Scotts Professional’s second-generation controlled-release fertilizers like Osmocote continue to be a popular choice for greenhouse crops. But growers are still concerned about the relative ease with which surface-applied, controlled-release fertilizers can be wasted due to spillage.
High winds, storms or gusts from an air-blast sprayer can knock over container nursery stock, causing surface-applied fertilizer prills to scatter on the ground. Now, Scotts has developed a new controlled-release fertilizer, Osmocote with Fusion Technology.
Fusion Technology securely binds Osmocote fertilizer to growing media for a “no-spill prill.” After the fertilizer is surface applied and watered in, an innovative polymer compound forms a web-like adhesive matrix that does not interfere with the release of nutrients to the plant. This matrix bonds the fertilizer prills to each other and to the surface of the growing media. Re-wetting the growing media through subsequent irrigation maintains the Fusion activity, ensuring the fertilizer will stay in place for an extended period of time.
“In a nursery setting, it’s inevitable some containers will be knocked down,” says Chris Buchheit, marketing manager of ornamental horticulture fertilizers for Scotts. “Because Osmocote with Fusion Technology stays in pots even after they’ve been toppled over, far less fertilizer is lost due to spillage. This reduces both the amount of fertilizer growers need to purchase and the amount of money spent on labor for reapplication.
“Perhaps most important, plants continue to get the nutrition they need throughout their growth cycles, resulting in a quality product that can demand a higher price at sale time.”
Fusion Technology is currently available in one formulation–Osmocote Pro 19-6-9 with Fusion Technology–in a five- to six-month longevity at 70°F. Depending on the crop being produced and the climate, this five- to six-month longevity may be able to deliver nutrition for an entire season, further reducing application and labor costs.
In the future, Scotts may make Fusion Technology available in additional Osmocote generations, formulations and longevities, providing growers with the ability to further customize their nutritional programs.
For more information about Scotts and its new technology, visit Scotts.com.