Video 7 of 13
Patch Urban Gardening Course

How should I fertilise my outdoor plants?

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How should I fertilise my outdoor plants?

Normally, plants take their nutrients from the soil in the ground. But in containers, there’s no system to keep this naturally topped up - so fertiliser is key. Just like choosing what you like to eat, there’s a different fertiliser option for your plants, too.  

Container planting often involves plants being quite crowded, so the limited nutrients that are available are quickly absorbed, especially in spring and summer.

There are a few options for fertilising outdoor plants. You can add slow release fertilisers to the soil. These come in sticks or as pellets and are super easy as you simply add them to the soil and let them do their thing.

If you want a bit more control over how often, and how much, you fertilise your plants you can add a powder or liquid fertiliser to their water.

As well as using a general outdoor plant fertiliser, you can find specific ones for certain types of plant. For example, you might choose a Flower Fertiliser if you have plants that you want to encourage to bloom. The same goes for citrus plants and veggies.

One thing to keep in mind is that fertilisers often recommend higher doses than the plants need, which can actually damage them, so don’t feel bad about mixing a more dilute solution. We’d recommend halving the suggested strength and seeing how your plants do with that.

Remember that you should stop fertilising during winter, as many plants leave their active growing phase so aren’t using up the nutrients in their soil as quickly. Fertilising during this period can cause serious damage to their roots.