Putting miracle grow on seedlings



Putting miracle grow on seedlings

Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:09 pm

I have around 30 plants that started from seed. They are only about an inch long. But my mom heard on the radio that putting miracle grow on seedlings is a good idea......and in result, she put miracle grow on all of the seedlings.

Was that a good idea? They were growing just fine IMO.
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Francis Barnswallow
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Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:04 pm

Personally, I think that if you already have a nice potting mix or "seed starting mix", the Miracle Grow would not be necessary. If the growing medium for seedlings/transplants is too fertile (too much chemical fertilizer), that could do more harm than good.

I don't know if that was the case here, but you have to be careful with some media programs... they will often recommend the use of a particular product because they are sponsored ($$$) by that company. Sometimes good advice, sometimes not so good. :(
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farmerlon
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Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:26 pm

Sometimes, the excess of chemical fertilizers can burn tender seedling roots. People that do use them apply them at 1/2 or even 1/4 strength. Sometimes, people report over-vigorous and growth that results in spindly seedlings. Lowering the temperature could help slow down growth if you need to counter that. If the seedlings are in a sitituation where more light could be added, that may help the plants utilize the added nutrients better. Don't forget to supply air movement.

The goal is to grow stocky and sturdy seedlings. Height is not always a good measure.
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applestar
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Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:34 pm

Oooh... I heard that too, and immediately did research before I tried it because it seemed like one of those "too good to be true and if it was true why aren't all the farmers using it?"

This was really the best metaphor that I found and pretty much summed up the reason you don't do it

Miracle grow is fine for flowers, but a poor addition to a vegetable plant. It is equivalent to giving a two year old a pound of sugar to eat. The child is hyper and full of energy for two hours and bam, falls asleep, exausted. Miracle grow is too high in nitrogen and makes the plant mature too fast and makes the sexual cycle, or polination time shorter.


I found that quote here (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_Miracle_G ... ose_flavor) although if you do a simple search for "miracle grow and vegetables" you'll pull up much more scientific and fact-based research on the subject if you prefer.

Since vegetable plants are harvested because of the fruits of their pollination efforts, vegetable gardeners want to lengthen that cycle rather than speed it up.

My mother-in-law uses a special Miracle Gro made just for tomato plants on her tomatoes in her Topsy Turvy planters and swears by it. She *does* get giant tomatoes but usually only three or four to a plant whereas she should be getting 20-30 medium-sized tomatoes over a period of time. She swears these gigantic tomatoes are better but they have less taste than the ones in the store, in my opinion (and don't get me started on those darn topsy turvy planter thingies... UGH!).

I don't think there's any harm done and I'm positive the vegetables will be fine for eating (which was my first concern) but I wouldn't recommend continuing to use it.

:D
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Lehcar
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Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:58 pm

If you're able to do it, one option for a young plant that has been overfed is to increase the amount of light that it gets. That allows the plant to use the food to produce good sturdy growth, rather than weak spindly growth.

Another option is to repeatedly drench the soil with water, which can help flush some of the excess fertilizer from the soil. If you do that with seedlings, be sure not to put any kind of moisture-retaining cover over them, until the soil has a chance to dry out somewhat. Otherwise, you may invite damping off.
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Kisal
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Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:32 am

To me, the most important things to concentrate on with seedlings are a large, strong root system and short, thin stems.

Several years ago, I was asking how to do this and a nice Southern Belle, named Pam, from Georgia, told me to bottom water using Tomato-tone dissolved in water. I tried it and had fantastic results. This is still my MO.

Miracle Grow, at least every variety I have seen, has next to no calcium. This is perhaps the most important element for tomatoes, unless one loves black spots on the bottom.

Mike
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Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:26 am

Does throwing egg shells into the garden help with calcium deficiency in the soil?
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Francis Barnswallow
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Re: Putting miracle grow on seedlings

Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:43 am

Francis Barnswallow wrote:I have around 30 plants that started from seed. They are only about an inch long. But my mom heard on the radio that putting miracle grow on seedlings is a good idea......and in result, she put miracle grow on all of the seedlings.

Was that a good idea? They were growing just fine IMO.
It looks like all the advice you have gotten is good! i myself would only use miracle grow on seedlings if it was very deluted like 1-50th of what a regular dose is and the leaves may absorbs some of the nutrients!. A very small amount when you water it shuld not hurt it but be careful they are very tender! Too much fertilizer robs a plant of water and will kill it fast! I would also throw a few worms in the dirt or even a dozen! Most seed starting soil has a months supply or more of slow release nutrients in it already!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!
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