time release fertilizer vs MiracleGrow ??

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For a garden <1 acre... I'd make a slurry of liquid fertilizer by soaking the normal cheap, 20lb bag of granular inexpensive stuff. I have had very good results using the "blue" Miracle Grow mix but obviously cannot afford enough to feed a whole garden.

I do mulch and use compost throughout the plot but would like to concentrate feedings once a month using a concentrated liquid form of food. Also, is their a risk of buring the plants if I attempt this?

Any suggestions... (short of actually peeing on the plants)


-- otter360 (kitchen@eng.fsu.edu), March 25, 2002


depends on what your last soil test said you needed. I found out,, by taking a Master Gardeners class, that MANY fertilizers and such, that are used,, are jsut wasted, because many arent needed. You may be wasting money,, gardens may not need fertilizer every year

-- Stan (sopal@net-pert.com), March 25, 2002.

Can you buy liquid where you live? Farm coops are a good supplier - I realize you are dealing with 20-100 lbs in quantity so not all will want to fool around with that, but it can be good public relations for them to deal with individuals... You might be able to come in with a 55 gal plastic drum, and get it bulk.

Granular is made up of different sources, so no telling if what you buy would liquidate itself. :) The N probably would, but the P & K would likely not.

From there, you need to know what your land needs. Then, add what it's missing. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what your source is, some parts of it are just wasted. Figure out what amount of N, P, & K are missing, and add only that.

I always cringe at the price of bagged fertilizer, I buy it by the ton. Miricale grow is just a rip off to me! :)


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), March 25, 2002.

Like Paul said, you need to find out what your soil needs. An also bare in mind that different crops need different things. Your green leafy vegetables need more nitrogen (builds green), root crops need both phosphorus and potasium. For your flower garden, the middle number (phosphorus) is what is key to producing lots of bloom.

If you want liquid fertilizer, how about manure tea? Get an old barrel or drum, fill a feed sack with aged manure, some nice crumbly compost, etc and place it in the drum (like a huge tea bag). Let steep, and water your garden with it just like your liquid Miracle Grow. Naturally, you can't really gauge how much N P or K you are getting, but it's as healthy as whatever the animals that produced the manure were fed.

-- Bernie from Northern Ontario (bernadette_kerr@hotmail.com), March 25, 2002.

Try getting a seaweed or fish extract, one gallon runs around $25 and its a concentrate so it makes 200+ gallons, you can spray it on every two weeks. It gives the plants a great nutrient snack plus a lot of trace elements which may be in short supply in a large garden. Plus it is organic and won't do any damage to the soil. I don't want to get into an organic argument but the cheap stuff or miracle grow may do more harm than good in the long run.

-- Bob Fade (fadefarm@aol.com), March 26, 2002.

Thanks to all... very good options to consider.


-- otter360 (kitchen@eng.fsu.edu), March 26, 2002.

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