We know that plants need watering and love every so often to help them grow. But when it comes to vegetable gardens that we want to thrive and yield an abundance of fruit, they may need something extra — plant food.
Plant food, or otherwise known as fertilizers, can help vegetable plants flourish and grow twice as large. One of the leading brands today is Miracle-Gro, a staple in every vegetable garden.
But with its abundance of benefits also comes the risk of using too much and end up harming your vegetable plant instead of helping it.
The All-Purpose Plant Food variation of Miracle-Gro should only be used on vegetables every 1-2 weeks. Otherwise, you’ll risk over-fertilizing and end up killing your vegetable plant.
There are other variations and formulas of Miracle-Gro too, which have different considerations in terms of quantity and frequency of use.
What is Miracle-Gro?
Miracle-Gro is one of the leading plant fertilizers in America. It has been produced since the 1940s, but up to today still sees tremendous demand from vegetable gardeners.
Miracle-Gro products have been improved to house a multitude of gardening benefits. More than a fertilizer, there are also formulas that serve as soil revitalizers and mixes — all helping plants flourish and thrive.
4 Different Vegetable Fertilizers from Miracle-Gro
There are a lot of Miracle-Gro variations and formulas, each with the nutrients and vitamins that are suitable for a specific type of plant. They have fertilizer for vegetables, roses, flowers, trees, and shrubs.
When it comes to vegetables, there are four different formulas of Miracle-Gro that can be used:
All-Purpose Plant Food
This variation is the most attractive to gardeners because it is suitable for use for any type of plant, whether vegetables, flowers, or trees and shrubs.
This formula contains the three core fertilizer ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK).
The All-Purpose formula should be applied every 1-2 weeks, or on a 7-14 day cycle.
Some plants do not thrive well when chemical components are used on them. So Miracle-Gro has come up with an organic option that is most suitable for vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
The Organic Choice fertilizer is made with a mix of natural and organic ingredients with a formula of 7-1-2. It should be used sparingly, ideally every 2 months during the growing season.
Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food
The Shake ‘n Feed Formula is suitable for use for tomatoes, fruits, and vegetables. It is a host to a vast array of nutrients that promote healthy plant growth, including calcium and NPK.
This formula should only be applied every 3 months. The recommended amount is ½ cup of the formula for every 10 square feet.
For tomato gardeners, the tomato plant food formula is the best option. It can be used on all vegetables but works wonders for tomato plants because of its richness in potassium.
Potassium helps tomato plants grow and bear more fruit.
The Tomato Food Formula should only be applied every 7-14 days.
How Often to Use Miracle-Gro on Vegetables
The frequency of use of Miracle-Gro will depend on the formula you are using. Here’s a cheat sheet for your reference:
- All-Purpose Plant Food – every 1-2 weeks
- Organic Choice – every 2 months during the growing season
- Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food – every 3 months
- Tomato Food – every 7-14 days
When to Stop Using Miracle-Gro
There’s no doubt that Miracle-Gro can help your plants flourish. But there is a cap to its use.
Pay attention to your plant to find out if you need to stop using Miracle-Gro. Some tell-tale signs include:
- Few flowers despite an abundance of foliage
- Deformed plant leaves
- Leaf discoloration
- Weak, brittle, or limp plants
What To Do If You Used Too Much Miracle-Gro
Overfertilizing is a big no-no when it comes to growing vegetable plants. If exceeding the recommended amount, the formula could potentially burn your plants and kill them.
That is why it’s important to apply only the recommended amount at the right frequency.
Is there still a way to save your vegetable plants if you’ve used too much Miracle-Gro fertilizer?
The good news is, there are some things you can do to restore the health of your vegetable plants, such as:
Scoop out fertilizer chunks on the soil’s surface
Some formulas of Miracle-Gro are colored, so it’s rather easy to find them in your soil.
If you’ve applied too much, scoop out the excess chunks on top of the soil. This is a lifesaver if you haven’t watered your plants yet because the fertilizer hasn’t leached into the soil.
Flush out with water
If you have, however, already watered your plants, the formula would have already invaded your soil beneath the surface.
You can flush the fertilizer out with water. But do be careful, as you may overwater your plant and cause root rot.
What you can do is to use a gardening hose and positioning it upward so that the water does not directly splash on your plant. Leave the hose running for 30 minutes and avoid watering the plant after.
Remove damaged or sick leaves
If you see some dead, damaged, or sick leaves, overfertilizing may have already taken its toll.
You now have to get rid of these damaged leaves to prevent it from spreading its disease to other parts of the plant. Gently cut them off with clean pruning shears and make sure you don’t leave a single damaged leaf uncut.
Minimize light exposure
All the nutrients from the fertilizer encourage your plant to absorb more light. So if you overfertilize, your plant may be taking in too much light to the point that it scorches its leaves.
Put up a shade near your overfertilized plant, but make sure it still gets a hefty amount of indirect light. You can remove the shade once the fertilizer has been flushed out or removed.
There is no doubt that fertilizers can enhance the growth and fruiting capabilities of your vegetable plant. But with this benefit comes risks as well.
To make the most out of Miracle-Gro, just make sure you use it in the right amount and at the right frequency perfectly.