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Plant nutrition in container grown crops is the driver of growth. Controlled release fertilizers provide a consistent, reliable, available nutrient stream targeted toward plant growth

Controlled Release Fertilizer

Technical Publications

Extension Publications

  • Evans, Dodge and Newman 2007. Nutrient management in nursery and floriculture. Describes the interaction of nutrients and irrigation in the nursery system to determine the fate of both and how best to minimize losses of each. RY Evans, L Dodge, and J Newman. U. of California and NRCS. Publication 8221.

General References

  • Bilderback. Table of suggested ranges and limits for nutrient standards. This is Dr. Bilderback’s table of magic numbers for container grown plants in southeast US. It contains the suggested ranges for growing plants optimally from mineral concentrations in foliage to leachate concentrations.
  • Bilderback. Nutrition and fertility of substrates. Dr. Bilderback discusses briefly the nutrients for plant growth and provides examples of their importance.
  • Bilderback. Getting the most from fertilizer dollars. Dr. Bilderback uses this annotated power point lecture to discuss in depth the importance of various nutrients, their rates, method of application, and effect of time of year to pot plants in containers.
  • Mathers 2010 A new look at fertilizer guidelines Nursery specific discussion about using CRFs in field production of shade trees. H Mathers NMPRO 2010.


Micronutrients and Limestone

Technical Publications

  • Cabrea and Lopez 2004 A leaf interveinal chlorosis-necrosis disorder in crape myrtle. A good finding that Zn deficiency may play a role in the dreaded crape myrtle chlorosis/necrosis we get in late summer. Raul I. Cabrera and R. E. Lopez. SNA RESEARCH CONFERENCE 49:90-93 (2004)
  • Ruter 2005 Effect of nickel applications for the control of mouse ear disorder on river birch. Importance of nickel in solving mouse ear or little leaf on river birch in 15 gallon containers. Provides an excellent history of the problem in hte introduction, and indirectly provides a great scaffold to use in detecting new problems on plants where the cause is unknown. J Ruter J. Environ. Hort. 23(1):17–20. 2005.
  • Tyler et. al 1993 Composted turkey litter: II. Effect on plant growth. Early work to show that alternative nutrient amendments (turkey litter) to controlled release fertilizer can provide all the necessary nutrients for growth but may reduce growth if added in high amounts. HH Tyler, SL Warren, TE Bilderback, and KB Perry. Environ. Hort. 11(3): 137-141. 1993.

Extension Publications

  • Altland. J 2006. Managing manganese deficiency in nursery production of red maple. A primer on micronutrients particularly manganese (Mn) in production. Discusses the affect of soil pH, uptake, cultural practices and mobility of Mn in red maple. J Altland. Oregon State University Extension Service. EM 8905-E March 2006.


Monitor Nutrients

Learn how to determine nutrient availability in containers, soil, and plant foliage using several different methods.





flags create a sampling scheme within a block Use flags to create a sampling scheme within a block (*imagine the block in the picture is a larger irrigation zone*)
3 gallon container Use 360 ml of water to pour-through a 3 gallon container to leach 50 ml
pouring through water for leaching Pour through 120 ml of water per gallon container size to leach 50 ml.
container grown plant sitting on plastic tray Use some sort of catch-can under the container to collect leachate.
pouring off leachate Pouring leachate into small container to reach 50 ml and measure EC and pH
Myron meter Myron meter to measure electrical conductivity
Hanna Pens Hanna Pens to measure pH and electrical conductivity
Hanna HI9813 meter Hanna HI9813 meter to measure pH and electrical conductivity
Buffers and standards to calibrate the measurement device Buffers and standards to calibrate the measurement device before conducting pour-through
Sachet standard to measure conductivity Sachet standard to measure conductivity 1413 us/cm
Buffer solution for calibrating pH. Buffer solution for calibrating pH. A pH 7.0 can also be used to calibrate if solutions are near this pH.
Availability of nutrients based on pH Availability of nutrients based on pH
chlorotic hydrangea Hydrangea missing both macro and micronutrients. Everything is chlorotic.