SARASOTA, Fla. -- When NASA scientists needed to support vegetable crops in space, they chose Florikan Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF). The partnership between NASA and Florikan ESA, LLC has led to the induction of the Sarasota, Fla.-based fertilizer company and its founder, Ed Rosenthal, into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.
Florikan was developed as a fertilizer product for nursery, agriculture, turf and landscape applications.
“Our goal was to create a consistent, precise fertilizer that would save growers time and money,” said Rosenthal. “I’m delighted that it’s led to this award, and honored by our partnership with NASA.”
NASA helped in the testing and development of polymer coatings for time-release fertilizers for growing plants. The Florikan Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF) supplied by Rosenthal and his team now helps NASA grow vegetables at the International Space Station.
According to Dr. Ray Wheeler, a plant physiologist with NASA, Florikan’s fertilizer helped NASA in the same way the product would work for more terrestrial users.
"Controlled or time-release fertilizers have advantages for both commercial and home users," said Wheeler. "With Florikan CRF, we now only require a single application, which can last for months. This technology avoids rapid release of nutrients typical for most conventional fertilizers, which can leach through the soil and even get into waterways."