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Mastering the Basics

How and when to feed your plants: A comprehensive guide

Feeding plants is essential for their health, vitality, and overall appearance. In this guide, we'll explain what, when and how to feed your plants.

Just like humans, plants require proper nutrition to thrive and reach their full potential. Read on to find out when in the year to feed plants, the best feed and how best to do it.

At Soto we promote organic fertiliser for use in your outside space. This is safer for pets, children and kind to the environment. Seaweed and organic peat free compost are great options.

Why Feed Your Outdoor Plants?

Nutrient Supply

Outdoor plants need a balanced supply of essential nutrients, to support their growth.

Soil Depletion

Over time, the nutrients in the soil can become depleted due to plant uptake. Feeding replenishes these nutrients, ensuring your plants have access to everything they need for optimal growth.

Enhanced Flowering and Fruiting

Proper feeding encourages vigorous growth, abundant flowering, and prolific fruiting, resulting in more vibrant and productive plants.

Stress Resistance

Well-fed plants are better equipped to withstand environmental stresses such as drought, heat, cold, and pest attacks, leading to healthier and more resilient garden ecosystems.

How to Feed Your Outdoor Plants

Choose the Right Fertilizer

Select a fertilizer formulation that matches the specific needs of your plants, whether they are flowering annuals, perennials, vegetables, shrubs, or trees. Consider factors such as nutrient content, release rate, and organic vs. synthetic options. Soto finds organic compost and seaweed based feeds cater for most plants.

Follow Application Guidelines

Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper fertilizer application rates and timing, they differ between products. Over-fertilizing can harm plants and the environment, so it's crucial to apply the correct amount at the right time.


For most outdoor plants, feeding in early spring before active growth begins and again in late spring or early summer can provide a nutrient boost for the growing season. Avoid fertilizing during periods of dormancy or extreme weather conditions.

Application Methods

There are various ways to apply fertilizer to outdoor plants, including granular fertilizer, applying liquid fertilizer with a watering can or sprayer, incorporating slow-release fertilizer into the soil, or using specialized fertilization tools such as spikes or stakes. At Soto we suggest liquid feed in late spring and fresh compost in autumn.

Monitor and Adjust

Regularly monitor your plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. Adjust your feeding regimen accordingly to provide the right balance of nutrients for optimal plant health.

Feeding your plants in the spring, around May with organic liquid feed and then laying fresh compost on the autumn, can help your garden thrive throughout the growing season.

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