Slow release fertilizers (SRFs) are products that are able to supply plants with nutrients for a period of several weeks. Unlike controlled release fertilizers (CRFs), slow release fertilizers do not use a coating technology to slow down the release of nutrients. They are based on minerals containing nutrients in longer molecules that need more time to break down. Unlike CRFs (that are only influenced by temperature), the release of nutrients from SRFs are influenced by temperature, water, soil pH and microbe activity.
In ornamental horticulture, slow release fertilizers are used to get a fast greening effect lasting for a few weeks. Also, SRFs may be used as starter fertilizers when balanced nutrition is needed for a couple of weeks. ICL offers slow release fertilizers for ornamental growers under the brand Osmoform®.
Benefits of slow release fertilizers
- Extended nutrient availability up to a few weeks
- Improved plant growth
- Reduced fertilizer applications
- Reduced risk of nutrient runoff and leaching
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