Do You Need Plant Food?

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated September 14, 2022)

Gardeners want to great plants. When the lawn or garden you are working in gives really great, strong, healthy plants, it is a very rewarding experience. The problem with any sort of gardening is that things do not always turn out as you plan them. Even if you work hard and keep the plants free from weeds, receiving plenty of water and light, sometimes the results will not be as good as you plan. The big question when this happens is if you need plant food.

Plant food is really just another term used for fertilizer. Clearly fertilizers can be helpful for growing plants, otherwise why would gardeners go back year after year to buy fertilizer for their plants. It really is not a question of if it works in general, but if it will work for you. This really depends on the condition of your soil and what kind of plants you are growing.

If you are considering buying fertilizer, the first thing that you should do is test the condition of the soil you are using to grow plants. You can usually purchase a testing kit at your local gardening center, or if you would rather have someone else do it, most cities will offer services that will test your soil for a fee. These tests will tell you what elements are in your soil.

When you have the results of your tests, you will be able to see if your soil has the right nutrients for the type of plant you are growing. Be careful when you look at the results, because different plants require different nutrients to grow. It could be that your soil actually has too much of a certain nutrient or too low of a pH level for your particular plant. If this is the case, there are certainly ways to cancel it out, but fertilizer is usually not necessary. If, however, it turns out your soil is low on nitrogen, or something else that your plants need, fertilizer is a good way to go.

Make sure you look up exactly what nutrients your plants need before you go buy a fertilizer. Although there are general fertilizers that can work well, you can also buy specific fertilizers if you know what the exact problem is.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...


Move around Bedding Plants

Keeping tons of plants all over your home and yard can be a hassle, so instead use fewer, more portable plants. ...

Discover More

Removing an Entire Tree

You can remove a tree in your yard with lot of care and lots of work. If you want to cut the tree down yourself, be ...

Discover More

Creating a Beginner's Flower Garden

Starting a flower garden is easy. Make sure you have the right spot chosen out to grow your flowers. Choose the flowers ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Choosing the Right Tree Fertilizer

Trees need nutrients to grow. If these nutrients are not found in the ground, fertilizer will have to be used. Your ...

Discover More

Organic Fertilizers

The nutrients within organic fertilizers originate wholly from the byproducts or remnants of organisms. Because organic ...

Discover More

Choosing the Best Compost Mix for Your Garden

If you are interested in doing any kind of gardening, you will eventually need some fertilizer. One of the best ways to ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)