Freakout Looming... what is this!?!

Sugi_C(9a)February 14, 2013

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I have a pot of some houseplants -- money tree, lucky bamboo, etc. all potted together.
The other day, I found a little plasticky looking ball and picked it out while talking to my boyfriend without giving it much thought. But then today, I ended up lifting some of the mulch rocks to see if there were more, and crap - there's more.

Please tell me these are some kind of creepy looking fertilizer balls and not eggs about to hatch in my home!!?!!

I did a massive Google search and the opinions vary -- they're slug/snail eggs, but not really. They're slow-release fertlizers -- but not really.

The soil was Miracle-Gro and this particular pot, I don't believe I mixed anything but some peat moss in it.

I found two today on top of the soil and popped one. Screamed like a little girl and dropped it in the sink. It's rather hard on the outside but it can be popped -- and some liquid squirts out. This is most definitely not Osmocote, or any kind of Osmocote I've used which are hard granules, to my knowledge.

Please, please, please say some kind of fertliizer?

But you'd think they'd make it NOT look like eggs of common gardening pests....

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there really isnt this much drama in gardening..

its a fertilizer ball.. otherwise known as osmocote...


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Osmocote POPS, Ken?
Back when I used Osmocote, I could have sworn they are hard balls. Same size, but not poppable.

Haha, okay - drama over. So long as I don't have to picture slugs climbing out of all of my pots during the night, I am good to go.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:54PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

osmocote is sold.. applied.. as hard balls ..

as you water.. they start attracting water.. as all fertilizer does ... and when a certain temp is hit.. it releases its first time release ..

all very magical ...

then it attracts more water.. and when the coating hits the right consistency.. it releases again ...

it is really a greenhouse product.. and IMHO ... not for the home .. unless you have 10,000 pots to care for..

at home.. you would be just as well served with any water soluble fertilizer [read that: the cheaper the better] .. used at half strength ...


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Oh! Thank you, Ken!
Yah, I have not used Osmocote since way back when I had about a 1/3 acre garden. I guess I never really dug up the soil out there to see what became of them, and it's not as shocking to see these eggs when you recall laying them down yourself.

Finding it in soil in a pot in your home when you most certainly didn't put it in there, haha, was a different story.

Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The little slow release prills have micropores on their surface, enabling them to absorb moisture. Ever notice that those prills are of slightly different sizes? The thicker the coating, the longer it takes for one to absorb enough liquid to burst open. Thus, a dose of Osmocote will provide fertilizer over an extended period of time.

I totally disagree with ken about this product not being suitable for home use. SRFs are fine for houseplants or outdoor containers. With the fool proof directions on the container, it's very difficult to over or under fertilize. That's true whether you have 10 or 10,000 containers to worry about.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:49PM
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I actually prefer to use prilled outside, with the slow release you are far less apt to have run-off at the rates you would using it in a solution. It also has the distinct advantage of releasing MORE active ingredient in hot weather when the plant is active in transpiration. When I used it in greenhouse applications, and the soil was cool and moist in winter, and I needed it in the leaves, I'd have to supplement with foliar applications of liquids.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I like to use it outside, too, for the same reasons.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 5:39AM
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Thank you, guys.
With the houseplants, I just use liquid fertilizer as needed. As this is my first time "balcony gardening" -- I may just use that and compost if my numbers stay manageable.

Clearly, with these pellets being in the soil already, I don't need to think about what to do for a little while! :-)

I'm just thankful and relieved I won't have super slugs hatching in my soil.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 5:06PM
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