Osmocote 274850 Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Food (Plant Fertilizer), 8 LB, Brown/A
Last updated date: October 17, 2019
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We looked at the top Garden Fertilizers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Garden Fertilizer you should buy.
Editor's Note October 23, 2019:
Checkout The Best Garden Fertilizer for a detailed review of all the top garden fertilizers.
With 11 different nutrients packed in, Osmocote 274850 Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Food (Plant Fertilizer), 8 LB, Brown/A is a great way to get nutrients to your plants. This fertilizer works for both indoor and outdoor plants, making it a solution you can use for all your gardening projects. Its no-burn formula also means you can use it in the hottest summer months without issue.
In our analysis of 27 expert reviews, the Osmocote Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Feed indoor and outdoor potted plants for up to a full 6 months with Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor. This is our best formula, and it is fortified with 11 essential nutrients. It works with virtually all plant varieties, in all growing conditions. Plus, we offer our no-burn pledge when you use Osmocote as directed.
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Our Expert Consultant
Home Improvement Expert
Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.
Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.
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An Overview On Garden Fertilizers
Building a healthy garden means giving Mother Nature a little extra help. Planting the right items for the amount of sunlight a specific area gets is an important first step, but you’ll also have to occasionally water your plants to make up for dry spells.
Another way to give your garden a little boost is through the use of fertilizer. The right kind of fertilizer will provide your plants with a hefty dosage of nutrients that promote healthy growth. But not all plants need the same nutrients, so it’s important to match the fertilizer you use to the type of garden you’re trying to grow.
Home improvement expert Vicki Liston recommends conducting a soil test before purchasing your fertilizer. “Simply dumping nutrients onto a patch of land and crossing your fingers is like playing darts drunk and blindfolded — there’s a high likelihood the pointy end won’t be close to the bullseye,” says Liston, host of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning show with fun project tutorials. “Most county extension centers will conduct low to no-cost soil tests that tell you the pH and nutrient levels. You can also purchase a test kit for yourself.”
Many pet owners have concerns about their furry friends ingesting fertilizer in the days following application. Although the nutrients in fertilizers are generally safe for animal consumption, your pet could get sick if your chosen fertilizer has insecticide as part of the formula. The most dangerous types of insecticides have been reduced by EPA regulations, but it’s always a good idea to keep your pets away from fertilized areas.
One major factor differentiating various fertilizers is their application. Some fertilizers come in traditional bagged form, which means you scoop the contents out and settle them into the desired area. There are also spray fertilizers, giving you a bottle you use to spray every week or two. There are also fertilizer stakes, filled with the desired nutrients that autorelease intermittently.
Buying fertilizer to help save dying plants may not be a good idea. Fertilizers will work only if the reason your plants aren’t growing is that they aren’t getting enough nutrients. Your plants may also be exposed to the wrong amount of sunlight or water, or it could simply be that your garden is too close to tree roots that are competing for growth in the same space.
Organic fertilizers have become a popular option in recent years. These fertilizers eliminate chemicals and odors for a safer way to promote plant growth. You’ll find organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients like insect excrement, while inorganic fertilizers are manmade.
The Garden Fertilizer Buying Guide
- Nutrients are probably the first thing to look at when choosing a fertilizer. Some options use earthworm castings that are absorbed in two different forms: one immediate and one in a time-release method that continues to provide nutrition. The water-soluble nutrients in this fertilizer are richer than they were when the earthworms ingested them, putting it among the best plant food you’ll find.
- After you’ve completed the soil test mentioned in our Buying Guide, look for a fertilizer that replenishes the nutrients your soil is lacking. “Garden fertilizers will show you the percentage of a nutrient on the bag, always in the same order,” says gardening pro Liston. “First nitrogen, then phosphorus, then potassium. For example, a 100-pound bag with the numbers 10-20-10 is telling you that it has 10% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus and 10% potassium.” Shop accordingly for a fertilizer that has your garden in mind.
- Some companies make fertilizer spikes for specific plants or veggies.
- Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food brings 11 different essential nutrients to your plants. The coating on the granules allows water to make its way in, dissolving the nutrients to allow them to seep into the soil.
- The castings in Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Organic Fertilizer are filled with plenty of healthy bacteria, which boosts plant growth.
- In addition to the nutrients they provide, the castings from earthworms improve soil structure, which helps the roots of your plants will grow faster. The material in the castings has the ability to absorb just the amount of water the plant roots need.
- As convenient as it would be for all fertilizer to promote every type of garden or plant, it simply doesn’t work that way. Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Organic Fertilizer works for both vegetable crops and plants, including flowers. Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder + 1-lb All Purpose and Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food are similarly versatile, working for both indoor and outdoor plants.
- Even if you enjoy gardening, chances are you want a fertilizer that makes your job easier. Fertilizer spikes are one of the simplest methods. Traditional soil-based fertilizer require you to scoop them into place. Other come with sprayers, providing your garden with nutrients in just a few spritzes.
- Some spikes don’t do as well once they’ve been dampened above ground. That means you’ll need to keep them in the sealed bag and store them in a dry place until you’re ready to use them.
- If you’re in a hurry, you may want to steer toward fertilizers that go to work immediately. Time-release fertilizer means they take a little longer to start working. They continue feeding for eight weeks, though.
- The no-burn formulation of Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food means it’s safe to use on your plants even during those blazing hot summer months.
- Your own safety is also important. Nontoxic and odor-free fertilizers will give you a worry-free gardening experience.
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