Plant Care

Plants are living things and need regular care and feeding.  At McGaugh’s when customers purchase plants we advise them on care from the planting stage through to maturity.

Composts and Fertilisers

Planting is a crucial stage in plant care and it is essential the ground is properly prepared with a multi-purpose compost and fertiliser.  It’s easy to get these mixed up! Compost is peat of soil based with a small amount of nutrients while fertiliser comes in granule or pellet form.

One of our favourite pellet fertiliser is ‘Fast Grow’ or ‘Sea Grow’ both of which are made from chicken menure and seaweed which are a fantastic combination.  Grow More is a fantastic granule fertiliser.  This is a multipurpose fertiliser which is great for shrubs, trees, fruit and vegetables.  For fruit trees, sulphate of pot ash is the best choice of fertiliser.  Sulfate of amonia is a nitrogen fertiliser which is great for ruhbarb, cabbage, lettuce and all green plants. If you want an organic fertiliser use ‘Fish, Blood and Bone’ or “Rooster Booster’.

If you are planting roses, you must prepare your ground using a rose fertiliser. Roses demand different ingredients like high pot ash, magnesium and iron. Plants that grow in acid soils like rhododenderums, azalias, forest flame, blue hydranja and many more have to get a ericaceous plant food and also an ericaceous compost.  Where planting containers use ‘Sure Grow’ slow release plant food mixed with the compost before planting.


After, unfortunately most of us tend to forget that our plants need aftercare. We need to fertilise shrubs, trees, hedging, roses and all other perinial plants with any of the above fertilisrs annually. Containers planted with annuals i.e pots, window boxes or hanging baskets can be treated differently. Fill your containers with a good multipurpose compost. There is enough nutritents in that compost for the first four to five weeks, after that feed fortnightly with a liquid feed such as tomato food or outdoor baby bio.

Pest Prevention and Eradication

Humans are not the only species that needs to eat so for everything that we grow there is something lurking in the shadows to eat it. Slugs and snails can devour your vegetables or bedding plants overnight so you need to protect them using slug pellets. There are various brands including some organic ones on the market.

Beautiful roses can be destroyed overnight with greenfly, black spot and mildew. It is quite easy to get rid of greenfly and mildew but not black spot. Black spot needs to be prevented so from when the foliage appears in April you need to start spraying every two to three weeks with ‘Multi Rose’ or ‘Rose Clear’ which is a combination of a fungicide and an insecticide.

‘Resolva Bug Killer’ or ‘Ultra Bug Killer’ iradicates a huge variety of insects of which there are many. Of course prevention is better than cure as plants weakened from lack of feed will be attacked by insects and funguses more readily than those that are growing healthily.

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