specgrade
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Miracle Grow Question

How does everyone feel about using Miracle Grow?
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RuHappy69
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worked well

for me so far. The board is pretty mixed tho... I'd say try it one year and not the next and see if you show a difference. I use it early but not once the plants are well established.

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rainbowgardener
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It's been discussed here a lot already. Here's a few threads to start you out:

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... row#139282

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... p?p=135584



http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... row#104005

Personally, I'm an organic gardener. I use MG potting soil for seed starting and containers where garden soil does not work. But compost balances pH, improves the soil tilth and moisture holding, adds to and feeds the soil biology that ultimately feeds the plants, including microbes, fungi, earthworms and many others, offers a complete source of all micro and trace nutrients in forms plants can use ETC. MG does none of that.
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specgrade
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Thank you both for your replies. I have quit using "MG" and will let nature take over. My tomato plants have everything but tomatoes and from what I read (thanks rainbowgardener) "MG" could be responsible.

Sorry, I should have guessed that "MG" was a well worn out topic. I know over at dirtdoctor.com it's the devil :lol:
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Miracle Grow. :evil: -wall- It's not needed for seed starting or potted plants. :?

specgrade
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Miracle Grow. :evil: -wall- It's not needed for seed starting or potted plants. :?


Yes, sir. :lol: :flower:
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lakngulf
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:Miracle Grow. :evil: -wall- It's not needed for seed starting or potted plants. :?


OK. I'm the devil. I used Miracle Gro on my starter plants, and give it credit for some great plants.

I started everything from seed this year. After couple of weeks of growth I moved the little plants to 5 inch pots, with Miracle Gro soil. I thought they were doing great, and they looked pretty good. I drove by a Feed and Seed place on the way to work one morning and took a look at some plants that were outside the store from Bonnie Plant Farm. They looked SO mUCH better than mine. I bought some Miracle Gro fertlizer, put it in a watering bottled, and fed my little starts about every four days. They became much healthier, sturdy, just good looking plants. I am of the opinion that this year my plants were better than ever.
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stella1751
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True confessions: Like Rainbow, I use MG for starting seeds. I've tried mixing my own soil-less starting mix, but I was dissatisfied with the results. I tried making my own starting soil, baking it in the oven, the whole business, and I wound up with these little black flies all over the house. So, for starting seeds, I use MG or some other packaged potting soil.
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DoubleDogFarm
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I knew this would get some to chime in. :D

Yes you can grew seedlings with chemicals, transplant them into more chemicals. As the season progresses, feed them more chemicals and pesticides. Fight competition with herbicides. You will probably end up with beautiful, clean and healthy plants. You may not even taste the difference in the fruit or vegetable.

It's just not my way. 8)
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Miracle grow now has an organic line of fertilizers and potting soil. That's what I started my seeds with this year.
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rainbowgardener
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Or you can start your seeds in MG and then transplant them in to your chem free soil and feed them compost and compost tea and leaf mulch and homemade wood chip mulch and never let them see a chemical again! In my garden I use no herbicides (well except very occasionally painting roundup on the poison ivy, but it's been two years since I did that last), no synthetic fertilizers, no pesticides/fungicides that don't come from my own kitchen (things like garlic-pepper spray and milk solution). My version of sustainable gardening is NOTHING FROM THE OUTSIDE.

I'm sorry if this is not pure enough, I can't see how it does great harm to my soil or the wider environment if my little pots that I start seeds in indoors have MG potting soil in them.

Like stella I have tried making my own potting soil, baking compost in the oven, creating a nasty stench, buying vermiculite and peat and putting everything together. Results were not very successful.
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Personally, I'm an organic gardener. I use MG potting soil for seed starting and containers where garden soil does not work.

:?:

I'm sorry if this is not pure enough, I can't see how it does great harm to my soil or the wider environment if my little pots that I start seeds in indoors have MG potting soil in them


I'm not attacking you. I may get a little carried away at times. I like your style of gardening and the information you share. My thoughts are, why support a company that sells chemical fertilizers. There are plenty of organic seed starting mixes. You don't need to stink up the house sterilizing homemade mixes.

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And another thread about Miracle Grow's much-touted "organic" line of products (with which I personally have no experience at all):

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... p?p=125591

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I personally think worm castings make the best seed starter ever :)

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stella1751
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rainbowgardener wrote:It's been discussed here a lot already. Here's a few threads to start you out:

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... row#139282

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... p?p=135584



http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... row#104005

Personally, I'm an organic gardener. I use MG potting soil for seed starting and containers where garden soil does not work. But compost balances pH, improves the soil tilth and moisture holding, adds to and feeds the soil biology that ultimately feeds the plants, including microbes, fungi, earthworms and many others, offers a complete source of all micro and trace nutrients in forms plants can use ETC. MG does none of that.


Ditto what Rainbow said 8)
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:)

GardenJester
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Last couple of years I used MG, but this year, I tried out organic methods. I haven't noticed much difference. which lead me to think MG is overrated. But if you have poor soil, MG might indeed make a difference.

sciencegal
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rainbowgardener wrote:... and never let them see a chemical again!


Well, except for a little hydrogen oxide now and then. :)

specgrade
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sciencegal wrote:
rainbowgardener wrote:... and never let them see a chemical again!


Well, except for a little hydrogen oxide now and then. :)


That's water right?? I'm trying to catch on around here. Gardening can be soooo technical. :lol:

I can't count how many times, when I was a kid, I would take a seed and stick it in the ground and it would just grow. It has to be that easy...it just has to be :shock: :D
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Hydrogen dioxide? Otherwise known as H20? :)

Of course everything can ultimately be broken down into chemicals/ atoms and molecules. But I'm making a distinction between organic and inorganic chemistry and between naturally occurring substances and synthetics...
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rainbowgardener wrote:Hydrogen dioxide? Otherwise known as H20? :)

Of course everything can ultimately be broken down into chemicals/ atoms and molecules. But I'm making a distinction between organic and inorganic chemistry and between naturally occurring substances and synthetics...


You can't synthesize a basic element. Nitrogen is nitrogen. You can't synthesize it. My MG tomato food has basic elements or chemical compounds in it. The copper is in the form of copper sulfate. This is the same stuff I feed free choice to my goats in their loose mineral mix. It's the most bioavailable source of copper for them. I don't consider it a "bad" chemical.

And, yes. Water, hydrogen oxide, is a chemical compound which can be synthesized. Eat an antacid and when it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in your stomach you will get water and calcium chloride.

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DDF is right, you don't need it for seed-starting. I used regular dirt amended with some organic matter. Like one other poster said, they were not quite as big as the ones in the stores, but once in the ground they catch up fine.
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GardenJester wrote:Last couple of years I used MG, but this year, I tried out organic methods. I haven't noticed much difference. which lead me to think MG is overrated. But if you have poor soil, MG might indeed make a difference.


Hi GardenJester,
I am new to this or any Forum and a new gardener. Concerning MG - isn't too early to tell the difference in growth levels? I like your process and was thinking of using MG this weekend for the first time. I have had great luck with tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini without any MG. I almost hate to spoil the organic feel for it all. But, everyone I know uses it.

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Organic or Chemical? It's Your Garden!

I try to be as organic as I can...but pragmatic when it comes to pests and stuff.

I use my own compost - we have a horse and a couple of chickens so I am not short of manure! - but I will use chemicals when threatened by the dark side!

Some people can be a bit snobby about organic topics in my view. After all, at least you are out there helping cultivate and make beautiful!. You aren;t concreting the world with patio's and block paving all over the place.

So a bit of balance in my view. As organic as possible supported by a big of pragmatism.
l
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Pete,

I will use chemicals when threatened by the dark side!


I believe chemicals are the dark side. :lol: and if this makes me snobby, I'll except that. :P

Eric

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Re: Organic or Chemical? It's Your Garden!

petechapman wrote:I try to be as organic as I can...but pragmatic when it comes to pests and stuff.

I use my own compost - we have a horse and a couple of chickens so I am not short of manure! - but I will use chemicals when threatened by the dark side!

Some people can be a bit snobby about organic topics in my view. After all, at least you are out there helping cultivate and make beautiful!. You aren;t concreting the world with patio's and block paving all over the place.

So a bit of balance in my view. As organic as possible supported by a big of pragmatism.
l


Well said !!!
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garden5 wrote:DDF is right, you don't need it for seed-starting. I used regular dirt amended with some organic matter. Like one other poster said, they were not quite as big as the ones in the stores, but once in the ground they catch up fine.


Perhaps you don't understand the scale on which I do seed starting, 500 plants. I went through three of the giant bags of potting soil this winter/spring, the ones that are as tall as I am.... My city lot full of clay, I don't HAVE that much garden dirt lying around loose. Not to mention I don't bring garden dirt in the house without sterilizing it, because it brings bugs and stuff in with it. That would be a ton of dirt to run through my oven, stinking up the house. And of course it doesn't work as well.

Even DDF's suggestion of buy some organic alternative. I would if I could, but I only see them in small expensive bags.

I am a mostly organic garden, in fact I think I can safely say my actual garden/yard is entirely organic. But we do do all have to figure out what works for us and make whatever compromises make it work.
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I like the idea that there are unseen forces at work, in the soil, on the plants and in the air. I 've come to accept that when synthesized chemicals are used without understanding the on-going biology at work, the delicately balanced microcosm can be disrupted. I'm also experiencing personally, how well the system works when I sit back and be an observer and an apprentice. :D

ETA - RBG, this is NOT in response to your post, you got one in while I was trying to articulate my feelings. :wink:

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Perhaps you don't understand the scale on which I do seed starting, 500 plants. I went through three of the giant bags of potting soil this winter/spring, the ones that are as tall as I am.... My city lot full of clay, I don't HAVE that much garden dirt lying around loose. Not to mention I don't bring garden dirt in the house without sterilizing it, because it brings bugs and stuff in with it. That would be a ton of dirt to run through my oven, stinking up the house. And of course it doesn't work as well.

Even DDF's suggestion of buy some organic alternative. I would if I could, but I only see them in small expensive bags.


Well if you have been following any of my earlier post, I sell vegetable starts at the Farmer's Market every Saturday. I deliver about 250 plants each time. Mind you, they all don't sell. I have probably have sold some where between 750 and a 1000 plants and the summer is not over. :)

Have you done any math. I buy organic 2 cu ft bags of potting soil. They are about $8.50. So a 4" pot, costs about .04 cents to fill. .04 X 500 = $20.00. I would not call this exspensive.

I am a mostly organic garden, in fact I think I can safely say my actual garden/yard is entirely organic. But we do do all have to figure out what works for us and make whatever compromises make it work.


I agree 100%

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Yep...natural fertilizer the best

Listen, I agree. Feeding the land and plants the natural way is best...for absolute surety.

....and the dark side is destroying the land for sure....its just I hate pests that eat my veg...so I am prone to zap them with a bit of chemical destruction....

although I have always found that slugs like to commit suicide in a buried jam jar full of beer!
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pete,

Don't take me to seriously, like a grain of salt. :lol:

although I have always found that slugs like to commit suicide in a buried jam jar full of beer


I too, like to drown in a pint of beer. :wink:

specgrade
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Boy, I really know how to start a fire. :lol: Thank you all the insightful answers.
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Hey, I like the taste of a spotted owl roasted over a fresh burning tire, but to each his own right?

Seriously though, I used MG potting mix for the same reasons stated above for my starts. The price is right, it works well, and not burning nat gas in my oven to sterilize against bugs and germs.

Once in the raised beds, the existing compost and additional compost provide the balance needed for the rest of the year. So far so good.

As this is my first serious year, I am setting those lessons learned in place for next year. Just a couple so far.......

NO peet pots.

YES to MG for starts.
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Out of curiosity, is it really that hard for many of you to find bagged alternatives to Miracle Grow? A couple of my local stores carry the MG potting mixes, but only in small bags. The big bags stacked outside the store are almost always organic and really good quality, and they go on sale at least a few times a season. Of course, my location could have something to do with it (I live in the pot growing capital of the US) but I seem to remember finding good quality soil mixes back east, too.

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DoubleDogFarm wrote:pete,

Don't take me to seriously, like a grain of salt. :lol:

although I have always found that slugs like to commit suicide in a buried jam jar full of beer


I too, like to drown in a pint of beer. :wink:


yeah... well... I always offer more than a grain of salt when I talk to the slugs in my garden. :P

and I only talk to slugs after I have downed at least a pint of beer. :P

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RBG, you're right when it comes to having to do what our circumstances allow us to do. I was lucky enough to have a nice pile of compost/dirt, so that's what I used. Some have pretty hard soil, so they're not that lucky.

500 plants? Wow, that is a lot (and I know you up-pot, too), so I can see the volume of soil you go through.

Personally, I don't run my dirt through the oven. I'm sure it's good, but the small millipedes that crawl across the dirt don't bother me, and if they escape into the basement, they'll probably just die and be swept, vacuumed, or mopped up eventually.

But there again, some folks don't have basements, so what works for one, might not work for another.
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