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Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 2001 Slow Release Fertilizers 101

Slow Release Fertilizers 101

Slow release fertilizers have been in common use within the horticultural industry for decades. Probably the mostly commonly heard of product is Scott's Osmocote which has been around for a quite a long time. However, some time ago slow release fertilizers moved out of the potted greenhouse environment and onto golf courses, suburban lawns and bushes, and orchards. Slow release fertilizers are here to stay, but there still seems to be a lot of users who do not understand them. The purpose of this paper is to: 1) demystify some of the characteristics of slow release fertilizers; 2) provide some useful information about the differences in a few products; and 3) offer up some generic advice on how best to utilize these fertilizers effectively. Believe it or not, slow release fertilizers are a daunting subject loaded with all sorts of interesting technologies. As with many products, the end user gets glowing product support brochures without ever seeing any of the research literature. Most of the product literature I have read is accurate. Too often the problems growers face with slow release fertilizers are associated with inexperience and ignorance of fertilizer technology in addition to operational experimentation. Maybe this little paper will lead a few nursery managers, growers, and conservationists to go to the library.

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Author(s): Robin Rose

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 2001

Event: Western Forest and Conservation Nursery Association Conference
2001 - Durango, CO