What Are Some Better Fertilizers Than Miracle Gro?

Filed Under: Perennial Plants, Fertilizing · Keywords: Better, Alternative, Fertilizer, Miracle Gro · 10172 Views
Is Miracle Grow worth the time and money? When to start using it? What are some other ways to fertilize plants?


Rate It 2


Comment about this question »

1 Answer

Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Josh-It is my opinion that there are better fertilizers I have found than the Miracle Gro products. Personally I do not use any of the Miracle Gro products. I realize it is probably the most used fertilizer by gardeners but this may be because they advertise heavily and sell a lot of bags at the big box stores. The fact that I see very little or no Miracle Gro products at the better nurseries and garden centers made me believe there may be better products to use. I very seldom use any liquid fertilizers for plants other than some house plants. You have to be careful not to burn plants with liquid or quick release fertilizers as they can release too much soluble nitrogen fairly quickly if not mixed properly. The other problem is that they don't last and are usually leached below the plants root system after just a couple of waterings. If I'm not mistaken Miracle Gro might still recommend applications every 7 to 14 days. With my poor memory this would mean I would have to keep a running log of all my fertilization throughout my gardens continually. I would rather put the time into enjoying my gardens and not worring about when was the last time I fertilized.

Because its easy to over fertilize and burn plants with quick release fertilizers I always use a granular time-release fertilizer such as Dynamite or Osmocote. I use osmocote mainly as I have had very good results with it on all my shrubs, trees, and groundcovers. I never have to worry about burning even new plants as it is a controlled release fertilizer and I know my plants will be continually feed for at least 4 months. These slow release fertiilizers not only don't burn plants but they are less harmful to soil beneficial micro organisms. Ferti-Lome is another product that has worked well for me with a time release nitrogen content and can be found in quality nurseries as a general feeding product or has fertilizers formulated for evergreens, acid loving plants, trees, palms, etc.. Many gardeners are going to all organic gardening now and like to fertilize organically. Unlike chemical fertilizers they contain very little salts and chemical residue to build up in the soil. This is especially helpful with potted plants. There are several good organic fertilizers available at your better nuseries and garden centers. Organic fertilizers unlike chemical fertilizers add organic material with natural nutrients that richen the soil. Most plants growing in nutrient rich soil actually need very little to no supplimental fertilization. As Brent Wilson has said, "feed the soil and not your plants. Synthietic fertilizers feed the plants and natural and organic plant food feeds the soil". Organic fertilizers stay in the soil and natually feed plants continually. A good ferilizer to use is Milorganite. Milorganite contains 85% organic matter, which promotes beneficial microbial activity and improves the soil’s ability to grow and sustain grass and plants. Because it doesn’t leach out of the soil, it is ideal for sandy soils. E. B. Stone is another organic product I see a lot in the better nurseries and have heard many have had good results with. I myself haven't used it. I noted a link below to an article in Gardenality that is a review of Milorganite that may be interesting to you. There are more fertilizer products available than you and I could count and you could go crazy trying all of them to see which may work best for you. There are also just as many factors that determine how effective they may be on a plant such as type of soil, type of plant, soil pH, soil moisture, and others. For this reason you can't go wrong listening to the professional at your local quality nurseries and garden centers, not the box stores, for advice regarding fertilization time and appropriate fertilizer for your specific need. Better quality nurseries will carry quality products made up of quality levels of nutrients and you might be surprised to find these products are the same price if not just a little more expensive than a lesser quality fertilizer elsewhere.

Organic fertilizers can be applied anytime of the year as they are always present in the soil and their slow releasing of nutrients will not burn even newly planted plants. Depending on the plant you are fertilizing will determine when and what type of fertilizer to use. You can search Gardenality plant files to find information regarding the fertilization of a particular plant by using the 'Plants' tab or search box above any page and typing in the plants name. There are many aticles with information regarding the fertiliztion of specific plants, ornamental and fruiting shrubs, vines, and trees you can find under the 'Articles' tab above when typing in the word Fertilize in the search box. Many of us gardeners have found using a well ballanced slow release general fertilizer throughout our gardens usually satisfies the nutrient needs of most plants.

I noted some links below to aricles in Gardenality on Fertiliztion that may be interesting and helpful to you.

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/859/Reviews/Product-Reviews/Milorganite-Fertilizer/default.html

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/496/How-To-Info/Fertilizing/How-To-Fertilize-Perennial-Plants/default.html

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/92/How-To-Info/Fertilizing/How-To-Fertilize-Shrubs-And-Trees/default.html

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/102/How-To-Info/Fertilizing/How-To-Fertilize-Groundcover-Plants/default.html

Hopefully this has helped with answering your question. Possibly other members will help in giving you other chemical or organic fertilizers that they feel have been helpful in keeping their plants healthy.

John)


Additional comments about this answer:

Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I'm in total agreement with you, John. I've been landscaping and gardening now for over 30 years and, for the same reasons you mentioned, never use Miracle Gro or any other water soluble fertilizers. It's just so much easier to use slow- or time-release release granular fertilizers, or the more mild and safer organic products. I'm using more organic than anything else these days. Organic products not only feed the plants they feed the soil, and just work better than synthetic.

8 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb

Josh Hersey

Josh Hersey · Gardenality Bloom · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thank you guys, I didn't expect this can of worms, but shows how much i have to learn. I will research, thank you so much for the info and data. I will continue to refuse to use Steroid grow I mean Miracle grow.

8 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb

Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're welcome Josh. Don't let fertilizing your gardens overwhelm you. Just let the articles on fertilization and plant files help you out with this. I'm always looking for the perfect fertilizer but finding out there are many to chose from. You won't go wrong by using your better quality nurseries to find a product that works well. They sell products that work well for their customers bringing them back time after time instead of selling in volume and making the almighty profit their goal. Many are finding out that using their better nurseries is really not more expensive in the long run and the rewards they are receiving are greater. Don't worry about how much there is to learn. If we all knew everything gardening would be a boring endeavor with little rewards and we wouldn't need Gardenality. Learning new things and finding new plants and products is what its all about for me. Its because of members like you and others that I am continually learning and able to research and learn new things everyday. Hey enjoy spring, its finally here. At least in my location.

8 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb

Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Yeah, John.... I keep it pretty simple these days using Milorganite on just about all the plants and trees in my landscape...except for on veggie and fruit plants. For these I use an OMRI Certified Organic fertilizer. This being said, sometimes I apply additional chelated iron, soil sulphur, aluminum sulfate, triple superphosphate and other single nutrients when necessary, and use quite a bit of organic compost around certain types of plants.

8 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb

Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Brent-That definitely makes fertilizing the garden simple and uncomplicated using a great product. I'm finding out you don't have to have a shed full of 50 different fertilizers when there are a few that do the job of many well. As you have said, composting of our soils richens our gardens continually so that much of the added nutrients now may not be needed for some plants. Thanks

8 years ago ·
1 Green Thumbs Up
· Unthumb

Josh Hersey

Josh Hersey · Gardenality Bloom · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I went out and bought some Milorganite. This fertilizer is great, the instructions are very clear and it only cost 13 dollars and change for big bag. I was pleasantly surprised by that. Thanks again for the info gents.

8 years ago ·
0 Green Thumbs Up
Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hey, that's great Josh. I also started using more organic products lately and excited about adding these to the soil I have.

8 years ago ·
0 Green Thumbs Up

Comment about this answer »
Rate It 2

Post An Answer To This Question:



Can't find your answer? Click here to ask your question.

Read Tips On How To Give A Great Answer

Click here to learn how to give a great answer »
Sponsor Ad:


Updates

View All My Gardenaltiy Updates »