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May 31, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Fertilizer

The adverts tell us how good it is, and my own experience confirms that when used at the right times Miracle-Gro is an outstanding fertilizer. There is tight information control about what it consists of, the adverts just tell us:
  • For garden and house plants. 
  • Produces fast results because it´s absorbed through leaves and roots. 
  • Plants grow faster, stronger, and produce 3 times more blooms. 
  • Safe to use and won´t burn when used as directed. 
  • Water soluble 24-8-16 formula with important micro-nutrients.


So, what’s inside?…

Research has discovered that the contents are:


Urea

A combination of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen (the building blocks of all life), urea is a potent fertilizer. Originally isolated from urine in 1773, it was the first organic compound to be synthesized in the lab from inorganic materials. Today, urea is a major industrial chemical (it adds flavor to cigarettes – yum).


Urea Phosphate

This is urea mixed with phosphorus, which plants need for both fruit and flower growth and photosynthesis (phosphorus is the P in ATP, the chief energy-transfer unit of living cells). A side benefit: Urea phosphate is also an antifungal agent.

Potassium Chloride

You might know this as the stuff that makes a lethal injection lethal. Smaller amounts are used as a water softener and a salt substitute for people who need to avoid sodium. For plants, the compound is a safe, excellent source of potassium, which helps make leaves green and stalks tall.

Boric Acid

Applied straight, boric acid kills roaches, ants, and, unfortunately, plants. But in minute quantities, elemental boron assists with cell division and is necessary to cross-link the pectin polymers in cell walls, acting as a brace to keep them structurally sound. It’s also used as an antiseptic and to slow fission in nuclear reactors.

Ammonium Phosphate

Used in many products as a flame retardant, this easily dissolved inorganic compound provides backyard horticulturists another cheap source of both phosphorus and nitrogen – a necessary component of proteins, chlorophyll, and other plant essentials.

Iron EDTA and Manganese EDTA

How does an organism absorb an inorganic mineral, anyway? When it comes to iron and magnesium, the metals have to be combined with ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid. The new molecules — called chelates — are transported throughout the plant and play an important role in chlorophyll creation.
All round, this is a great product derived from a renewable resource, but we don’t know how they source the ingredients and so no further comment should be made until then. I have resisted the jokes about the main ingredients, because this is too serious a subject. However, I can’t stop asking, why is the colour blue?

NPK 24-8-16
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