“Dibbling” starts with digging a hole for the new plant. Next, add a pinch of soil. Set the plant in the hole directly on top of the mixture of soil and Osmocote. Dibbling produces better quality, faster–growing plants while using an estimated 20% less plant food than topdressing or mixing. There’s also no loss of plant food from spillage. Weed growth should be reduced as well because the nutrition is positioned to feed the plant’s roots. Dibbling is recommended when planting in beds.
Mixing is suggested when preparing an entire bed (say, for a vegetable garden), or when working with container plants. A mixture of Osmocote and growing media ensures nutrients are present as soon as the plant’s roots are able to absorb them. When re-potting, determine the correct amount of Osmocote required, fill the pot 2/3 of the way up the root ball, evenly sprinkle Osmocote on top of the new soil and then finish filling. Care should be taken not to damage the Osmocote granules, as that may reduce their longevity. Avoid storing a mixture of Osmocote and growing media longer than 7-10 days before planting. Otherwise moisture from the growing media will start to activate nutritional release.
Topdressing with Osmocote is possible at any time during the plant’s growth cycle. Topdressing means ‘broadcasting’ or ‘spreading’ the granules evently on top of the soil or growing media but without mixing it in. iIt is less effective than dibbling or mixing because the nutrition is less accessible to the plant’s root system. Irrigation is suggested to initiate the release process and to move nutrients to the root zone.
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