Slow release fertilizers

Kelly Irvin
Sun, 22 Feb 2004 08:49:36 PST
Some tips for most successful use of slow release fertilizers with bulbs.

1. Release times are more in tune with those stated on the label if you 
incorporate the fertilizer in the mix as opposed to top dressing.
2. Choose one with a higher Phophorus lower Nitrogen ratio. They are 
harder to find but do exist.
3. Choose one which includes at least Iron as a minor nutrient.
4. Consider a lighter application if your N-P ratio is the same, but you 
will be losing some benefits of P.
5. As Jim S. has suggested, you are probably wasting fertilizer during 
dormancy period, maybe even encouraging rot if you can't keep your pots 
dry during the period, so you might choose one that is labeled to 
disperse the fertilizer completely by the end of the growth cycle. You 
can usually find these fertilizers labeled for 3, 6, 9, and 12 month 
    NOTE: I generally ignore this one in my practices, choosing the 9 or 
12 month, because I believe I can avoid overfertilization more 
successfully due to the improved coatings on these slow release types.

I seem to recall some company(ie)'s claim(s) that their slow release is 
not affected by temperature. If I find the information, I will post it 
(don't hold your breath, though).

Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> Dear Kathy,
> A number of people in the past have reported losing their bulbs from 
> Osmocote dumping too much at once.

Mr. Kelly M. Irvin
The Bulbmeister
4407 Town Vu Road
Bentonville, AR 72712

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6b


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