Alan Titchmarsh shares how to use tomato fertiliser to give your plants a ‘flying start’

Alan Titchmarsh on how best to feed your plants

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Plants are able to make their own food by capturing the energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar. But, in order for them to stay healthy and bear flowers and fruit, they take additional nutrients out of the soil or compost. Therefore, it is important to provide them with supplementary fertiliser. The basic nutrients required by plants are nitrogen for leaf and stem growth, phosphorus for root growth and potassium for flowers, fruit and to maintain healthy growth.

Alan Titchmarsh has shared many gardening tips with audiences in the past, sharing his words of wisdom with beginner and professional gardeners alike.

Speaking in a video in partnership with Waitrose, Alan explained the best ways to feed your plants and flowers.

He shared that it is important to feed your plants throughout the year because despite nature providing them with food, they also need a helping hand from humans.

As a result, plants and flowers can grow to “the best of their ability”.

Alan explained that flowers grown in borders in spring are low, but with the right food, they can grow to become very tall.

He said: “Spring feed will get your border off to a flying start.”

Alan showed the viewers how to get started with growing a flower border in a big pot.

With planting in pots, the gardening expert said that you must make sure that the plants have enough food and water, but not too much.

Alan planted his flowers in a pot of peat-free compost, which is usually made of bark and other kinds of organic waste and warned gardeners to “never buy stale compost”.

Alan went on to explain when and how to feed plants in pots using tomato fertiliser.

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He said: “When it comes to food, you don’t need any straight away. For the first six weeks, there will be enough in that compost to sustain them.

“But after those six weeks, a once weekly feed with dilute liquid tomato feed will make sure that they have plenty of nutrition to coax more and more flowers out.”

As for other plants, the expert showed viewers an array of fertilisers and advised looking at the back of the bottle when buying your own fertiliser from the shop, ensuring that it contains the three main plant foods.

These three main plant foods are nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium.

Alan explained: “Nitrogen promotes leafy growth – that’s everything up top.

“Phosphates promote root growth – that’s everything down below.

“And in the middle where you’ve got the fruit and the flowers, that’s what potassium takes care of.”

Alan recommended using a fertiliser called Fish, Blood and Bone as a “good all-purpose plant food”.

He said: “That’s to give to your beds and borders at the beginning of the season.

“This is breakfast, dinner, and tea and apply it throughout the year.

“The great thing about Fish, Blood and Bone is that as well as being an all-round general fertiliser with all the main plant feeds in it, it’s also organic, and that means it feeds soil bacteria as well.”

Alan went on to recommend two other fertilisers – Bonemeal and Lawn Feed.

Bonemeal is good to use when you first start planting, the expert explained, while Lawn Feed is “full of nitrogen to get that grass growing in spring”.

Alan added: “Two things to remember about liquid feeds: one is that they don’t last as long as granulated or powdered fertiliser, but the other is that they go into action much faster, particularly on a lawn.

“Nothing makes a gardener more proud than a lush lawn.”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh airs at 10am on ITV.

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