Osmocote can be applied by dibbling, mixing, topdressing or repotting.Dibbling involves drilling a hole in the soil, adding a specific quantity of Osmocote and then setting the plant directly on top. Dibbling produces better quality, faster–growing plants while using an estimated 20% less fertilizer than topdressing or mixing. Additional advantages include no loss of fertilizer through spillage, reduced weed growth and more uniform release of nutrients due to more stable temperatures in the center of the potting mix.
Mixing Osmocote through growing media before planting ensures nutrients are present as soon as plant roots are able to absorb them. Care should be taken not to damage the prills, as this may reduce their longevity. Growing media containing Osmocote should not be stored longer than 7-10 days. If stored longer, level the pile to prevent excessive heat buildup and waste.
Topdressing with Osmocote is possible at any time during the plant’s growth. It is ideal when plants are kept for a longer period than initially planned. Irrigation should provide complete and ample wetting of the prills to enable the release process and to move nutrients to the root zone.
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 then finish filling.