Coated fertilizers: General description and applications
The recent development of coated fertilizers by industry offers a promising new tool to regulate the availability of minerals for the nutrition of plants. The new controlled-availability fertilizers cannot be expected to replace the liquid-fertilization techniques now widely used in the production part of the ornamentals industry. However, they will be useful in promoting the rapid start of seedlings and cuttings, as a supplement to liquid-fertilization programs, and for producing short-term crops. It is now possible for the pottedplant producer to incorporate enough fertilizer in his mix to grow a 3-month crop to maturity with no further fertilizer additions. Likewise, landscape contractors will benefit from the new materials, which will assure adequate nutrition to new plantings for a prolonged period. Longevity of nutrient supply and a high degree of safety from injury by excess application should be important for home-grounds maintenance. Another possible benefit is to minimize the large flushes of growth associated with the use of soluble nitrogen sources on turfgrass.