With the gardening season upon us, our thoughts turn to the great outdoors and all of the the wonderful things we’re hoping to grow. Big,juicy vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, the delectable crunch of grandpa’s favorite variety of sugar snap peas…herbs and tender lettuce…
Or for the flower fans, dinner-plate dahlias, mounds of impatiens as far as the eye can see..black-eyed susan’s…johnny-jump ups…sweetpeas… and the list goes on and on.
But one thing’s for sure. No matter what plants you plan to grow, you won’t want to forget to add a good all purpose fertilizer to the top of your garden shopping list.
So what better time to compare a couple of good all purpose fertilizers ? Since I’m not one to buy multiple products for individual uses, I’m basing my personal observations on a couple of well known brands of water soluble all purpose plant foods that can both be used on vegetables, plants and flowers alike. If I were to ask you for the name of a popular fertilizer, chances are good that Miracle-Gro would be one that quickly springs to mind.
Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food
Millions of people swear by Miracle-Gro but is it really the best choice for all of your gardening needs, and is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? Miracle-Gro comes in several different formulations, but for our purposes, I’m basing my observations on my experience with the 15-30-15 formula. As you most likely already know, all fertilizers are packaged with labels that indicate the available amounts of Nitrogen (for green, vegetative growth),Phosphorous (for rooting and setting buds), and Potassium/Potash, (for the overall health and vigor of the plant), in that order: N-P-K.
Miracle-Gro is easy to find almost anywhere and it’s pretty reasonably priced at $3.48 for an 8 oz package which will last for quite a while. It comes with easy to follow instructions for mixing and even includes a handy dandy little scoopy spoon for measuring. But one thing I’m not crazy about is the little plastic bag it’s packaged in with the twist tie. I think a ziploc type bag would be a big improvement. All in all, my experience with Miracle Gro has been a largely positive one. I must say I’ve been extremely pleased with the ‘greening up’ and growth of my vegetable garden plants, but when it comes to flowers, Miracle-Gro wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice.
Schultz Bloom Plus Water Soluble Plant Food 10-54-10
Like Miracle-Gro, Bloom Plus is easily affordable on even the tightest gardening budget at $4.36 for a 10 oz. jar. It also includes clear and concise mixing instructions, and it too comes with a handy dandy little scoopy spoon. This one may not be quite as easy to find on the shelves though. But no problem, an internet search should be able to hook you up in no time. One thing I noticed about this product was its tendency to clump. It seems to be affected by humidity to the point where it becomes difficult to scoop out of the container. But when it comes to flower production, this product really shines! I was easily able to double my flower production by using this product and it seemed to deliver the results that Miracle-Gro never did for me.
Both of these products are good products and either one will most likely help you meet your gardening goals. But the key is defining those goals. For vegetables, the Miracle-Gro yielded better results, but for flowers the Shultz Bloom Plus was the winner hands down.
Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and fruitful gardening season!