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Miracle-Gro

Hello! I'm new here! I've been reading (and collecting!) a lot of Organic Gardening magazines, but something I haven't come across in any of my readings: Is Miracle-Gro organic or is it full of un-organic chemicals?! Thanks! Kompost Kook
 
Kompost Kook

I'm not an expert, but here's my take on Miricle Gro.
It's definatly not part of your completely organic breakfast.
It is made up of chemical derivatives that are at least somewhat organic, but this stuff is refined in a lab, which removes most of the natural compounds from the chemicals. I compare it to taking vitamins instead of eating your veggies. Better than nothing but you don't get all the health benefits!

I am not entierely against Mricle Gro. Many organic gardeners would disagree with me on that. I'm assuming a little, but it probably leaves chemical build up in your soil (am I right here guys- help me out!)

I can tell you though for sure, that instead of spraying miricle gro on your garden, it's much better in the long run to add organic compost- either from your kitchen scraps, frome bags of pre made organic compost, in the form of fermented steer manure(this is soo cheap and works like a charm). some other great quick solutions are bone meal and blood meal- you can just sprinkle them on- they are complete organic compounds! Your soil gets a nice rich loamy quality and that encourages a healthy balance. The mulch will nourish your plants and help you build a complex soil structure with earthworms and benificial "microheard" (love that word!). Lots of good bugs will be attracted to your garden and will help you control the bad buggiez and diseases that devoure your plants.

Then you get to enjoy the natural circle of life that gardening can bring to you and your friends and family. That's my favorite part of organic gardening: the experience of nature in it's purest most true sense. For me it's spiritual.

luv Gardenstar

I must P.S. though, Although I use only organic methods on my backyard veggie garden, I use Miricle Gro on my front yard flower garden, so I dont consider my front yard completely organic. Maybe I'll switch over someday. I invite someone to post a message to convince me to stop with the Miricle Gro in front. I'm sure it's bad. I just dont know ALL the reasons against it .
 
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Thanks for your input! Any other opinions on the subject out there? Thanks! P.S. since I've gotten into composting big-time, I haven't used miracle-gro lately; I'm just trying to put compost on everything (including un-finished compost) and looking to see how that does with my flowers.
 
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welcome to the organic side of things. Miracle-Gro is definately not organic as the previous post states.
About you using unfinished compost on stuff i think you might want to be a little bit more patient. Here are a few reasons why I say this and i may be totally wrong also the degree of composted stuff makes a diference.
Finished compost's nutrients are more redially absorbed, unfinished compost may actually pull nutrients away from your plants (I'll explain in a moment. Weed seeds, certain dieseases, fungi are killed off in properly heated & composted compost. Using unfinished stuff may actually spread it.
Certain items need a lot of nutrients to compost. As an example wood shavings the are used for horses pull lots of nitrogen out of the soil to compost. Its like taking raw stuff to make a fire & burn it. The end result is heat which could be related to fnished Compost. Ya see I hope.
Basically what I'm saying is that you cant totally use unfished compost but watch how far a long it is and what u have in it. thats all.
good luck and happy gardening.
Coran
 
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Hi, KompostKook,

The following is a quote from a previous post:

"Miracle-Gro is a synthetic fertilizer that contains ammonium phosphate and several other chemicals that can be toxic to your soil and plants. It is prohibited from use in certified-organic farming. Heres what soil expert Robert Parnes, Ph.D., says in his book Fertile Soil: "[Ammonium fertilizer] acidifies the soil, and thus it is probably more harmful to soil organisms than any other nitrogen fertilizer . . . . The application has to be timed carefully and placed properly to avoid burning the leaves and roots . . . . In addition, ammonium tends to inhibit the release of . . . potassium . . . Ammonium fertilizers are deliberately manufactured to be spread at high application rates in order to obtain maximum yields with no regard to adverse effects on the soil."

And theres more: "Long-term studies at the University of Wisconsin have shown that acidic chemical fertilizers are causing serious, permanent damage to our soils. Usually these fertilizers are also highly soluble, so they leach away and pollute our water systems, too. Soil fertility authority Garn Wallace, Ph.D., of Wallace Laboratories in El Segundo, California, points out that Miracle-Gro contains muriate of potash, which contains excess chlorine that will burn plants and inhibit the uptake of nitrogen. Dr. Wallace also warns that products such as Miracle-Gro often contain unsafe levels of zinc and copper that will be toxic to soil life."


Of course you or anyone else is perfectly free to use Miracle Gro or whatever synthetic fert they choose. It's not to say it won't "work". It all depends, however, on whether you want short-term benefits or long term? Synthetic ferts will supply that "big, initial bang", but require consitent (as in Miracle G's, 7-10-day reapplication. And, those salts DO build up in the soil!)

IMO, it's a misnomer and reprehensible of the company to label MG in a manner that misleads the consumer into believing it is "organic". Basically, anything that has to go through extensive "processing" with additives and processing agents, is no longer considered "natural".

As has been stated here, and in numerous other posts on the subject: the main thrust of organic gardening is to feed the soil, NOT the plants. This is the "long-term method". Feeding the soil, with healthy, natural components is tantemount to building your home on a solid, sturdy, foundation of the highest quality materials. In the long run, by properly caring for your soil, you'll get "it" to do your work for you!Smiler

I like to analogize it to "Field of Dreams" (I'm a big baseball fan): "If you build it (the soil, that is) they will come!" ("They" being the microherds, and all the other good soil organisims that keep it healthy and productive).

gardenz
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]"To Live Is Not Just To Survive, But To Thrive With Passion, Compassion, Humor & Style."[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Blogs: [URL=http://www.lindafrank.blogspot.com] GardenzOwn [/URL] [URL=http://www.OurGardenEarth.blogspot.com]OurGardenEarth[/URL]
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THANKS EVERYBODY FOR THE INFORMATION! I'm throwing out all my Miracle-Gro! ...Now, is it okay to throw it into the regular garbage? Thanks!
 
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Weeeeeelll if you really want to make a little more certain (not positive, mind you)...but just to hedge your bet a bit that it won't wind up in some stream runoff of seep into someone's well water.If your town or city has a collection of hazardous waste at either a permanent, designated spot or specific time during the year (it's 4 times a year in my area), then hold onto it and bring it down there when you have to dispose of, say, old paint, automotive gunk or any other toxics or corrosives you've got lying around.

gardenz
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]"To Live Is Not Just To Survive, But To Thrive With Passion, Compassion, Humor & Style."[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Blogs: [URL=http://www.lindafrank.blogspot.com] GardenzOwn [/URL] [URL=http://www.OurGardenEarth.blogspot.com]OurGardenEarth[/URL]
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I remember reading here that the effects of Miracle Gro on a garden take 3 years of OG treatment to be totally gone. Please let me know if I am right?
Which explains why last years garden stunk (year 1 organic) and this year's garden (year 2) is looking much better.
I've gotten my sister to stop using it, now working on my Mom.
Smiler
Foxglove
 
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I just spent the morning up here in Eastern Washington thumbing through all my old OG magazines. I remember a question answered a while ago about Miracle Gro but could not find it. It was so wonderful to look back on all the great info from magazines I have collected. What a way to start the day!
I do remember the reply from OG including information on how Miracle Gro can actually remove beneficial nutrients from your soil. When I was growing up--my Dad used MG on everything. My Mom always argued that all it did was make more green leaves and not enough blooms. I am now an OG gardener and have only been for the last 5 years. I find that with little effort--composting and using items such as garlic and cayenne pepper take care of all my garden's needs. Healthy soil and plants grow stronger and fight off disease and pests better. My neighbors all around me use every chemical known to man while I use compost and organic fish fertilizer--period! Each year their yards grow but my yard always becomes lush and saturated with color and health. They always ask me what I do to have such a beautiful yard but are never open to my seemingly "simpleton" suggestions. So as I look down the row of houses out my backyard, I see palid plantings while my little paradise thrives.
Anything promising a "miracle" or rapid growth or a quick fix is working against Mother Nature.
And how INEXPENSIVE it is to compost and use organics made from household items!
 
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I had a relative who used to work for the company who makes Miracle Grow (she dosen't share my organic passion). It is most definately, unequivically, and undeniable UN-organic. While it does give impressive results, it is done through chemistry. If you want to go organic, Miracle Grow is not for you.
Charlene
 
Give three fold what you take.
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Hi K.K. and all you others.

Thanks agian for the post. This is good stuff.

OK, So Smiler That's the last box of MG I'll ever buy. Looks like the frontyard flowers will get the same good treatment as the backyard veggies. Yay!
Now it's time to go all the way.

Now I just have to ask. Is Epsom Salt organic or is that another bad one? Please say it's organic, I use it for so many things and just learned you can use it on your lawn!

luv Gardenstar
 
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OK never mind about the Epsom Salt! I read all about it by searching this site and found a huge posting all about Epsom Salt and just don't want to go there!
Smiler
 
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The worst thing I can say about Miricle Grow is its hideously bloated price. Why pay for what other people beg you to take away?

A local goat farmer (in order to keep to envirtonemntal laws) just paid to have the manure pile that she could get spread--hauled away!

If you got better out of a bottle it might just possibly be worth a minimal price. MG aint cheap!

Use loacally grown manure and keep bessie employed.
 
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Hey gardenstar, where was the posting about the Epson salts? I just read in over the fence to put them in my blueberries!
 
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OK, but what about annuals? I make up some pots every year and usually feed them MG every few weeks. What can I do instead of that? Just mix in some compost in the soil?
 
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Liquid kelp or manure tea would be good alternatives to Miracle Grow in your potted plants. I usually foliar feed (spray on the leaves) with the liquid kelp and pour the manure tea directly into the soil of the potted plants. Good luck to you and happy gardening!
 
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Where can I get either of these? Can I buy them at a store? Thanks so much for your help.
 
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hey gardenfanatic!

It was in Over The Fence entitled "Epsom Salts - OK to use in an organic garden or not??? " Posted: May 22, 2002 11:04 PM. (I found it by going to the button that says search forum, then typed in Epsom Salt- jus tin case you're wondering, the search engine on this site seems to work very well)

They had a really long debate on weather it would be OK or not.

MMM Blueberries!

luv Gardenstar
 
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Hey GA!

I don't know about liquid kelp, but here's how to do manue tea.

You can either use some well rotted manure from a nearby farm, or you can buy a nice big bag of already aged steer maunre form your local garden store for under a buck. Then, you make the tea. If it's for a little houseplant or seedlings, get a coffee filter and put about a half cup of manure in it. Tie it shut with some string or a twistie, then step it in a bowl of warm water. In an hour or so, it will be cool, then you can pour it on your plants. If you need alot of it, just use an old pillowcase or something like that, fill it with manure, tie it shut and put it in a big bucket of warm water. Same concept. a few things to note are: The water doesn't need to be warm, but it seems to steep faster that way. Blend the leftover manure with soil somewhere else in your garden when it's done, it's still usefull. The measurements don't have to be exact, I don't know of any problems a stronger or weker belnd have caused, just brew it to a nice medium brown like tea.

Have fun Smiler
Gardenstar.
 
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Thank you so much for your long reply. However, I live 10 miles from Chicago and about 50 miles from the nearest farm, so so much for that solution! I also know me -- I maintain my garden by myself and if it isn't easy, I don't do it (at least I know myself, right?). I know your answer is the way to go, but is there anything easier? I'm going to research the liquid kelp, tho. I lose patience as we get into the summer. Otherwise, maybe the garden will forgive me for a little bit of MG?
 
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You should be able to buy some compost at the local nursery. Of course, if you want to be truely organic, you need to look for the OG label (certification). The kelp should be available at any of your better nurseries (not sure about places like Lowes or Home Depot).

Also- have you thought about making your own compost? There are lots of articles/posts here about making your own, using worms (vermiculture) and other "small space" options. Did you know that if you can talk your local barber into letting you have the hair trimmings, these combined with a little shredded newspaper can make an excellent compost in a short time?

CaptainCompost is the expert here on the subject, but what little knowledge I have gleaned from him, you make the "tea" as suggested in the previous posts. You can use it as a plain fertilizer or, better yet, spray it on your plant leaves as well. The little mirobes in the tea are great at helping fight fungi and other plant diseases.

If you can get the little microbes to take over, they will keep your plants healthier than any synthetic you can buy.

Good luck, and post back if you have any more questions.
 
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GardeningAddict,

While I'm sorry to say, I've never seen any liquid kelp at either of the three Homeys or Lowes near me, it [u]is[/u] carried at several local (better) garden centers, as dritchard58 said. Most likely you'll find it listed as "Seaweed" or "Seaweed Emulsion" or just plain "Fish Emulsion".

Also, not only is cornmeal - regular old store-bought cornmeal - good as an anti-fungal for plants, but it's also an excellent source of food for plants. (This second bit of info compliments of the Captain.)

Finally, if all local sources fail, there's plenty of catalogs and on-line sources for kelp and other types of organic ferts:
http://www.groworganic.com/a/a.html?sCategory=115
http://www.gardensalive.com/item_display.asp?ProductNumber=8355
http://www.gardensalive.com/item_display.asp?ProductNumber=8502
http://www.charleysgreenhouse.com/catalog/index.cfm?pag...splay&CategoryId=346

But, probably the easiest is what was suggested: Pick yourself up a bag of dehydrated manure and a bag of bonemeal. Fill an old pillowcase with the manure and let it soak or "steep" in a covered pail of water for a week or so. Work a handful of the bonemeal into the soil, then pour some of that "steeped brew" on your plants when you plant them out and and again every couple of weeks. Also, if you drink coffee, sprinkle some of the grounds in your pots and work that into the soil as well.

gardenz
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]"To Live Is Not Just To Survive, But To Thrive With Passion, Compassion, Humor & Style."[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Blogs: [URL=http://www.lindafrank.blogspot.com] GardenzOwn [/URL] [URL=http://www.OurGardenEarth.blogspot.com]OurGardenEarth[/URL]
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Thanks again, everyone, for your help. Since I'm talking just about annuals, the kelp seems to be the perfect answer. I'll buy some of that. I don't have room for a composter, as every space is filled with plants or my deck (honestly!). I had some good topsoil and mushroom compost brought in when I started my garden, and just use cypess mulch most every year. I only fertilize my roses and bulbs (naturally, naturally). Everything else does pretty well without anything. It's so nice to see a balanced natural garden at work, with butterflies, bees, birds, squirrels and all the other "unseeable" flittering around, isn't it?

Happy gardening!
 
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This is great reading stuff! Look at the "can of worms" (pun intended) I opened up with one simple question!?$%
 
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Gardenz, fish emulsion is a different "animal" than liquid kelp, because fish, are well, animals of sorts, and kelp is a plant. I like to use the two of them together. Of course, now my garden smells like I live near the beach, but that's not an unhappy thing. I had some wonderful years in Huntington Beach, CA--my parents live about a half-mile from the beach--except when the fog rolled in like a solid wall.

Go, Edison Chargers! (Class of '76)

Theresa
 
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Guess in my reply to Gardening Addict I left out a few very significant consonants, nouns, pronouns, adverbs....or whatever proper english puncuations! :O

What I meant to indicate to GA was that while liquid kelp is labeled a few different ways, in lieu (there's the key phrase I left out!) of seaweed, GA could use fish emulsion. Not the same, for sure. Most definitely, seaweed emulsion (aka "kelp") is a different "species" altogether from fish emulsion. Now, maybe the fishes [u]eat[/u] some of the seaweed, or play in it...but, I sense that's the extent of their..uh "connection". Big Grin

Thanks, clanmesa. I could see where my omission of a small phrase, might have misled Gardening Addict! (Must have been typing with my sore toe!)Razzer

gardenz
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]"To Live Is Not Just To Survive, But To Thrive With Passion, Compassion, Humor & Style."[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Blogs: [URL=http://www.lindafrank.blogspot.com] GardenzOwn [/URL] [URL=http://www.OurGardenEarth.blogspot.com]OurGardenEarth[/URL]
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And I have yet another question! GardenZ, do you know which is better for producing flowers, kelp or fish emulsion? Thanks!
 
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Hey, I type in fibrofog with fibrofingers most of the time! ;-)

Theresa
 
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Uh, GA....I'd vote for (now don't say this is predictable of me! Razzer)....the kelp meal or kelp emulsion.

Only because the fishy food is not quite as well balanced a fert as the kelp. Tends to lean more toward the Nitrogen (or green-growth side). Kelp has a tad more phosphorous and potassium, both more necessary for blossom and root growth.

I mean, fishies is a great runner-up...but..since you asked...yep..the kelp!

gardenz
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]"To Live Is Not Just To Survive, But To Thrive With Passion, Compassion, Humor & Style."[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Blogs: [URL=http://www.lindafrank.blogspot.com] GardenzOwn [/URL] [URL=http://www.OurGardenEarth.blogspot.com]OurGardenEarth[/URL]
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Okey-dokey. Thanks, Gardenz.
 
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Another simple way to get blossoms is Bone Meal. Sprinkle it in, mix it and party on. even home depot has it.
 
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I actually have some of that -- use it when planting or transplanting. Thanks again, Z.
 
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...loads of shared info here... :8}
 
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IT IS [u]NOT[/u]ORGANICE! It doesn't improve the structure of your soil.

Now pretend you live in the boonies and you have a water well that all your drinking water comes from. The Miracle-Gro runs off into it. Do you really want to drink it? Do you want your pets, spouse, kids, grandkids, friends, or livestock to drink it?

Would you stir even a few sprinkles of it into a glass of water?

That's why I quit using it. Even though I live in the country I have rural water piped in...very expensive, but clean and Nitrogen free.
 
[hr]The whole world is a narrow bridge; the important thing is not to be afraid.
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I'm new to all this organic gardening too. I just started a garden and the soil needs work. I was tempted by Miracle Gro to get plants up and going but opted for organic fertilizer, hoping it will stay in the soil and have longer lasting benefits. I see results after putting in granular organic fertilizer. Considering the sorry state of my soil I have to believe in the fertilizer.

You mentioned using cayenne pepper and garlic. I have rabbits nibbling plants, herbs and flowers, especially gerber daises and zinnias. Do you use the pepper and garlic for pest control? If so how?
 
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Great Point - Organic gardening is environmentally responsible!!!!!!!!!!!! :^O
 
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