Whether you're growing a tasty crop of vegetables or vibrant flowers, your gardening activities will suck nutrients from the soil. As a result, you need to find the right type of fertiliser for your activities. As one of the most important garden supplies you'll purchase, it's vital that you understand how to choose a fertiliser.

Look for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium

In most cases, your garden will need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to grow. The need for each chemical will vary according to your locale and its soil type though, so do double check before prioritising each one.

Usually, the three numbers on the back of your fertiliser will denote the presence of each chemical in this order: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you're unsure about the balance you're choosing, ask your usual garden supplier for advice.

Choose between organic and non-organic

Do you have strong feelings about organic versus non-organic? Organic fertilisers feature only plant or animal-based products. For example, manure or composted vegetables. In contrast, non-organic contains synthetic versions of the chemicals you need.

While organic products may help the soil hold water for longer, non-organic can produce quicker results. Before deciding which one your garden needs, examine the logistical aims of your growing activities, and choose your garden supplies from there.

Consider your pets and children

Pets and children often stick their noses in places that aren't safe. Although pets aren't likely to eat soil, most parents know that children will put almost anything in their mouths.

Take a good look at your fertiliser's label to make sure it isn't dangerous. Unfortunately, the reduced danger associated with a fertiliser dispersed in soil won't keep your little ones safe if they eat it directly. As such, you should store your fertiliser in a high place where your little ones can't gain access.

Focus on the release of the fertiliser

Different fertilisers will release at different rates. How quickly you want yours to release will depend on what you're growing and how far into the season you're growing it. In some cases, you may want a slow release because you're leading a busy lifestyle and you don't want to have to top your garden up too often.

Always ask your garden supplier for advice when it comes to release times. A knowledgeable employee will know how quickly various types of plants need fertiliser to filter through.

By writing down what your garden needs and providing your supplier with information about your soil type, they can help you find products that match your activities.

For more information, reach out to a local garden supplier.