Before we can go through the best fertilizers to use for root growth, plants, and trees in Australia, first we must better understand the way fertilizer is formulated. With this information, you will be better informed and able to make these decisions yourself so that you don’t get caught out or end up using the wrong fertilizer for the particular plant you are growing. Let’s take a closer look…
Understanding fertilizer formulas
All fertilizers are made up using a combination of the following three elements: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, K). One of these elements is always present in fertilizer and the percentage of each is typically represented as a three-part number (N, P, K).
For example: a fertilizer designed for blooms could read 5-50-17 (5% nitrogen, 50% phosphate, and 17% potassium).
The three fertilizer elements and what they do
- Nitrogen: Nitrogen tends to hold the largest percentage in a fertilizer formula. This is because it is arguably the most important of the three elements. Plants absorb huge amounts of nitrogen, whether through food or occurring naturally. Nitrogen is crucial for plants to grow big and strong and also encourages the growth of protein. The protein is then used to create plan tissue (the necessary building blocks for the plant).
- Phosphorous: Phosphorous is vital in the photosynthesis process. This element helps the plant to produce and store energy in order for it to grow and develop. Nitrogen provides the building blocks, while phosphorous helps the plant to continue growing throughout its cycle.
- Potassium: Potassium (aka potash) builds up disease resistance in a plant, whilst also increasing crop yields (produces more / bigger fruits and veggies). Plants that are treated with potash have higher quality crops which are often bigger. In plants, it also creates larger and more luscious blooms. That, and potassium can also provide protection against the elements by strengthening the root systems.
What is the best fertilizer to use in Australia?
What is the best fertilizer to use in Australia? It’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many different plant types and soil types. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fertilizer. Certainly, there are generic fertilizers that can be used on all plants, but as for the best, it really comes down to what you are trying to achieve.
What is the best fertilizer for root growth in Australia?
If you want strong root growth for your plants in Australia, then you want a good 3-20-20 formula (3% nitrogen, 20% phosphorous, and 20% potassium). This will encourage the roots to grow strong and healthy.
By keeping the nitrogen content low, you can promote leggy green growth at the expense of rooting, fruiting, and flowering.
What is the best fertilizer for all plants in Australia?
Again, finding the best fertilizer for all plants in Australia is subjective. You don’t want a generic fertilizer, you’ll want something that is well-suited to the task at hand, the soil type in your garden, and the area in which you live. Here’s a list of the various fertilizer types and their typical applications:
- Compost & manure: These are wonderful soil conditioners that promote microbial activity. That said, they can be relatively low in nutrients.
- Blood & bone meal: These are a slow release fertilizer that tend to contain a measurable amount of potassium, meaning extra potassium is often required to be added.
- Inorganic fertilizer: AKA chemical or synthetic fertilizers, these can some in granular and slow-release. These are great for nutrients, but can be damaging to the plants if they are not applied correctly, so be mindful of manufacturer instructions.
- Slow-release: These can be either organic or inorganic, allowing the nutrients to release slowly and over a longer period of time.
- Controlled-release: These are more advanced, allowing water to penetrate and dissolve the nutrients within.
- Liquid fertilizers: These give the quickest results with rapid movement through root systems. They need to be applied more frequently, but can yield great results when managed properly. Most of these liquid fertilizers are high in nitrogen which is great for green, leafy vegetables.
What is the best fertilizer for flowering plants in Australia?
For boosting flower production, a good 15-30-15 mix is good. This is because it is higher in flower-developing phosphorous! If you want to green up your lawn however, then perhaps a 25-6-4 mix which is high in nitrogen would be preferable.
There are many different types of fertilizers, each formulates for a specific type of plant (e.g., roses, bulbs, or vegetables). So, if you have a particular plant you want to grow and work with, then search for “the best fertilizer for growing roses”, as an example.
What is the best fertilizer for trees in Australia?
A complete fertilizer is recommended for growing trees, such as 16-4-8, 12-6-6, or 12-4-8. Unless of course you run a soil test and it reveals that your phosphorous and potassium levels are already adequate.
What is the safest fertilizer in Australia?
If you have curious kids and pets and you are worried about which fertilizer you use, then we would recommend keeping pellets and spikes out of their hands and mouths. To be honest, most organic fertilizers are safe if a little bit is ingested. However, organic fertilizers are much more tempting for pets. This is because they are often made from bone meal or manure, which can smell and taste appealing to your pets. In that case, a liquid organic fertilizer, will provide a child and pet safe alternative to keeping your garden plants topped up with all of the necessary nutrients required.