Grasses, plants, trees, flowers, birds, and butterflies. Who doesn’t love gardens? The scent of the lovely flowers, the birds chirping and the butterflies flying around, they are all good to look at. But, a fruitful plant cannot be as productive as it is if not because of the magic hands of the gardener. Every gardener has its own strategy in growing their plants. One is by using the right kind of plant food.
What is a Plant Food?
Plant food is any substance like animal dung or a combination of nitrates used to make the soil more productive.
What is a Fertilizer?
A fertilizer is a chemical or natural substance added to soil to make it more fertile.
Is Plant Food a Fertilizer?
Plant food and fertilizer are often used interchangeably. It is true that fertilizer helps plants get the needed nutrients to grow and blossom properly. In terms of how they are used, plant food and fertilizer are not the same.
What is Miracle-Gro?
This is a type of plant food by Scotts Miracle-Gro Company that every gardener knows. It provides readily available materials needed in the production of new cell structures within the plants. It quickly feeds through the leaves and roots.
What is it Used with?
It is used for flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs.
How Do you Use it?
Miracle-Gro can be used in two different ways:
- Through a feeder- 1 feeder refill packet can cover up 500 sq. ft.
- Through a watering can- 1 tablespoon mixed with a gallon of water
There is also a suggested quantity that should be used:
- For roses with small bushes, 1/2 gallon should be used while a gallon should be used for big bushes. Feeding should be done every 7-14 days.
- For all flowers and vegetables, 1 gallon should be utilized for every 10 square feet, every 7-14 days.
- For indoor plants, however, only half a teaspoon should be mixed with a gallon of water. Also, leaf-feeding for houseplants is not recommended. This mixture should be applied every 2 weeks.
Is Miracle-Gro Toxic to Humans?
There are still no studies conducted to rule out its toxicity to humans. However, some of the ingredients of Miracle-Go have serious effects on the surroundings and on humans, too. As with any product, caution is always a great mindset to adopt.
What are the Effects of Some of the Ingredients of Miracle-Gro on the Environment?
The accumulation of nitrates in the soil causes water pollution if exposed to a flowing water source. Excessive use of artificial fertilizers can damage the natural composition of soil eventually.
Plants which grow in such soil will not have enough of its ingredients like iron, carotene, zinc, copper, protein, and vitamin C. It can also burn the roots of the plants when excessively given.
What are the Effects of Some of the Ingredients on the Garden Itself?
It may harm the plant that it is supposed to strengthen if used improperly. One of the ingredients of the fertilizer is nitrogen which, if given in large quantities, can prevent shrubs and trees from blooming the way it used to be.
It also contains a high volume of salt which, as time passes by, ransacks the soil of its natural nutrients and prevents plants from absorbing them. Gardeners tend to overfeed their plants, thinking that this will aid in the fast growth of their plants.
Those who apply it too much compromise not only the depletion of their current harvests but also indefinitely damage their spaces.
What are the Effects of Some of the Ingredients to Humans?
Excess nitrate levels in the soil create plants that, when eaten, turn to toxic nitrites in the intestines. Miracle-Gro should not be eaten, but if ingested accidentally can irritate the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach as it contains urea, an irritating ingredient present in the plant food.
When irritation occurs, the person will experience nausea and vomiting. In addition, some of its ingredients can harm the soil itself, thus, can contaminate groundwater. Groundwater, as the primary source of potable water in the rural areas of the United States of America, can be greatly affected.
Various adverse health effects on humans can include:
- methemoglobinemia- also known as the blue baby syndrome
- various cancers
- Poor reproductive outcomes- like neural tube defects
- thyroid conditions
Miracle-Gro Came in Contact with my Eyes. What Should I Do?
Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water and continue flushing for 15 minutes. If irritation further develops, seek medical treatment.
Some Safety Precautions in Using this Plant Food
Here are some more important reminders in using the Miracle-Gro product:
- According to its Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet, when it is accidentally ingested, immediately rinse your mouth with water. Seek medical attention immediately. Call a doctor or poison control center and do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so.
- If a person accidentally inhales its powder, take them outside or to a well-ventilated area and monitor for subsequent irritation. If coughing or additional problems persist, call out for medical assistance.
- If irritation on the skin happens, remove the contaminated clothing. Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. If irritation occurs and becomes persistent, ask help for medical intervention.
- Always wash your hands after handling the product. Avoid inhaling the specks of dust present in the product. Put in a tightly sealed container and keep it closed when it is not in use.
- Using the original packaging of the product is still the best way to store the remaining plant food. By doing this, you can ensure that this will not be mistakenly identified as other products, which, in turn, may present a risk to one’s health.
- Apply the product properly. Read the instructions very well, even if you already know how to do it. The packaging will show you how, when, and where to apply the product properly.
- Keep this out of reach of children. Store the product away from your home. It is better to store it in your garden storeroom or maybe in the garage. In this way, you will prevent further accidents from happening inside your household.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures may damage the composition of the product, thus, altering its effectivity in the growth of your plants.