As with human health and wellbeing, it’s important to understand our nutritional needs and to supplement in order to increase resistance to pests and diseases. Fertilisers assist with plant growth and promote resistance to disease.

Elements

Plant health is primarily determined by the availability and absorption of macro- and micro-elements. As these names suggest, macro-elements are the major elements, needed in regular supply. Micro-elements, also called trace elements, are secondary to the macro-elements, and are required in smaller amounts.

Different plants may have different specific nutritional needs, but there are three macro-elements – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).

  • Nitrogen (N) – the leaf-maker. Stimulates the growth of leafy vegetables, improves leaf colour in lawns, and increases the size of evergreen plants.
  • Phosphorus (P) – the root-maker. Stimulates early root formation, and is essential in soil used for sowing seeds and growing young plants. Phosphorus also enables plants to resist disease, and encourages winter hardiness.
  • Potassium (K) – the flower- and fruit-maker. Potassium, or potash (K), improves the quality of flowers and fruit, and the flavour of fruit and vegetables. Essential for photosynthesis, potassium also makes plants more resistant to temperature extremes and drought.

There are seven micro-elements, Calcium (Ca), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Molybdenum (Mo) and Sodium (Na), which are required in small quantities, and perform a variety of different functions within different plants. A deficiency in any one of the micro-elements may result in growth retardation or deformities.

Fertilisers explained

Traditional fertilisers contain a blend of the three macroelements, but more advanced formulations may have added micro elements to further improve plant growth. Selecting the correct fertiliser is key to successful plant growth. There are three main types:

Slow-release formulations

Wonder 3:1:5 (26) SR is a complete granular fertiliser, rich in potassium, for feeding most fruit and flowering plants.
Wonder 3:2:1 (28) SR is a complete granular fertiliser, high in nitrogen, for feeding lawns, vegetables and evergreen garden plants.

Sustained-release formulations

Wonder 2:3:2 (14) + C (8) SR Bio-Carbon Boost is a complete granular fertiliser, comprising a balanced blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, for feeding foliage, root, flower and fruit growth.
Wonder LAN + C (8) Bio-Carbon enriched fertiliser is a nitrogen-rich fertiliser that enhances leaf and shoot growth – ideal for lawns and non-flowering plants.
Wonder Super Phosphate + C (8) Bio-Carbon Boost Granules is a highphosphorus, carbon-enriched fertiliser incorporated into all new plantings for stimulating root growth in lawns, seedlings, trees and shrubs.
Wonder Vitaliser Lawn & Leaf Bio Carbon Green Boost 7:1:3 (15) + C (8) SR is a specially developed granular fertiliser, rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, for feeding all types of lawns and evergreen plants.
Wonder Vitaliser Rose & Flower 8:1:5 (17) SR is a specially developed carbonenriched granular fertiliser, rich in nitrogen and potassium, for feeding established garden roses and flowering plants.

Special-formulation fertiliser with an insecticide

Wonder 4:1:1 (24) Granular Fertiliser + insecticide (not for edible crops) is a complete granular fertiliser, containing a contact insecticide for worms, for control of lawn caterpillars and army worms commonly found on lawns.

Recommended treatment

Use granular fertiliser to feed outdoor container plants weekly, or treat biweekly with a general foliar food. Indoor containers should be fed at least once a month, although flowering indoor plants require monthly to bi-weekly feeding. Liquid plant foods contain NPK as well as micro-elements to stimulate plant growth, and are easily taken up by plants. Stick fertilisers provide an easy method for providing slow-release fertiliser to pot plants. Choose from Wonder Supra Stix 2:3:2 (14) Flowers and Wonder Supra Stix 5:1:5 (22) Houseplants.

Other support products containing plant nutrients as well as natural plant growth regulators offer additional nutrition to container plants and should be incorporated monthly:

Seagro Fish Emulsion – is suitable for both outdoor and indoor container plants and consists of organic fish emulsion in a liquid formulation.
Wonder Kelp – a natural seaweed-derived plant food for indoors and outdoors. It contains Citokinins and Auxins as plant growth stimulants.

Organic fertilisers

There is a new ‘green’ awareness and most gardeners today will opt for the least-toxic option or natural solutions, if possible. Efekto offers a comprehensive range of environmentally friendly fertilisers that are readily available at gardening outlets nationally. Wonder Organic Bonemeal is an organic-based fertiliser derived from bones, which provides Nitrogen and Phosphate, for the planting of shrubs, seedlings, lawns and trees, to stimulate and establish a strong, well developed root system.

Wonder Organic Granular Fertiliser Vita-Boost + C (8) is an organically derived fertiliser that contains a balance of macro elements to promote shoot and root growth. It releases nutrients slowly, improving the structure and moisture retention of the soil, and encourages microbe development and activity, aeration of the soil and microbial action in the soil. Best used after fruiting or flowering to boost the vegetative growth of the plant.

Benefits of organic fertilisers:

  • Organic and safe.
  • Chlorine-free.
  • Promotes microbial activity in soil.
  • Specially formulated.

Credits

Referenced from Efekto , Green Fingers : Your gardening and product guide from Efekto