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Top 10 garden fertilisers

Updated on July 12, 2009

Top 10 garden fertilizers

As food is necessary for us, so the fertilizers for your plant. When you go to buy fertilizer, there are some things that you should know to save some money. Some time one fertilizer can work for all the plants in your garden but sometime plant needs special care and special fertilizer e.g. you need a fertilizer rich in phosphorus when you are planting bulbs. If you are familiar with the essential nutrients required by the plant you can easily balance the need of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and other micro nutrients in order to get the best output from your plants.

In this hub i have added some fertilisers available from your local garden centers. This is a simple guide to help you to decide about fertiliser for your plants

Essential Nutrients

When ever you go to garden centre, you would find a lot of fertilizers and chemical to confuse you. Sometime you ask the retail assistant to assist you and if you are lucky enough you will get the right fertilizer or you will get different fertilizer for vegetable and one for flowers and end up paying more than you need. The best way is to know essential nutirents and then decide what you need.

There are 16 essential nutrients required by the plant. The criteria for essentiality is that a plant can not complete its life cycle if it is deprived of even one of them. This does not mean that your soil has all the nutirents or lyou have to give all of them yourself. The essential nutrients for plants are:

  1. Carbon
  2. Hydrogen
  3. Oxygen
  4. Nitrogen
  5. Phosphorus
  6. Potassium
  7. Calcium
  8. Magnesium
  9. Sulfur
  10. Iron
  11. Copper
  12. Manganese
  13. Chlorine
  14. Molybdenum
  15. Zinc
  16. Boron
  1. Out of these Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen; plants extract from air and water so you do not have to worry about them as long as you water them.
  2. MACRO Nutrients: These are the nutrients which plant take in large quantities and play a major role in plant growth. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are considered as a macro nutrients. Depending upon the soil type Sulfur in some places is also considered as a macro nutrient.
  3. Micro Nutrients: Boron, chlorine, cooper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc are considered  as micro nutrients as plant require them in very small quantity but they also play a very important role in the healthy growth and development of the plant.

If we broadly categorize the plant nutirnet we can say that

  1. Nitrogen is responsibel for the green growth of plant.
  2. Phosphorus is responsible for the better root development.
  3. Potassium is responsible for the disease resistance and better flower development for the plant.

So during different growth stages, plant require different elements or nutrients.

What is NPK

When you go a garden centre to buy fertilizer you would generally find written NPK on back of each fertilizer bag or packet. So what is this NPK.

N= Nitrogen

P= Phosphorus

K= Potassium (Potash)

Rest of micro nutrients you will find as a trace elements (also known as micro nutrients). The other thing which you find at the back of fertilizer on the front of NPK you will find 5 7 9 or any other number.

This means the per cent of N, P, and K in that mixture. Lets take an example of urea (fertilizer rich in nitrogen). It has 46% nitrogen which means that if you apply 100 kg of Urea , the plant will get 46 kg of nitrogen, although a lot of nitrogen in also transformed in non available form, but that is too technical.

So when ever you go buy a fertilizer always check what NPK composition the fertilizer has in order to get the right nutrient combination for the plant.

I have added some commercial fertilizer available in the market just to give you a knowledge about them.


Urea is easily available from garden centres but it is mostly used in field crops as they require lot of nutrients. As you can see on the bag 46-0-0 which means that it has 46 % of nitrogen and does not have any phosphorus and potash.

Single Super Phosphate

Now you can easily understand that it has no nitrogen in it, but contains 9% phosphorus. It has also got Calcium and Sulphur .

Ammonium Sulphate

This fertilizer has got nitrogen and sulphur as well.

Sulphate of Potash

This fertilizer is a good source to apply Potash to the plant but it does not have nitrogen and phosphorus



Yates Thrive All Purpose

Nitrophoska, Thrive and phostorgen are sort of complete plant food or if you do not have much knowledge about the fertilisers you can use them without any problem on all your plants

Scotts Lawn Builder

This is specifically for lawns. As this fertiliser is very rich in nitrogen it will help you to grow a very good and green lawn. Although it will have P and K in it also but it is mostly used for lawn

Orchid food

Orchid are flowers, so plant will require more of P and K rather than Nitrogen, it is best to used it for other bulbs too or as indicated on the label

Feed and Weed

This is combination of one weedicide and one fertiliser, but as the weedicide  will kill only broadleaf weeds in your lawn so it will not harm your lawn. You can not apply this fertiliser on other plants.


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    • profile image

      Saosis Seaweed 3 years ago

      Several university studies have shown that seaweed can produce dramatic results in plants: geraniums produced more flowers per plant; grapes were sweeter; gladiolus corms grew larger; and cucumber yields increased 40 percent and the fruits suffered less often from softening and rotting. Improved yields after seaweed treatments were measured in potatoes, sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, apples, strawberries, okra, and oranges. Better frost tolerance, increased seed germination, and greater capacity to absorb trace elements were other documented benefits for plants.

    • profile image

      Seaweed 5 years ago

      When the plant, from its neonatal stage, shifts to acquiring or developing buds, it is suggested that Saosis Seaweed fertilizer be sprayed gently on those buds to promote a healthy growth.

      We all love flowers. Having the flowers cut freshly, from the garden sod and placing them in an ornate vase, makes the ambiance of the house extremely enchanting and serene. We also wish these flowers preserve the freshness for days together. However, we do find their shoulders drooping the very next day. Well, your lovely flowers could droop a day or two later if you spray seaweed fertilizer on them a day before you cut them and detach them from the plant.

      If seeds are treated with seaweed fertilizers before they are sowed, the seeds will germinate better, have an increased growth rate and their roots will possess strength.

      A 'fighter' plant could be acquired if the seaweed organic fertilizers are doctored on the plant. The plant will display a higher immunity against diseases and pests such as greenfly, whitefly and will have an ameliorated growth pattern.

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      seaweed extract 5 years ago

      Saosis liquid seaweed extract fertilizer makes contributions to the garden that few other natural fertilizers can brag about. First off it doesn't smell as bad as manure! Others include the following:

      Being rich in bio-activators (the ingredients for healthy decomposition) Saosis seaweedis great for compost piles as it assists in speeding up the decay of other organic matter.

      Saosis seaweed contains large traces of potassium and natural hormones making it a hearty fertilizer that strengthens roots and a plant's overall system.

      It lowers vulnerabilities against diseases