Good source of general purpose slow release (>4 month) fertilizer like Osmocote?

@Alan,
Here are some of the references my information was based upon:

Osmocote, Nutricote, and Polyon (three widely used PCF types) vary greatly in nutrient release characteristics. In a generalized sense, Osmocote quickly released nutrients, with a sharply declining trend in nutrient release over time; Polyon had a slower release, ramping up to its peak over about 50 days; and Nutricote had the most consistent release of the PCF tested. Choosing an appropriate PCF is important in optimization of nutrient supply.

Nutrient longevities (to 90% nutrient recovery) of Nutricote®, Osmocote®, and Polyon® were also studied under controlled conditions by Huett and Gogel (2000) at either 30 or 40 ∞C (86 to 104 ∞F) media temperature. They found that longevities of all formulations were considerably shorter than release periods designated by manufacturers. When examining 8- to 9-month longevity products, the general ranking of weeks to 90% recovery of N, K, or P was Nutricote® > Polyon® > Osmocote® regardless of media temperature.

I agree that differences may not be that significant in real life. I did notice that osmocote does not seem to be beneficial after couple of months. I addition, with repeated use, osmocote beads tend to accumulate.

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That’s strange, the chart I saw suggested the differences were minor by my reading. For some reason I can’t get a screen shot of it.

As far as release rates when soil temps are in the '90’s, that isn’t happening for people who mulch around their pots or bury them 2/3rds into the ground. If I wasn’t doing one or the other, I’d probably wrap them with bubble wrap if I was condemned to those summer temps on a regular basis. No matter what fertilizer you use, if the soil temps are getting that hot your roots are going to be fried on the sourthern side, vastly reducing the functional area inside the pot. Southern fried roots.

What difference does it make if beads tend to accumulate? It might even improve drainage. I’m still suspicious you are an agent of Florikan- it certainly has been a long time since you entered a conversation on this forum and you are pitching Florikan fairly hard. .

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Even Oregon State University recommends fertilizing just before fall. I normally add compost to my fruit tree hedge row in September. This is year I threw in some feather, alfalfa, kelp meal with some biochar and langebinite.

" Nitrogen or other macronutrients should be applied in the second year. Research indicates that applying fertilizers in August or early September maximizes nutrient uptake and is more efficient than late winter fertilization. Early season fertilization is often leached. Late summer to fall fertilization at the time of your last irrigation is taken more directly into the tree, helping to make healthy buds, spurs and shoots for the coming year without stimulating late growth."

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It’s not exactly unanimous as applied to commercial fruit growing, but it’s a good point. Mature fruit trees are mostly recommended to be fertilized in the spring and slow release fertilizers aren’t really the ticket to begin with- the trick is to give them a burst in spring at early fruit development and then back off before summer so you aren’t encouraging excessive vegetative growth. Either fall or early spring apps are generally the recommendation and I do both, only I do the fall apps in Sept, so they many happen in the last week or 2 of summer. Never caused a sudden rush of growth that early, even if Oct is unseasonably warm…

I use the slow release N on my nursery trees, not my established orchard trees. .

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@Alan, It is unfair to call me Florikan’s agent. I rarely post as I like to learn by reading posts from other members.
You asked a question and I was trying to answer that based upon scientific literature. If you don’t believe those articles, feel free to do what ever what you want to do.

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It’s just that your evidence didn’t seem to match what you said it was, but please don’t take offense. How do we know who the other person is on the internet… I’m not saying anything personal and I certainly am only a little suspicious because it happens quite a bit on this site, and in this case, I’m not seeing corroboration to your claims of the superiority of Florikan, but maybe I’m reading that chart wrong… all those lines are a bit confusing. .

Thank you for writing what you believe, which you are probably doing.

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I always took the superior comment regarding slow release and I would agree Florikan is the best slow release.
All the top fertilizers are very good. I base my judgement on my experience with these products. I learned long ago the only way I’m going to get good info is via the school of hard knocks. I have used Andersons, Florikan and HyRBrix and all three performed well. All really nice products if you ask me. Next time I buy it will be one of these products probably more based on price than canything else as they all work well in my experience.

I keep regular fertilizers around if a plants needs an immediate boost. I have found if done right slow release and organics produce great results and plants rarely need supplements. It works better for me. One should figure out what works for them. Nice to hear all the methods. Some good posts here thanks everybody!

Wow good info thanks for posting that! I’ll fertilize them now! I thought it was later. Reminds me of Farmer Fred’s 10 rules of gardening. One of them is “everything you know is wrong” Meaning best practice changes frequently! It sure does!

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I usely going along what Drew post, all good stuff! There is a lot I experiment with fertilizer but not willing to write about. I experiment with a lot of products.
I know enough of the most common fertilizers and be more careful with some not so common ones. FoxFarm is one of them, great stuff. So much excellent stuff available, it’s crazy, but I enjoy my plants and minny trees being so productive. For instance,a pomelo midget tree, about 20” tall, 24” wide carrying 5 big pomelos and healthy looking.
There are many many members on this forum that are excellent contributors, being helpful. Right now my interest are garlic and medium heat peppers, got some good info now, so thanks a lot guys. No tomatoes, have enough info on them. Don’t use a lot of them,grow just enough for our needs. I ordered a few to try last fall that sounded great, turn out average .

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I like FoxFarm too. No doubt their soils and fertilizers are great. I have to feed about 150 plants. So time and money are major factors. Fifty pounds of Florikan or Anderson is enough to do it. Cost is under $150.00. I can supplement too with organic fertilizer ,coffee grounds,compost and mulch. I’m willing to look for sales and buy another $100.00 of organic fertilizer. I use anything I can get cheap. Leaves, wood chips etc. I compost just about everything. I would rather spend my money on tools and improving the landscape, expanding or improving the garden. Like I’m using metal for raised beds and will never need to replace them again. I have ten raised beds and only replaced one so far. So I got some bucks to pay out yet!

A couple year ago you said you were going to experiment with your own urine- did your wife nix that idea.

Compost and urine pretty much covers the needs of the plants I grow for food, except for apples where I’m wary of all the K in my piss and in the mulch I use for nearby nursery trees. Too much of that may lead to corking and rots by way of restricting calcium absorption. I haven’t noticed it being a problem in the veg garden or with stonefruit.

No gardener I know gets better results by using purchased fertilizer than I do with this combination. However, after 30 years of enriching my vegetable garden with compost and mulch, I may have made the soil excessively colloidal to drain well enough for pepper plants when we have as wet a season as this has been. I type as it rains when I’d much rather be making money in someone else’s orchard. Way too much rain this year… it’s always something when you are a grower in the humid region.

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Which FoxFarm fertilizers do you use for fruit trees?

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The Japanese maple fertilizer or the citrus and avocado. The maple is good for evergreens and other acid loving plants. I actually wouldn’t use them as the price is prohibitive. I have too many plants and not enough money.

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If you use rainwater on your acid loving plants/trees you can use most any fertilizer even the ones for none acidic trees.

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I do try to use rainwater but sometimes I’m in a hurry or out of rainwater. Besides Hollytone I use peters for acid loving plants. It has most of the micros. Very few acid fertilizers do. More expensive then I like but results are very good.

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Sulfur is relatively cheap and compost has all the micros your plants are likely to need. What do you do with your garbage?

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I reuse everything. I always have sulfur on hand. Also lime sulfur. I do use compost a lot. I buy bagged and make as much as possible and since we have an app for free wood chips I definitely have them dump 5-10 yards every other year. Also soon Walmarts will heavily discount organic fertilizer. I have to watch for it but nice to get it 1/2 or more off regular price.

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When you (or anyone else) sees it, try to remember to share so we can keep a lookout!

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