Fertilizer Capsules – Identifying in Soil

Q: I’d like to know if the tiny eggs that I see embedded in a pot of soil make it unsafe to plant there. I’m assuming that these yellowish eggs are from spiders. I don’t want to simply throw out the good enriched soil. Are they waiting to hatch? Should I get rid of them?

A: Are you sure the round balls are eggs? My bet is that they are fertilizer capsules. Check to see if I’m right by mashing a ball between your fingers. You can use pliers if you’re squeamish. If the ball is hollow and a little clear liquid squirts out, it is a fertilizer capsule. Growers commonly fertilize their container plants with encapsulated nutrients. The plastic around a granule of fertilizer releases the chemical over an extended period of time. Although slow-release fertilizers are expensive they save growers lots of money in labor costs.

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