Understanding fertilisers

If, like many amateur gardeners, you find the plethora of plant foods and fertilisers available at your local garden centre just a little bit confusing, you may find the following notes of help.

Vitax, as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of products for plants and gardens, produces a wide range of traditional fertilisers and makes no outrageous claims about their benefits.  However, these fertilisers have been proven over many years and each offers specific benefits to your plants.

So, consider first, what your plants need….

  • Strong healthy roots?
  • Leafy growth?
  • A boost for flowering or ripening of fruit?
  • Better soil conditions for acid loving plants?
  • A cure for browning leaves (magnesium deficiency)?

And then select the Vitax fertiliser that will provide the answer:

VITAX SUPERPHOSPHATE, a quick acting fertiliser which will encourage strong root growth.  Superphosphate is one of the keys to success when planting out seedlings, rooted cuttings and transplants.  Used with fruit, root and seed crops, Superphosphate will produce higher yields and improve ripening.  Superphosphate can be used prior to planting, as a top dressing, and also as a liquid feed.


VITAX SULPHATE OF AMMONIA is a fast acting nitrogen fertiliser which will encourage leafy growth.  It will promote above-ground growth and help produce rich green foliage.  Because of this action it is especially beneficial for crops such as brassicas, lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, leeks and onions.   An early season feed gives flowering plants, shrubs and fruit a rapid boost.  Sulphate of Ammonia can even be used to quickly green up a tired lawn.


flower-being-plantedVITAX SULPHATE OF POTASH is a quick acting fertiliser which provides the essential nutrient potassium to boost flowering and ripening of fruit.  Sulphate of Potash encourages greater strength and vigour in plants, improving resistance to adverse weather conditions and disease. It also promotes stronger flower colour, higher quality blooms and increased yields of fruit.  It is particularly beneficial to tomatoes. Sulphate of Potash can be used prior to planting, as a top dressing, and also as a liquid feed.


RhododendronVITAX SULPHATE OF IRON (ferrous sulphate) improves soil conditions for acid loving plants.  It can be used to reduce the alkalinity of the soil, helping to make available the natural elements and nutrients essential to the healthy cultivation of plants which thrive in acid conditions.  All calcifuge (lime hating) plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, conifers, ericas and alpines will benefit from a regular top dressing with Vitax Sulphate of Iron.  It can be used prior to planting and also as a top dressing.


VITAX EPSOM SALTS provide a rapid cure for magnesium deficiency in plants.  Magnesium is necessary for the production of chlorophyll, without which the foliage turns brown and withers.  Tomatoes and house plants are particularly susceptible to magnesium deficiency, where the early symptoms are yellowing between the veins of older leaves.  Epsom salts are best dissolved in water and applied with a sprayer or watering can.


For more information on all these products and other fertilisers from Vitax click here

Time to start weeding

Weedfree glyphosate weedkiller kills weeds and their roots.  Now is the time to start using it on annual and perennial weeds such as grasses, nettles, willowherb and dandelions as you will get the best results from March to October when the weeds are actively growing.  After application to weeds, it moves through the plant and down to the roots. Dandelions are a particular problem as their long roots make them very difficult to dig up, so Weedfree is the ideal solution.

Vitax Weedfree is biodegradable and breaks down in the soil to allow replanting.

However, Weedfree is non-selective and care should be taken to avoid spray drift onto lawns and other plants. Effects may be seen within a few days, but full control can take up to 4 weeks. Very persistent weeds may require repeat treatment once new growth appears.

Vitax Weedfree is available in a 1 litre concentrate, a convenient ready-to-use 750ml trigger spray, and in a pack of six 100ml sachets.


Biodegradables range

Environmentally-conscious gardeners can take advantage of Vitax’s biodegradables range, designed to help protect and nurture new plants and seedlings. The range includes Cabbage Collars which are used around newly planted brassicas – a non-chemical way of protecting against cabbage root fly – and Mulch Mats which are ideal for use around strawberry plants, lettuces and newly planted roses. Mulch mats help prevent rotting and protect plant roots from extreme temperatures, whilst also acting as a slug deterrent.

Vitax Sulphur Candles

If you’re thinking of starting off some seeds in your greenhouse now the weather’s improving, it’s a good idea to make sure you disinfect the greenhouse first to ensure the environment is clean and healthy, although you should also sweep and wash the greenhouse prior to disinfecting.


Before using the candle, remove all plants from the greenhouse (with the exception of dormant peach trees or vines).  Check all doors, windows and ventilation points are completely closed, place the candle on a brick in the middle of the greenhouse, and light the paper wick.  The sulphur around the wick should melt and then burn with a very pale blue, almost invisible flame. Leave the greenhouse completely closed and sealed.


After 12 hours open up the greenhouse and ventilate to remove fumes. One Vitax Sulphur Candle will disinfect an average 8ft x 10ft greenhouse, and for larger greenhouses you can use more candles simultaneously.

Totally DIY

The 3 day Totally DIY show has taken place again this year at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, where over 100 suppliers and manufacturers had stands for trade customers to see our product range.

Leading the display is our Nippon range of pest control and rodenticides, including the Pest Smoke smoke-generator which eradicates a wide range of insects in just two hours, and the Nippon Tip Trap, a humane mouse catcher. Also on the stand were the new Biodegradables range which includes Grow Pots and Tubes, Mulch Mats and Cabbage Collars.


And of course Slug Gone took centre stage once again, being a very popular product in hardware and DIY outlets.

Garden Press Event

Vitax had another successful day at the Garden Press Event at the Barbican Exhibition Hall this week. Fortunately the weather and the trains were good to us, so a large number of garden writers were able to attend the show.  This is the only Gardening & Home event dedicated exclusively for the Press and Media. One of over a hundred companies exhibiting, this event was the ideal place to bring our product range to the attention of the media.


Slug Gone took centre stage again. Many of the writers had been given free samples last year, and came back to tell us how pleased they were with its effectiveness.


We also featured our new biodegradable pots & mats range, which includes Cabbage Collars, Mulch Mats, Ring Culture Pots, Grow Pots and Grow Tubes. These effective and easy to use products help protect and encourage the growth of seedlings and young plants. This range has been designed with environmentally conscious gardeners in mind as the products are fully biodegradable, and can be used alongside our range of Vitapot planting pots and pellets.


Vitax also made a donation to Greenfingers charity, which is supported by the gardening industry. With the continuous backing of retailers and manufacturers, the charity has created 42 gardens in children’s hospices across the UK.




Vitax had a busy day at The Garden Centre Group trade show yesterday. Our stand was staffed by Colin Wetherley-Mein (Sales Manager) and Ralph Fitter (National Accounts Manager) and featured many products including the extremely popular Slug Gone.


It was a chilly start to the day in the capacious animal sheds at the Malvern show ground. Heavy rain and local flooding caused transport problems for many of the visitors. But the show ended on a high note as many more people arrived in the afternoon and the heating finally came on!

John Negus at Rowledge Gardening Club

Garden writer John Negus gave a talk to Rowledge Garden Club in Hampshire, which he concluded with a quiz. The winner was presented with a carton of Vitax Q4, John’s favourite fertiliser. A premier boost for roses, flowers, vegetables, fruit, tomatoes, chrysanthemums and lawns, it’s a nutritious balance of major plant foods and vital trace elements.

John said he has nothing but the highest praise for Vitax whose products are brilliant and whose catalogue is eminently readable.

Slug Gone premiers in USA

Vitax have had an excellent week at the MANTS show (Mid Atlantic Nursery Trades Show) in Baltimore this week, where our excellent slug & snail repellent Slug Gone is making its first appearance in the USA.




Slug Gone is being imported and distributed by Fertil USA, who are being represented by William Evans at the show.  William has been extremely impressed with the outstanding results obtained from Slug Gone, and is receiving the first container load in Pennsylvania next week.


Feedback from visitors to the show has been extremely positive as this product is unique in the US market where there is an increasing concern over pesticide use to remove pests.


Slug Gone will also be on display at the Philadelphia Flower Show in March 2014.

John Negus talks to Longstock gardening club

After chatting to spirited members of the Longstock, Winchester, Gardening Club, garden writer and lecturer John Negus conducted a fun quiz in which a member was delighted to leave with a carton of Vitax Q4 pelleted fertiliser. A very effective balanced feed for roses, flowers and vegetables, fruit, tomatoes, chrysanthemums and lawns, it was originally developed for commercial growers.

John commented: ‘Well done, Vitax, for very cleverly providing gardeners with all they need to ensure good results’.