A lot of information that you find on the internet talks about N:P:K ratios in fertiliser. It seems simple enough, even if you have only completed some high school chemistry, but it's actually slightly more complicated when it comes to gardens.
Let's start with the basics:
* N is Nitrogen.
* P is Phosphorus
* K is Potassium.
You may remember thisfrom chemistry at school when you were forced to commit the periodic table to memory, including all lanthanides and actinides.
Each of these three simple elements have an effect on plant life. Here's how:
* Nitrogen gives good greening
* Phosphorus encourages good rooting and fruiting
* Potassium assists vigour.
Getting the combination right at the right time of year for the plant species being fertilised is important. After all, if you promote vigorous growth around Autumn for a plant that should be dormant in the Winter months ahead, you may just kill it.
Likewise, excess of one or the other of these elements may not be beneficial for some species. For example, too much phosphorus can have a bad effect on some Australian native trees, bushes and shrubs.
So, what do you do?
Read our next edition and we'll tell you!