It essential that your choice of fertilizer provides sufficient nutrients for optimum plant growth throughout the growing cycle of your nursery crop. There is a wide variety of fertilizer release rates for ornamental nursery crops from 3-4 mos. up to 18 mos. Application rates should increase with longer longevity durations.
Benefits of Controlled Release Fertilizers
Some benefits of using controlled release fertilizers are:
- Reduced labor with fewer applications of material.
- Less nitrogen-burn from rapid nitrification during excessive rain periods.
- Reduced loss of nutrients from leaching.
- Availability of nutrients over the growing season.
Advantages of Topdressing
Topdressing with controlled release fertilizer will place the material above the root system and allow watering to release the nutrients directly into the root system. Incorporating fertilizer into the soil mix may be easier with expensive machinery but places some of the nutrients below the root system not to be utilized for plant growth.