When NASA scientists needed to support vegetable crops growing at the International Space Station, they chose Florikan Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF). The partnership between Florikan ESA, LLC and NASA has led to the induction of Florikan and its founder, Ed Rosenthal, into the Space Technology Hall of Fame, during an awards ceremony held April 6 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Rosenthal’s quest to create an industry-leading fertilizer product for nursery, agriculture, turf, and landscape applications has resulted in an industry first for Rosenthal and his family-owned, Florida-based company.
“Our goal was to create a consistent, precise fertilizer that would save growers time and money,” Rosenthal said during the ceremony. “I’m delighted that it’s led to this award, and honored by our partnership with NASA.”
NASA helped in the testing and development of polymer coatings for time-release fertilizers for growing plants. The Florikan controlled release fertilizer supplied by Rosenthal and his team will now help NASA grow vegetables at the International Space Station.
According to Dr. Ray Wheeler, a plant physiologist with NASA, Florikan’s fertilizer helped NASA in the same way the product would work for more “terrestrial” users.
“Controlled or time-release fertilizers have advantages for both commercial and home users,” Wheeler says. “With Florikan CRF, we now only require a single application, which can last for months. This technology avoids rapid release of nutrients typical for most conventional fertilizers, which can leach through the soil and even get into waterways.”