Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Controlled slow release, water-insoluble nitrogen, urea formaldehyde, sulfur-coated urea. These terms describe fertilizers that release nutrients to plants over an extended period of time as opposed to old-fashioned, quick release fertilizers. The advantage of quick release fertilizers is price – but it may be a false savings as they can burn plants and in heavy rainfalls, you can lose nutrients to leaching and run off and possibly pollute nearby waterways.
We homeowners can almost always justify the extra cost of using a slow-release formulation. It guarantees that with one application of fertilizer, our container plants, our vegetable garden, an landscape have a steady supply of all the nutrients and at the ratio they need for an entire growing season. Good garden stores can order different blends so you can tailor your fertilizer to what your soil tests recommends.