Growing crops requires a knowledge of the nutritional needs of the plants. Part of the process includes fertilizing the plants. A popular choice among farmers for the past several decades is Osmocote fertilizer. If you’re not familiar with the product, we offer a guide that explains everything you need to know about Osmocote Fertilizer products.
What is Osmocote Fertilizer?
S F Gate explains that Osmocote is classified as a controlled-release fertilizer. Osmocote releases the nutrients in a predictable fashion that offers the benefit of greater precision when feeding plants. Osmocote Fertilizer According to AICL (https://icl-sf.com/global-en/osmocote50/), the first generation of Osmocote fertilizer was developed in 1967. Formulations continued to evolve for specialty purposes. Osmocote delivers nutrients for plants into the soil.
Identifying features of Osmocote
Hunker (https://www.hunker.com/13404864/what-is-osmocote-fertilizer), describes the physical features of Osmocote fertilizer. The appearance is round, similar to small peppercorns. The color is creamy beige. The pieces of Osmocote fertilizer are referred to as prills. The inside of the prills is filled with plant nutrients with a shell coating that allows the nutrients to slowly release at a trickle, as the soil warms and the moisture reaches the prills. The nutrients leach into the soil and are absorbed by the plant roots through osmosis.
What sets Osmocote Fertilizer apart from the others?
Osmocote fertilizer has a coating of polymers over the prill. The porosity of the polymer changes with the temperature. Warmth and moisture enlarge the pores, releasing higher levels of nutrients, correlating with the growth spurts associated with plants in warm weather. The unique formulation of the shell causes the pores to open in warm temperatures and tighten when the soil cools. The timing of the nutrient release is ideal for plants when they need it the most. Fewer nutrients are released in cool weather when plant growth slows. Osmocote fertilizer formulations are made with varying thicknesses of the polymer layer, which regulates the release of nutrients and micronutrients.
How is Osmocote fertilizer administered?
Each formulation of Osmocote fertilizer comes with instructions on the packaging. The general recommendation is to sprinkle Osmocote fertilizer in the garden at a ratio of one scoop per four square feet of soil. Sprinkle the prills onto the top of the soil at planting. Mix the prills gently into the top layer. Osmocote fertilizer may be administered every four to six months during the growing season. You may adjust the amount of fertilizer following the needs of the crop, but do not overfertilize. Less fertilization is needed when soil temperatures remain cool. Osmocote fertilizer is most effective when it is mixed into the soil and still provides plant nutrients. You may, however, apply it as a topdressing without mixing it into the soil, but it will not be as effective. You may also place Osmocote in a hole, with soil over the top, and the plant placed directly above the fertilizer. Osmocote fertilizers release nutrients into the soil slowly when temperatures outside are below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In temperatures above 85 degrees, the prills degrade more quickly into the soil, offering longevity of three months instead of four. It is worth noting that some formulations are delivered in varying amounts and ratios. It’s wise to read the label of each product for specific application instructions as it could differ from one plant type to another.
What are the types of Oscmocote products?
Osmocote fertilizers come in three main formulations, and several variants or special purpose formulas. The first type is Osmocote Classic, which is the original formulation. It is used for everyday gardening purposes for plant nourishment. The formulation is 19 percent nitrogen, 6 percent phosphorus, and 12 percent potassium. The second formulation is the Osmocote Plus formulation, with micronutrients added. This type is recommended for annuals and fast-growing plants, often used in nurseries. The third type is the Osmocote Pro N-P-K formula which is recommended for woody and herbaceous plants with large amounts of micronutrients, in a similar formulation. SF Gate adds that there are Osmocote products for indoor and outdoor use. Each formulation offers specific nutrient ratios to cover a broad spectrum of applications.
Osmocote Outdoor and Indoor Smart Release
This formulation is the original 19-6-12 mix that is used for general-purpose plant fertilization for indoor and outdoor plants. It is highest in nitrogen, as indicated by the first number, with the second, the percentage of phosphorus, and the third is the amount of potassium in the mix. These formulations are ideal for plants during their growth periods as nitrogen enhances the growth of leaves and new shoots. It is recommended for use in foliage plants. It may also be used in planters for indoor plants.
Flower and Vegetable Smart Release
This Osmocote fertilizer formulation is made for flowers and vegetables. This fertilizer grade is 14-14-14, with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Flowers and vegetables require more phosphorus for putting on blossoms, and vegetables require the blend for putting on and growing fruit. The recommended application is to add 3 tablespoons per four square feet of garden soil or you may administer one teaspoon for each four-inch plant. The blend is commonly used for flowering perennials in the spring and again in the fall. It may also be applied to trees and shrubs. Apply three tablespoons for every two feet of branch spread. It is worth noting that tomatoes and other heavy fruiting crops may require an additional tablespoon of Osmocote fertilizer. Onions and carrots, along with smaller vegetables, only require three tablespoons of Osmocote fertilizer for every ten linear feet of garden space. This blend supports top growth in plants during the growing season.
Osmocote PotShots Plant Food Nuggets
This is yet another formulation of 15-8-11. The fertilizer is made specifically for use in container plants. It comes in nugget form, consisting of clumps of prills with their outer casing of the porous polymer material. The PotShots Nuggets need only be applied once every nine months. The nuggets degrade more slowly than individually coated prills. Application recommendations can vary, depending on the container size, and the variety of plants used. They recommend that you follow the directions printed on the label for the best results. This formulation contains additional nutrients including molybdenum, sulfur, manganese, magnesium, boron, and iron. These micronutrients are in addition to the 15 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorus, and 11 percent potassium.
Osmocote Bloom, 2-3M
This formula is a specialty fertilizer. It is made for plants growing in small containers, bearing a production time between six to twelve weeks. The prills contain NPK plus essential micronutrients with resin coating. This formula is ideal for blooming plants.
Osmocote Bloom, 5-6M
Osmocote Bloom, 5-6M is made for plants in small containers that have extended production times. The prills contain essential micronutrients with NPK Osmocote Blue-Max, 2-3M is a specialty fertilizer that features E-Max Release technology in a polymer-coated prill. It delivers essential micronutrients along with aluminum sulfate. This fertilizer is specific fertilizer for hydrangeas that enhances the brilliance of the color blue in certain species.
Osmocote CalMag, 3-4M
Osmocote CalMag 3-4M also features the E-Max polymer coating. The prill has magnesium and calcium with other micronutrients. This formula is designed specifically for low pH growing media.
How is Osmocote stored?
Proper storage of Osmocote fertilizer is essential to prevent its degradation. Keep Osmocote in a cool, dry place for storage. Rainfall and temperature can impact the effectiveness and quality of Osmocote pellets. Exposure to excessive heat and humidity may cause Osmocote to release nutrients, rendering it less potent.
What are the benefits of Osmocote fertilizer?
Osmocote fertilizer offers multiple benefits for growers. It delivers controlled release amounts of fertilizer into the soil, including micronutrients plants require to grow and thrive, including manganese, zinc, copper, and iron. It is available in various formulations and reduces the chances of fertilizer burn for more sensitive plants. It releases the most nutrients when the soil is at a cooler temperature compared to other fertilizers. Osmocote has been in use for over fifty years and has a proven track record as an effective fertilizer to enhance plant health. It’s a trusted product in the agricultural industry with a reputation for quality and safety. Osmocote delivers nutrients to the roots of the plants for fast absorption. Osmocote’s Smart Release technology is designed to work with the growth cycle of the plant. This information is supplied by Planters Place. Osmocote fertilizer works with nature. It delivers the nutrients that are needed. The delivery system ensures that plants receive them at the right time in the growth cycle.
Is Osmocote safe for the environment?
Osmocote fertilizer features a polymer shell, which may elicit concern for some naturalists. The good news is that the polymer consists of a biodegradable resin. It melts slowly into the soil over time, delivering healthy nutrients to the roots of the plant. Osmocote fertilizer is water-soluble and degrades into the soil. The resin does not remain in the soil. After the nutrients in the prill have been delivered, it further degrades leaving no residue. The resin is made of linseed oil, which is a natural ingredient. This product is designed to work in sync with nature. Osmoccote fertilizer has been tested for multiple decades in various climates and soil conditions throughout the globe. Osmocotes degrading prills usually leave no waste products.
Is Osmocote an organic fertilizer?
The answer is no. Osmocote is not an organic fertilizer. According to the official website, Osmocote offers all the benefits of organic fertilizer, but it does not meet the established standards for this classification. Plants cannot use nutrients in their organic forms. The fertilizer must be broken down into inorganic nutrients. It’s the only way that plants can absorb them. Osmocote fertilizer does contain organic ingredients, but the process involved in breaking them down into an absorbable form renders the products inorganic.
Is Osmocote fertilizer the right choice for all gardeners and farmers?
Osmocote fertilizer is available for sale in various products. The product lines are diversified to cover a broad spectrum of applications. While it is a time-tested product of high quality and reasonable effectiveness, it is not the best choice for all gardeners and farmers. Some prefer using the controlled release prills, but Osmocote fertilizer is higher in price than comparable brands that offer similar nutrients for plants. It is not the most broadly used fertilizer as many choose to keep costs down with more affordable options for larger farming and nursery operations.
Osmocote fertilizer is a trusted brand that has been in use for more than fifty years. It has proven its value for enhancing the health of crops that require a boost of nutrition in the form of fertilizer. One of the outstanding features of Osmocote fertilizer is that it delivers nutrients over time, in a controlled release format. This helps to ensure that plants receive the nutrition necessary to help them grow at an enhanced rate through their various life cycles. Osmocote fertilizer is compatible with many plants. Special-purpose formulas nourish plants in a range of different formulations. Osmocote is not an organic fertilizer. We must explain that organic material can’t be absorbed by plants for nutritional purposes. Osmocote does use organic ingredients, however, they must be broken down to make the nutrients available for plants. the decision to use Osmocote lies mostly in its stellar reputation as one of the best, but it comes at a higher price than many comparable brands, so far as the nutrient content goes. Osmocote does stand out as a premium product because of the patented controlled release technology it employs. Osmocote offers multiple product choices to cover the gamut of plant fertilization needs. It is less likely to cause fertilizer burn than most other products. Osmocote is a versatile plant food offering multiple applications. It supplies nutrition for everything from indoor plants to outdoor crops. We hope that our guide to Osmocote fertilizer has helped acquaint you with this product and its many uses.