1980s and 1990s

Scotts’ trials in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, in 1998
Scotts’ trials in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, in 1998

1981 – Sierra introduces dibbling process

The dibbling process – a new way of applying Osmocote – is introduced by Sierra. This sees Osmocote deposited into a hole in the growing medium before the plant is then placed over the granules. This technique reduces the need to add Osmocote into bulk media and gives growers’ nursery operations more flexibility.

Osmocote Mini vs Osmocote Standard granules

1983 – Sierra introduces Osmocote Mini

Sierra introduces Osmocote Mini, which is one fifth of the size of a standard granule and which provides ten times the number of granules per unit weight. The granules are so small that good distribution can be achieved in volumes as low as 20ml – making Osmocote Mini ideal for plug production.

1983–1989 – Osmocote Pro, the second generation of coated fertilisers, develops over two phases

Trace elements are now incorporated into the Osmocote NPK pellets, enabling growers to make a single fertiliser application and giving the plant a micronutrient supply throughout the whole release period. This means that growers must no longer rely on the growing medium holding separate nutrients during the plant’s growth cycle. Moreover, 1985 saw the installation of a new coating line, Osmo6, in the Heerlen (Netherlands) factory. 

1989 – Grace-Sierra forms

Sierra’s two major shareholders retire and sell their shareholding to WR Grace & Co. A new organisation, Grace-Sierra, is formed. 

1994 – Scotts acquires Grace-Sierra

Another new era dawns as Scotts Professional buys Grace-Sierra and its technologies. The acquisition sees Scotts add Osmocote controlled release fertiliser technology along with other leading fertiliser brands, such as Peters, to its repertoire.

1995-1999 – Osmocote products continue to be refined

Osmocote products are trialled extensively. The insights gained from the results form the basis for the safe use of Osmocote products and for the further development of existing and new technologies. Such trials carried out during the 1990s set the stage for forthcoming innovations and helped growers to fine-tune their fertiliser programmes.


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