Many plants will grow and thrive in regular garden or potting soil, but sometimes they need a helping hand. Whether you're growing shrubs and trees or flowers and vegetables, plant foods and fertilisers add essential nutrients to the soil and this helps plants grow quickly and healthily. Using a high phosphorous plant food is recommended for growing flowers and vegetables, according to "Fine Gardening" magazine.
Soil types vary and sometimes it's necessary to add plant food or fertiliser to give certain mineral nutrients to deficient soil. Phosphorous is one of three primary nutrients, along with nitrogen and potassium, that is essential for plants to grow. Phosphorous helps promote root growth and speeds up flowering.
Choose a high-phosphorous 5-10-10 grade plant food or fertiliser if your plants need a phosphorous boost to bloom or fruit. High-phosphorous plant foods come in several forms: a granular mix that you sprinkle onto soil, liquid plant food that you add to water when irrigating plants and organic substances such as phosphorous-rich poultry waste that you add to soil.
Different forms of high-phosphorous plant food work in different ways. Liquid plant food works quickly and it's recommended for container plants. Add the plant food liquid to water and the plant will immediately take it up into its root system. Granular high-phosphorous plant foods usually work more slowly, gradually releasing phosphorous into soil. Use granular food for outdoor plants in gardens and yards.
When to Use
All flowers and vegetable plants can benefit from high-phosphorous plant food, but it is essential in areas where soil might be deficient in phosphorous. Check the composition of soil with a speciality chemical soil testing kit. Buy these from nurseries or garden centres and do the test yourself. Just add soil to the test tube, add the chemical testing solution and compare the colour of the solution with the supplied soil chemical colour chart to assess the composition of your soil.