Plant nutrition and soil health

We now know that plants make their own food but they cannot make the food unless they have the right ingredients. Plants absorb these ingredients from the soil through their roots.


Babies that don’t get enough of the right food will not grow bigger and stronger.

Like babies plants also need the right food to grow bigger and stronger.

A gardener must make sure that the plants get enough food but also the right food to ensure strong plants.


Plants cannot move from one place to another.  They are stuck where they are planted.  If they have been planted in the soil for a long time they use up all the food in the soil. It is the gardeners job to give the soil the right food in order to keep the plants healthy.


Just as a durable house needs a strong foundation, healthy plants require soil that can provide their roots with nutrients, water, and air. Few gardeners are blessed with perfect soil, and even if they were, keeping soil healthy and able to support plants is an ongoing process. Building and maintaining healthy soil is the single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your garden and landscape plants.


Building soil means providing soil life – microbes, worms, fungi – with the materials and environment they need to do their jobs. Taking from the soil without giving anything back breaks the natural cycle. Harvesting crops and raking fallen leaves removes organic material that’s ordinarily destined for the soil on which it falls. If the organic material isn’t replenished, soil health declines.


Plants require many nutrients, including three primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is needed for leaf growth, phosphorus for root growth and seed formation, and potassium to maintain overall vitality and contribute to the movement of sugar and starch. All of these nutrients come to the plant through the soil.

When soils do not have sufficient nutrients available, deficiencies can be seen in plants by their stunted growth, discoloration of leaves, or weak flower production. Under these conditions, otherwise healthy plants like flowers, shrubs, vegetable bushes, trees and grass, become vulnerable to disease and insect damage.


The beauty and healthiness of the plants in your landscape are direct results of the health of your soil.

Join us this Friday 29 April 2022 for our FREE online workshop on: ‘Roots and Foods – Plant nuturitionn and soil health’, with Garden Guru Sue Both. 

Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom:

Meeting ID: 830 9134 0680

Passcode: 696561

or use the following direct link: