Why MiracleGro and Hydroponics Should Never Mix


February 21, 2014

To the new grower’s mind N-P-K versus N-P-K appears to be the same thing, but it’s not. Nutrients formulated for growing in soil won’t give you good results when you dive into soilless gardening. Fertilizer and nutrients are not the same. A water-soluble garden fertilizer may instantly melt in water, but a hydroponic nute it does not make.

Yes, hydro nutes are way more expensive than MiracleGro, however, even for soil-based growing, MiracleGro is not very good quality fertilizer. It’s just easy and ‘fool-proof’, not to mention you can buy it anywhere – including the dollar store. When was the last time you expected to find top quality stuff at the dollar store? Hopefully you said, ‘Never!’ So why expect cheap stuff to grow you an abundance of great food?

Sure, we’re all looking for the path to feeding ourselves good food at a reasonable cost, and many people’s budget allows no room for error. Before you make the mistake of assuming one is just as good as the other, lets look at the realities here.

Even if you’re using the non-circulating Kratky method instead of a standard hydroponics system, you are about to see exactly why MiracleGro and hydroponics should never mix. You might as well throw away that blue stuff, because what you’re about to see will show you just how well it performs.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Here’s a series of videos by MPH Gardener covering the results of his Kratky lettuce bed experiments. He’s always interesting, entertaining, and has something good to share. The first trial he ran using Masterblend compared to MiracleGro (or Miracle Grow as some folks type it). The next grow he ran water-soluble Masterblend against Fox Farm Grow Big, and Chem-Gro Hobby Formula. The winner for best performance is?

If you’re wondering about the pH level differences he had on that last grow between the different nutes he used, you’ll find them listed in the bottom of the info section HERE.



Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.

Recent articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *