Time Release/ Controlled Release fertilizers

I’d like to start a conversation about time release, controlled release fertilizers.

I’ve been looking at some fertilizers like Osmocote or even Aptus time release utilizing resin coated fertilizers to control the release of feed to the plant.

My own fertilizer evaluation shows Osmocote to be pretty good when comparing to other fertilizers, the thought of simply sprinkling in this type of feed and just watering it is very appealing, I had a few hundred plants last year and in a one man show its a bit time consuming when it comes to feeding plants. I guess I see the advantage when irrigating hundreds of plants

Before any trash talking begins, Osmocote has a veggie formula, and Aptus is “100%” organic based and is designed for canna production.

I’m just amazed how common CR/TR formulas are in the garden industry, typical indoor ornamentals have the CR/TR formula from the greenhouses. Alot of veggie and flower soils have contain this type feed.

Current cannabis paradigm:

Premium Cannabis Soil + Premium Cannabis Fertilizer & adjuncts like flower boosters, etc.


What is the NPK value of each one? Does it specify how long it takes to disolve?

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I have never played with these. This should be interesting.


Nectar for the gods has one called “One Shot” that has seen very good reviews. I’ve been running their other products for years with nothing but positive results.


I use Osmocote in my flower garden, but not on anything that I smoke (I’ve tried it before outdoors).
It’s next to impossible to flush the stuff. It will make your weed smoke like a charcoal briquette.


I’m 100% organic but I do notice that all my nursery-bought plants and shrubs have Osmocote pellets in the soil, it seems to be the industry standard. Of course I don’t believe in this :relaxed:

Espoma Plant-tone, tomato tone, etc. does a great job of extended release, it has a blend of short- and long-term release organic nutes. It works fine for top-dressing too.


You are correct @GrowerGoneWild, the vast majority of Nursery/ commercial growers of vegetables, annuals/perennials ornamentals, flowers (in my area) seem to use a time release type of fertilizer in their soil blends. I have noticed this trend more and more over the past several years.
I have never used any type of time release fertilizer for any of my plants, cannabis or non cannabis.
I am a control freak by nature, and like to administer what I think is the optimal amount of food with each watering/feeding!

However, recently I have been contemplating experimenting with some type of time release fertilizer for my non cannabis plants simply to save some time, as well as to satisfy my curiosity regarding the efficacy of TR type of fertilizer!

I do not know if I could ever relinquish control of my feeding regimen for my beloved ganja plants!


I think the pellets are good for low-maintenance, if you just want to plant a container and not fuss with it. You can tell when they run out, the plants need fertilizer right away. As the rootball compacts they sit in there and feed nutes until they’re gone. Plants stores don’t have the ability to keep adding fertilizer or mixing up liquid nutes for hundreds of small pots.


Depends on the formula and who makes it.

I would have to look at individual NPK formulas for each company.

Aptus Base Boost is 6-3-14, and that’s designed for canna.


Baseboost is a time-release 100% organic pellet fertilizer that provides complete nutrition for plant development for up to 3 months. Each application lasts 2-3 months and can be reapplied for longer cycles. It is special formulated with macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients, l-amino acids and bio-stimulants to enhance plant development over a period of time.


Awesome, NOTG rep has been getting growing these last few years., I like the time release concept for quick amending of soil, and its organic based with microbes… very cool!.. Thanks!.

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Yeah, that is a concern, I’m sure with proper timing, you can make it so osmocote is spent at the end of the bloom cycle.

But there are organic alternatives, the canna specific formulas seem to use typical organic materials, molasses, fishmeal, etc, just in a pellet form. I’m not sure if they are using typical polymer coated pellets, they look like compressed pellets, but I haven’t seen any of those up close.


Well no arguments here on how you feed your plants, I was thinking that a constant even feed is better for overall plant health, Without a doubt some plants need more at times, and I’d like to reduce the errors with over/under feeding with these time release fertilizers.

Well depends on store, a dedicated nursery store like Bells Nursery in anchorage does have fertilizer mix tanks, Some other box stores or typical interior plant care professionals run around with a pressurized tank for irrigation, and I’m sure liquid fertilizer could be added if the tank is designated for fertilizer.

But for cannabis grow op, all the rooms are plumbed with quick disconnect water fittings. I havent taken a close look at the plumbing to see if they have fertigation lines.

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You have hit on one of my primary concerns regarding the use of TR fertilizer for cannabis.
I am more worried about mixing in too much of the slow release fertilizer into my soil-less blend… because once the soil is too “hot”, how is it diluted easily?
I have very little worry about putting in too little of the TR nutrients in my medium, as this is easily adjusted.
I am a strong proponent of the “less is more” school of thought when it comes to feeding ganja plants. Plants have different food requirements as they grow and transition from vegetative growth to flowering. Environmental factors (temperature and/or amount of sunlight unobscured or obscured by clouds) may also determine how much more or less each individual plant needs.
Obviously the only way for me to find out is
to give the TR fertilizer a try and see how it goes.
It sure would save me oodles of time!


I prefer to only add nutes as required, I have had problems with seedlings over N& K p tends to be lower but I will digress I like to mix my depleted souls with ready mix and then test and adjust my mix. And don’t forget to adjust slowly. The directions on the packaging are generated by the people who want to sell you something, if your plants die from overfeeding (nutes burn) they gain by your having to start over


so as not to start a new thread

I will bring these one back from the dead

I was thinking of using Osmocote as a fertilizer

for flowering of my outside grow to cut down on work for me

but use a booster once or twice

anyone outside use a time release fertilizer ? if yes what?

thank you