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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Is MiracleGro Really All That Great?

Q. Is Miracle grow all it's made to be?  I haven't seen any results yet after I sprayed it on my plants.

A. If your plants are in great shape to begin with you won’t see any results from MiracleGro fertilizer applied to the leaves or any other product for that matter. Applying a liquid fertilizer to the leaves gets fertilizer inside the plant faster so results, if there are any, will be seen sooner than applying a fertilizer to the soil. That’s the primary reason for using it.
Peters is an alternative for Miracle Gro. It has an outstanding commercial reputation among greenhouse growers. i don't know how good the homeowner product is.
             I used several types of powdered, fertilizers mixed with water and applied to the leaves because I’m curious about them. These include MiracleGro, Peters, and Grow More. Honestly, I have never seen much difference in any of them. If I were to lean toward a product in that group it would probably be Grow More because it’s the least expensive.
Grow More has a very good line of water soluble fertilizers that are not as expensive and have a great reputation particularly among marjuana producers.
            There are steps I would recommend when using any of these products to get the best results. Use distilled water. The effectiveness of liquid fertilizers has a lot to do with the quality of the water used. Our tap water is alkaline. Our tap water can cause problems with foliar fertilizers.
            Add a spray surfactant to the spray mix before applying it. Spray surfactant is a fancy term telling you to add something to the mix to help the fertilizer get inside the leaf. The leaf is covered with waxes and using a spray surfactant helps the fertilizer get inside.
Use distilled water rather than tap water if your tap water has a bad reputation or has some pH problems like it does in Las Vegas. Distilled water has a ph of 7 and wont have problems with micronutrients become unavailable.
            You can buy commercial spray surfactants called “wetting agents” or use a high-quality soap such as a liquid Castile type. Use about 1 tablespoon in a gallon of spray mix.
            Spray this mixture on the leaves, both front and back, only until the surface of the leaf is moist. No more than this.
EZ wet is a very gentle wetting agent/surfactant  that helps fertilizer nutrients move inside the leaves. Liquid Castile soaps are also good. Stay away from dishwashing liquids because they are hard on plants and have personal care products in them now.
            Use it all up. Don’t store this spray solution. Make a new batch for the next time you spray. 

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