Sheridan Nurseries 10

Potted plant showing fertilizer

SENT WITH CARE
Plants are shipped out to garden centres with a sprinkling of slow release fertilizer (green beads) to help the plant during the first couple of weeks in its new home.

Special thanks to Sean Ewing, my informative tour host and patient hand model.

Close-up of potted plant showing green beads of fertilizer

3 thoughts on “Sheridan Nurseries 10

  1. Hello,

    Would you let me know where you buy mycorrhizal inoculant – or Myke?

    Thank you. And thank you for your informative article about the beads – I had no idea that plastics were involved in the slow release fertilizers.
    Would that be the case with Job sticks as well? They do read that they are organic – but…

    Laura

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    • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Lucy. You’ve got a good question. If you are trying to follow organic practices, you wouldn’t want to use slow release fertilizers. In order to slow down the release of nutrients into the soil, synthetic fertilizers are often coated with other substances, some natural, some not so much, like plastic. The fertilizer and coating combined can react, strictly speaking, in unhealthy ways for the soil and soil life. Keep in mind, though, that any harmful effects are increased the more product you use and the more times you use it. However, any fertilizer of this kind in any amount is not accepted when following organic standards whether you’re growing vegetables or ornamental shrubs and flowers.
      Meanwhile, nurseries want to do everything they can to keep their customers happy and that involves helping them through the process of getting the plant from the garden centre into the ground and through the crucial phase when the plant is settling into its new home. So the nurseries use slow release fertilizers. While the plant is still in its pot, that fertilizer isn’t doing much harm to anything. When I get my plants home, I simply brush off the beads and apply a mycorrhizal inoculant such as Myke to the root area before filling up the hole and then watering well during the first month.
      In my part of the world – Halton Region, Ontario – fertilizer is officially considered a Household Hazardous Waste Material so getting rid of unwanted slow release fertilizer simply means not dumping it into the garbage. Instead, keep a lidded container handy near your garden tools and just brush the beads directly into the container each time you bring home a new plant. Then drop off your filled container during your next dump, er, waste management site, run.

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