The Old Ways and New Beginnings Of Agriculture

Smart-Release Plant Food: What Gardeners Need To Know

by Aubrey Owens

Good soil makes healthy plants, but not all soil is suitable to produce productive, strong plants. When the soil is lacking necessary nutrients, fertilizers help the plants get the nutrients needed.

The problem with fertilizers is knowing how much to add and when. This is where a good slow-release fertilizer comes in to help. Before using this type of fertilizer, it's important to understand what it is and how it works.

What Are Slow-Release Fertilizers?

Slow- or smart-release fertilizers have the same types of fertilizers as immediate release types. The difference is smart-release plant food feeds the plants slowly, giving them a steady amount of nutrients.

To aid in the slow release, most smart-release plant food is coated with a resin or other coating that allows the food to break down slowly. Different elements aid in the breakdown, like heat, sunlight, microbes in the soil.

Can Slow Release Be Used On All Plants?

Smart-release plants foods are suitable for all types of plants, even houseplants, and just about every fertilizer company offers its own brand of slow-release foods.

When choosing the slow-release variety, choose the product based on the NPK ratings and what plants you intend to feed. Some plants require more of a certain nutrient than others.

  • Fruiting and flowering plants often need more phosphorous
  • Turfgrasses often need a higher ratio of nitrogen
  • Vegetable gardens often need more calcium and magnesium

It's important to read the product label so that you choose the best smart release plant food for the type of plants you grow.

How Often Should I Use Slow-Release Fertilizers

Since slow-release fertilizers take time to completely break down, they feed longer than regular fertilizers. This means you can wait longer between feedings.

For example, lawns typically require feeding every four weeks, but using a slow-release type means you can wait up to 8 weeks between feedings.

Both regular and smart-release fertilizers work the same. The main difference is the smart-release plant foods continue to work over time. The plants are given the nutrients all at once, so you have to come back and feed every couple of weeks.

With the smart release, the fertilizer continues to work, even without you, for longer. So, you don't have to feed them as often. Slow-release plant food is ideal for those who don't want the hassle of feeding often. These plant foods work even when you can't be there.

Contact a supplier of smart-release plant food, such as liferocks, for more information.