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Fertilisers]
Feeding Your Plants

garden

All green plants need the plant foods we call fertilisers to be able to grow.

These chemicals are dissolved in the soil water (which acts like a reservoir). When plants die, during decomposition they return the chemicals to the soil for use by future plants.

If we remove any of the plants e.g. vegetables from the garden we remove some of the chemicals that should return to the soil. When this happens we must replace those which are not returned.

Sometimes, we need to return those removed by the people who owned the soil before us. Occasionally it is necessary to provide extra food. This is especially the case where the soil is light or sandy, or where we want that little extra for some special event or exhibition.
How do you find out the present food levels?
This is a bit more tricky than the other tests. In general it is probably best to have a lab test done. There are some kits you can buy to give a good idea of the nutrient levels in the soil, and these are worth a go. Otherwise it is often a matter of experience - judging how the plants look or how well they are growing and whether they are resistant to disease.
lab
This part of the site helps you to understand about the main plant foods, how they are needed by your plants, and how they interact with the sort of soil that you have. Check out the links below.

How plants get their "food"
Key food 1. Nitrogen
Key food 2. Phosphate
Key food 3. Potash
Brand name fertilisers and mixtures
When to use fertilisers
Food values of different manures and fertilisers


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Copyright © 1998 Fred Moor