Agriform planting is a method of fertilization used by gardeners and farmers. Osmocote is a brand name recognized with this type of fertilization. Using this method allows for the elimination of measuring fertilizers while providing proper nutrient levels to plants.
Agriform is a slow-release fertilizer contained in tablets. Each tablet is formulated with a 20-10-5 measurement of plant food. Nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with the order listed also being the order of the measurement contained in the tablet. Look for tablets to be available in quantities of 1,000 10g packages or 500 21g packages. Identify the capsules as a resin-coated sphere containing the nutrients.
Application to the soil allows granules to absorb moisture in soil temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The coating swells to accept moisture but will not break. Moisture mixes with the nutrients, and through osmosis these nutrients are released into the soil.
Use of Agriform planting by farmers dates to the 1980s. Sierra Chemical developed Agriform technology, which was acquired by W.R. Grace with the formation of the Grace-Sierra Horticultural Products Company. The Scotts Company acquired the technology in 1994; this development led to mass marketing and use of Agriform planting by home gardeners as well as farmers.
Calculate the number of tablets required per plant by using a measurement of one tablet per gallon container for slow-growth plants; double this measurement for faster-growing plants. Dig the hole for the plant root ball and add 1 inch of water to dampen the soil. Backfill to the proper planting depth for the root ball to the middle of the root ball. Place the tablets between 1 inch to 2 inches from the root ball, spacing them evenly around the plant. Fill the rest of the hole and continue maintenance according to the plant species. Drill holes around established plants to a depth of 8 inches. Follow the directions on the tablet package to provide proper dosage to the plant.
Soil bacteria provide for the gradual release of the nutrients. Plant roots surround the tablet to gain the nutrients within. Placing the tablets below the roots is ineffective because the roots need to grow down to the tablet to get to the nutrients. Use a single dose to feed plants up to two years.