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Friday, 5 February 2010

Why fertilise the soil?

If your soil has just been cleared and hasn’t been used for growing before then you will probably not need to use a fertiliser. New ground often produces fantastic crops. Over the years plants use up the natural nutrients in the soil and so the fertility needs supplementing with a fertiliser of some sort.

Fertilisers contain three main plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) which is needed for healthy leaf growth, Phosphorus (P) which is needed by plants to produce healthy roots and shoots and Potassium (K) which is of general benefit to plants but is particularly necessary for plants to produce fruit and flower.

Fertilisers also contain very small amounts of trace elements such as iron and manganese.

The proportions of N, P and K should be quoted on all fertiliser packs as N:P:K so 10:12:24 indicates that the fertiliser is high in potassium and would therefore be good to use on fruiting or flowering plants.

When using fertilisers it is important to follow the instructions on the labels. Just in case the label becomes unreadable you may find it useful to male a note of the instructions to keep somewhere safe.

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