiliser to use, best practices and things you should avoid altogether. 

spring flowers in the springtime

Fertilise and win the prize of a beautiful garden this spring

Gardens love spring, with new shoots and buds appearing, and plants turning the freshest shades of green. Fertilising in spring is best to encourage growth, as the soil temperatures allow plants and grass to absorb the nutrients at an accelerated rate. 

Spring fertilising: The why

  • Plants need many micro and macronutrients — the big three are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Without these, the plant simply cannot grow because it cannot make the pieces it needs. It’s like a car factory running out of steel or your local coffee shop running out of coffee beans.
  • When grass is fertilised, the root system is strengthened and the grass grows more thickly— which naturally discourages weed growth. Strong root systems allow more absorption from rain. In summary, fertilising lends to healthier growth which is more resistant to weeds.
  • Fertilising can encourage your plants to perk up and your flowers to bloom, too. Without fertiliser, nature can struggle to replenish the nutrients in the soil. 

Spring fertilising: The when 

When to fertilise garden plants depends on the type of plant it is and the plant’s specific needs. 

  • Apply fertiliser in early spring to encourage leafy growth and the production of fruit and flowers.
  • For lawns, there’s no need to wait until the grass is actively growing. Fertiliser is applied and watered in to nourish your grass. 
  • Perennials and succulents need fertilising before and during their flowering season.
how to fertilise in spring

Spring fertilising: The how (much)

Too much of anything is never healthy — even nutrients. So what is the perfect amount? 

  • Does your lawn receive heavy foot traffic from children playing in the afternoons or your neighbours visiting through the entrance to your garden? If your answer is yes, fertilising will need to occur more often. For lawns, slow-release fertilisers every four months and quick-release fertilisers can be used every three months.
  • For flower beds, use a water-soluble fertiliser and apply it every two to three weeks throughout the year. Add a slow-release granular fertiliser every 3 months.
  • Most shrubs produce active growth in the spring and early summer, so we tend to fertilise them once, as spring begins. 

Spring Fertilising: The what

  • Granular fertilisers, such as this all-purpose fertiliser, are slow-releasing and generally less expensive. One application in the spring can last throughout the growing season.
  • Liquid fertilisers, like this, can be easier to apply if your garden is smaller. Liquid fertilisers are quickly absorbed by your grass and may need repeated applications. 
  • Organic fertilisers are fertilisers that are naturally produced and provide nutrients to the garden.
fertilising a lawn for healthy growth

More tips for spring fertilising 

If you have reached this point, you should now know the why, when, what and how of spring fertilising, but what about what not to do? These simple steps are easy to remember and are sure to help you grow your garden green.

  • Avoid overapplying or underapplying while fertilising. The possible run-off from chemical fertilisers can pollute the groundwater, not to mention it wastes money and time. On top of that, over or under-applied fertilisers can encourage lawn diseases as it weakens the roots. 
  • If you’re a pawrent — a pet parent — you’ll want to be extra careful that you don’t deploy a fertiliser that harms your pets. Note that fertilisers, such as bonemeal and fishmeal smell appetising to dogs and can cause gastric problems for them when ingested. 
  • Fertilising before a heavy rain forecast is not recommended, as the water will simply wash away the fertiliser and all your efforts will be for nothing. 

Put a spring in your step and add some green to your garden with these simple fertilising steps 

It’s time to put your knowledge to use

You’ve now got the knowledge to help your garden burst with life this spring. Go forth and garden! 

If you’re looking for some spring colour to add to your outside garden, be sure to check out our online shop for all of your green thumb needs. 

Shop all of our fertilisers, here

Related: Gardening tips and tricks for spring, Spring lawn treatment

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