Smartcote Feed & Forget

northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)November 23, 2011

Is anyone on this forum familiar with this product? If so, please let me know what you think of it. Last year because of lack of sunlight in the arable portion of my yard, I decided to grow quite a number of veggies in containers: snow peas, peppers, etc. I usually go 'green', but in containers with a limited supply of soil I decided to use Smartcote Feed & Forget. Before the growing season started I needed to fertilize one of my indoor plants, and having run out of granular Plant Prod, I decided, based on their description of its action based on moisture and temperature, to use some of it. I put about 1 tbsp. in a jar of water, expecting it would dissolve over time. Well, it has remained there in the house, outside in the garden over the summer, it even got frozen in the early fall, and the little pellets are still there in their original state. During this period I did several things: shaking vigorously, adding warm water, putting it in the sunlight and nothing happened. I had also added some of it to each of my containers and last week on checking, I found many undissolved pellets, some of them presented as clear pellets with liquid which came out when the pellet was squished. So I am wondering, does this really work? Moreover, the website listed on the jar is non-existent, and I cannot find anything related to the product from the mufacturer (Sure-Gro IP Inc). There are several endorsements and suppliers (Canadian Tire, etc), but no-one to contact. After using this product for a few weeks and noting no real progress, I decided to use PlantProd granular water soluble fertilizer and I believe that was responsible for my harvest of peppers. Any users?

Thank you.

P.S. Please do not chide me for not using organic methods. I reserve that for the earth, not containers.

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have never heard of the product name, but you have given a good description of the action of a timed release fertilizer. I have been using various brands in my containers for twenty years, buying in 50lb bags. If they did not work I would save the $70 per bag I am now paying. Al

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 8:35AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

That is exactly what it is. In this instance it is referred to as a "Controlled Release Fertilizer', but it seems to me its 'releasing' component is mis-firing. I just bought a small jar (350 g), but on closer inspection I see that the manufacturer is Canadian in Ontario, so perhaps it's not available in the U.S. If it does not dissolve in a jar of water, under different conditions, I see no reason why solution would be triggered when it's mixed into the top 1/2 inch of soil of a regularly watered container. I'll see if I can find information on some US brands. Thanks for your reply.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 9:40PM
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abnorm(Orlando)

Osmocote is a popular brand of CRF in the USA......here's some info that describes the product (and the Link):

""Osmocote....... The Original Slow Release Plant Food! Osmocote is The Smart Plant Food - it works on the principle of osmosis, which is how the product gets its name. Osmocote prills absorb moisture from the soil, causing them to swell into plump capsules of liquefied plant food.

The nutrients are then slowly released through the prill's special coating to the plant's root zone through osmosis. This constant supply of nutrients promotes more beautiful plants. And because the nutrients are encapsulated, they will not wash away ........ no matter how much it rains or how often your garden is watered.

You may, at times, find the outer shell of the prill's special coating in your soil. There's no need to be concerned .........this is normal. Once the Osmocote feeding process has taken place, the nutrients have been completely released to the plant. The outer shell will remain a bit longer and will gradually break down in your soil over time.""

doug

Here is a link that might be useful: Osmocote

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 6:35PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Doug, thanks for your information. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for in relation to Smartcote, but was unable to find any contact information or web site for the product. This is probably the way it is supposed to function, but I do not think it is up to scratch. I have also used some in my house plants, about six months ago, and they are still there, still look the same. I will try to see if Osmocote is available in Canada. It's so much easier to just have to water with the hose during those rather hot summer days.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 12:46AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

As doug explained so well, do not expect the empty prill to disappear at least not in the short term. The fertilizer release is dependent on both temperature and moisture, as the plant will need more food at a higher temperature. Commercially CRF is available in a wide choice of NPK,(I use the 18-6-12)and length of release at a set temperature, most times 70F. For my use I use a 9 month release. Most garden center products I believe are 3 to 4 months. This will mean that you should consider replenishing on this schedule for most house plants. Al

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 9:19AM
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