slow-release or slowly soluble form of fertilizer.
A controlled-release fertiliser (CRF) is a granulated fertiliser that releases nutrients gradually into the soil (i.e., with a controlled release period). The slowness of the release is determined by the low solubility of the chemical compounds in the soil moisture. Since conventional fertilisers are soluble in water, the nutrients can disperse quickly as the fertiliser dissolves. Because controlled-release fertilisers are not water-soluble, their nutrients disperse into the soil more slowly. The fertiliser granules may have an insoluble substrate or a semi-permeable jacket that prevents dissolution while allowing nutrients to flow outward.