Colman Warde Dip Hort, BASIS, FACTS – ICL Country Manager for Ireland
Launched in 1967, Osmocote was Europe’s first controlled release fertilizer (CRF). In the intervening 40 plus years we have pioneered new generations of this safe and reliable coated fertilizer culminating in our sophisticated 4th generation product - Osmocote Exact Hi.End – ideally suited to spring and autumn potting of container nursery stock (CNS). Delivering the first programmable release of nutrients, Osmocote Exact products can be used to tailor nutrient release more closely to the specific needs of CNS crops grown in Ireland.
Meanwhile for bedding plants grown in small pots and trays, our mini granular product - Osmocote Bloom - simply and efficiently provides the complete nutritional package while optimizing uniformity and finished crop quality.
Dual coating makes Osmocote Exact unique
Osmocote Exact Hi.End employs dual coating technology (DCT). A second waxy coating delays the start of release by 2-3 months culminating in greater release in the second growth phase, when plants need it.
DCT provides a highly efficient means of matching release to the plants’ nutritional demands. By varying the proportion of dual coating, we can tailor the release pattern. Following extensive pan-European trials and testing, we also know exactly how each product releases according to temperature.
Raft of benefits
Osmocote Exact Hi.End delivers several tangible benefits as the release pattern closely matches the plant’s demand for fertilizer. As a result, plants grow better as they get the nutrients they require at any given growth stage while nutrient leeching is minimized making it the most environmentally friendly CRF on the market in Ireland today.
Promoting optimum uniform growth, overall plant quality is improved. Meanwhile, pest and disease pressure is lower as plants are more vigorous. Customer satisfaction is high as thanks to the continued nutrient release plants retain their high quality after purchase.
In comparison, other CRF brands tend to be less sophisticated – equivalent to our earlier Osmocote 2nd generation range. These products tend to have a stated release period, such as 12-14month, but no details regarding the actual release pattern. So this could mean a fast initial release, with the potential to inhibit root development, with a slow down towards the end of the crop leading to leaf yellowing impacting on quality.
Removing the guesswork
Here at ICL (formerly Everris) we take the guesswork out of nutrition programme planning using our award-winning AngelaWeb 2.0 precision nutrition programme. Covering over 960 different CNS and pot and bedding species, our skilled advisors generate specific Osmocote recommendation tailored to individual nurseries based on their local climatic data.
Generally, the cooler maritime climate here in Ireland means fertilizer release is slower than elsewhere in continental Europe. Taking in to account the local temperature data, AngelaWeb will produce a simple graph showing the release pattern for a specific Osmocote Exact product based on potting time and the sales period. Several different longevities and rates can be compared to pinpoint the most efficient programme for a specific crop.
In the case of CNS, simply switching from Osmocote Exact standard (12-14month) to Osmocote Exact Hi.End (8-9month) can result in better growth and quality at sale. Providing an integrated fertilizer boost, the Hi.End product also saves time and money spent on additional water soluble fertilizer applications during production.
Osmocote Bloom tailored to bedding plants
Another topical product from our extensive range is Osmocote Bloom, tailored to the specific needs of bedding plant crops grown in small pots and cells. Containing NPK in a 2:1:3 ratio, along with magnesium and all the necessary micro elements, Osmocote Bloom promotes uniform condensed growth. 100% coated, these mini granules have a pre-defined longevity of 2-3 months – perfect for crops with a short production cycle.
Easy to use, at full rates Osmocote Bloom provides the complete nutrition package with no need for water soluble fertilizers. Safe and reliable, it also helps improve shelf life – a genuine bonus during the trade and consumer phases leading to happy customers and repeat orders.