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Re: Osmocote

  • To: gardenchat@hort.net
  • Subject: Re: [CHAT] Osmocote
  • From: "Chapel Ridge Wal Mart National Hearing Center" 4042N15@nationalhearing.com
  • Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 16:54:43 -0600
  • References: <13303086.1115757376678.JavaMail.root@sniper5>

Jim, there do seem to be more Timed Release (TR) Fertilizers this year,
though in the past I've seen some other brands, like Schultz.  Some are
better than Osmocote. ( made by Scotts)

I checked Wal-Marts shelf and they carry 2 formulas of Osmocote (14-14-14)
and (19-6-12), both that feed 4 months.  They have a Miracle Gro 3 month
feed (10-10-10) that includes some sulfur.  And Expert Gardener, that looks
suspiciously like Osmocote (19-6-12) that feeds UP TO 6 months.  Only the
immediate release formulas include anything besides NPK (other than the
sulfur in MG).

When I have purchased Osmocote, I bought from their Sierra line which
includes minors.  I've also used Nutricote with minors.  None of the TR
stuff you find in the stores include minors and you're lucky if you even get
sulfur.   I asked our local Ag guy why it's hard to find a high P number
(for better roots and blooms) in the big bags and he explained that
nurseries (which are more likely to use bags than consumers)  don't want to
have to keep potting up to the next size when the roots outgrow them.

So this year we are using a new TR called Harrells.  I don't have the GA
with me but I think it is something like 19-12-14 and contains minors.  The
big difference between this and Osmocote is the coating.  Osmocote's coating
reacts to heat and moisture, releasing over a period of time, with  the
expectation that these catalysts are relatively consistent.  However, if the
weather plays havoc with your plans, constant rain can leach it and if you
don't water consistently and have hot temps, it can release and burn.
Conversely, if you have a cool summer, your plants don't get as many
nutrients.  The Ag guy also said you only actually receive 80% of whats in
the Osmocote types.    Harrells has a different coating which reacts only to
moisture (...or is it only to heat?...either way,...)  with only one
catalyst it is supposed to be easier to control.  And you get 100 % of the

One other thing, I have always noted more damaged particles in the shelf
products than I have with the bagged products.  Broken  particles make for
readu=ily available nutrients, too much of which can burn.

Lastly, I am no fertilizer expert; I'm pretty much parroting what the Ag guy
said, but I trust him.  I find fertilizer to be very mysterious.  I use
these formulas for container plants that are being sold or given away, but
for my garden I generally prefer natural items like kelp and alfalfa.  No
worries about burning.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "james singer" <islandjim1@verizon.net>
To: "Garden Chat" <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 2:35 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Osmocote

> Anyone else notice how many Osmocote knock-offs there are at you local
> nursery? Most are gray, but some are tan, just like the original. And
> the formulations are wide and varied, except most of them have high N
> numbers, 17 and up. P and K vary more--depending on what the knock-off
> is touted as, "bloom-buster" or whatever.
> Island Jim
> Southwest Florida
> 27.0 N, 82.4 W
> Hardiness Zone 10
> Heat Zone 10
> Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
> Maximum 100 F [38 C]
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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