Miracle Grow gone organic

Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)May 18, 2005

I just heard part of a commercial for what I think was an organic potting soil by Miracle Grow. What are the odds the packaging says that staying organic requires avoiding the rest of Miracle Grow's product line?

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squeeze(z8 BC)

why would it say that? 'organic' products don't usually have instructions about 'staying organic', and what they may be selling is 'high-organic' soil - ie: soil w/ higher than normal humus of some type, which is already found under various brand names - Miracle-Gro is simply masterful marketing, suck'em in any ol way


    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 10:43PM
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AzDesertRat(AZ 8b Sunset 12)

If you hear the rest of the commercial, it also tells you that it contains Miracle Grow (fertlizer) to "help you plants get a great head start" (paraphrased). Don't believe the hype.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 12:38AM
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chopstocky(z6 NY Sunset 37)

What is it in Miracle Grow that makes it do what it does? I want to keep my garden as chemical free as possible but have little experience doing so.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:49AM
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southerngurl(6 Ark)

Chemical ferts. You simply need to find sources of those nutrients in natural forms. Some other smarter person can give you more details.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:59AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Just for 1 The Nitrogen in MG is derived from petrolium based fuels

If you accecpt oil as an organic base I guess you can accept M G


    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 6:05PM
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I belive the comercial refers to the base of the potting soil. Very misleading!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 7:53PM
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I actually saw these bags of Organic potting mix at Lowes, they even have the USDA organic seal of approval on it, (for what thats worth) After looking it over I carried on walking and wondering how many true organic gardeners would actually buy it.
Not me, on principle.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Home Page

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 6:35PM
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thandiwe2(6b SW Pa)

I keep my home garden organic but at the commmunity garden my plot is transistional and there are just demands on the soil and neighbors that make organic impossible. In any case I have recommened the organic choice fertilizer to some at the gardens. I also suggest compost and green manure for the long run but unless people community garden folks get off to a running start they just give up. I try to transistion people and make them more aware over time rather than be a heavy handed person that doesn't change any minds.

Here in Western PA you really never should have to buy soil unless you are gardening directly on coal or slag. The garden soil is just a silly product but the fertilizer is manure and other stuff that I am ok with for the short run while improving soil in other ways for the long run.

I know that will get me flamed in this forum but I think it is important to get more non-petrolium based products in more peoples hands and more people to think about organics.


This is from the miracle grow website:

"What makes Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice products "organic"?

Miracle-Gro Organic Choice products are formulated using only 100% organic materials (i.e. materials that are derived from plants or animals). They contain a natural, low odor fertilizer, high quality sphagnum peat moss, composted bark, and a wetting agent derived from the Yucca plant. Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil also contains composted manure."

Here is a link that might be useful: organic choice

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 12:36AM
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cochiseaz8(az 8)

Personally, I have a hard time buying products that are nationally advertised,, I figure that if they have the bucks to put into advertising,,, it's not going into product,, period. Organic Miricale grow???? I think not! When was the last time you saw an advertisment for real compost? How to make it,? See? It all seem to be based on fast (chemical) results.. What a bunch of hog-wash, darlene

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 12:49AM
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chinamigarden(z5 MI)

People bash the big companies for making chemical ferts. But if they try to grow and promote an organic line, they get bashed by the same people. Its like the product alone isn't good enough, it has to come from pure intent as well. If miracle grow sold this product under a different company name, like Organic Grow, most of you posters wouldn't have a problem with it. The knee jerk reaction clouds your message and makes it harder for people asking real questions to get good answers.

And for what its worth, not everything organic is good for you or your garden and not everything synthetic is bad.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 9:00AM
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Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)

People are right to be skeptical of the nice folks at Miracle Grow and Scott's and all the others that encourage the indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 8:32PM
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ohiorganic(5/6 SW Ohio)

The MG commercial certainly do like to toss the big O word around in their ads. But no MG is not organic or going that way.

As to bashing big chem companies yes we organic growers do indeed do that but i do noit think any knowledgable organic grower would not buy MG if the name were changed to "Organic Grow" as they would read the label and see that it is not an organic input in any way shape or form. chemical fertilzers such as MG do damage to soil life and simply give the plant a short term boost. A newbie organic grower might get duped but not someone who knows what they are doing

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 8:31PM
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I have to disagree. If you examine the website, MG is definitely beginning to head down an organic path with a modest offering of products that are indeed organic in their composition. While this may come as a big surprise to those of us who are most familiar with MG (first Stern's, then Scott's) as a heavy marketer of chemical based fertilizers and pesticides, it makes perfect sense. Organic gardening is a very popular trend that is attracting a huge conversion of formerly non-organic gardeners and MG is obviously losing market share to organic products by focusing solely on chemically based gardening products and is now jumping on the organic gardening bandwagon to reclaim some of that market. It may be a bit of a mixed bag that there is so much name recognition with Miracle Gro - it will certainly draw in consumers who believe that MG products are indeed 'miracle' producing, but it will likely NOT draw others who are more experienced in organic gardening methods and who don't believe that an organization like Scott's or MG could ever produce a truly organic product, much like ohioorganic :-))

Here is a link that might be useful: Miracle Gro Organic Choice products

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 9:42AM
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chinamigarden(z5 MI)

Skeptical is one thing, closed minded is another. Big companies are in business to make money, they don't make chemicals and they don't make fertilizer, they make money. When the organic consumer group becomes large enough where they can make money from them, they will shift to organic to make their money, and it looks like it is happening. Tht said you don't have to like it, and you don't ahve to buy their product, but don't jerk your knee at the name and start to bash the product.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 2:48PM
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Now if only we could get ChemLawn to switch over to spraying liquified manure LOL

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 7:46AM
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Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)

It isn't on topic, but this reminds me of a New Yorker (I think) cartoon someone showed me years ago. Two people were talking at a cocktail party and, I don't remember the exact words, but one said something like, "Ford owns Volvo now? What will we do if Velveeta starts selling Brie?"

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 11:29AM
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urthshaper(z3 alberta, Can)

If you are looking for environmentally sound reasons to avoid this product, it's right in the ingredients list: Sphagnum moss. In North America, they harvest it mostly from Canadian wetlands, causing serious, and mostly irreparable harm to swamps that are vital for reclaiming groundwater. (I read a paper about a woman that was trying to re seed the ultra slow growing sphagnum population. It's very difficult, and in some cases if the damage was too great, they can't fix it at all.) Swamps filter out a lot of pollutants. These ecosystems are extremely delicate, and the companies that harvest peat moss are essentially strip mining.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 11:16AM
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Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)

You're absolutely right that sphagnum and peat harvesting is strip mining and it's a shame that so much peat is used for wasteful things. Swamps filter pollutants, but peat bogs don't because they usually don't receive much drainage from uplands. They're cool places because they're so unusual.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:14PM
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Once again, a case of misinformation that has been blown out of proportion. While I agree that sphagnum peat moss is not an ideal soil amendment (minimal nutirent value, may be TOO water retentive and very difficult to rehydrate once dried), peat bogs are in no danger of depletion and the harvesting of peat has minimal impact on the environment.

Here is a link that might be useful: the truth about peat

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 11:24PM
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Kudos to those criticizing Miracle Gro. Let's face it - MG is a huge company, they can take the heat. Go to the Rose forum and hear people talk about MG, they speak with almost cultlike devotion to it. A tad scary ... but whatev. Anyhoo, it's almost Necessary to express the message against MG with more passion, more criticism, more volume than you normally would other things. People don't snap out of their ad-dollar influenced habits without a lot of passionate criticism and increased volume from the other side.

And so the METHOD of getting the organic message across is just as important as the message itself, because as we know, corporate america and bigbusiness have their methods too, and they are far far worse than anything Bruce or anyone else here on the ORGANIC forum can say in a Garden Web thread. Have to fight fire with fire, and if fire on this end means being extra critical, then so be it. It's because of folks who are willing to take a stand, that Americans are starting to buy organic fertilizer, food, household products, building products, etc. The general American consuming public certainly didn't come up with the idea on their own.

As Newton figured out, an object can only move if there is a larger or unbalanced force acting against it. This force is the only thing can cause the object to move, thus altering its speed, direction, or both. The passionate folks who go up against big govt/big business/mass thinking have to create enough of a presence to move that object of inertia (the mass buying public), which ain't no easy thing. I applaud those who do it, who believe it, and speak strongly about it. It ain't easy being green!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:21AM
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Bruce_in_ct(6 - CT)

Yes, sphagnum can be harvested in a sustainable manner. So can trees, fish, and passenger pigeons. Farmers can conserve soil and not poison everything in sight too. But if there's an extra nickel to be made by destroying a resource, it'll be destroyed.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 3:06PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

After some MG users are required to make their veggie gardens
stand fallow for 5 to 7 years because of excess fertilizer salt, they will have second thoughts.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 9:25AM
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ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a

Can you refer me to a documentation about the excess fertilizer salt?
I garden in a community garden and would like to persuade people not to use MG. I generally know it is not good to use, but this is the first reference I've seen to the salt.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 12:17PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

I heard my county agent telling more than one gardener about it( while waiting my turn)


Some salt values


here is a different opinion


From TAMU and NMSU


Excessive salt is in one of my to do experiments..


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 5:20PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

I think it's wonderful if big companies want to try marketing organic products. If it's good stuff, it will make people look at organics in a better light. If it isn't, at least some of the folks who tried it will opt to look for something "more organic".

My guess is that it will be good stuff. Anyone thinking of doing side-by-sides with more "conventional" organic mixes?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 6:06PM
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squeeze(z8 BC)

you're right about the desireability of the big guys "going organic", Johnny, but that won't induce me to swerve from useing the "straight goods" myself w/o resorting to purchasing a commercial blend designed for one purpose - to make money for the sellers!

I'd have a hard time doing a comparison because all my soil gets so much excellent home-made compost, w/ judicious additions of fish fert for N boost in early summer - no place to use MG or such! just hope all the 'average suburbanite' yards get onto better lines of consumer additives like these, to the point the big guys can drop their chem lines! now if those folks would just stop bagging their grass clippings and yard 'debris' and shipping it to the landfill ......


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 6:18PM
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It seems to me this is a good thing. MG is not just promoting their product, but ORGANIC GARDENING as a concept. And with alot of money and a well known brand behind it. It may or may not be a quality product, but if it gets people who might not otherwise have considered it to start thinking about organics, it's a step in the right direction. It's likely better than whatever else they would have otherwise bought. And maybe when winter comes they will start wanting organic produce at their grocery store...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 10:30PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Just for clarification, this is a potting soil, right? Or are they selling "topsoil" as well?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 5:20AM
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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

Sustainable sphagnum harvesting requiers that the moss be mined in strips so that the ramaining moss can recover> this is not usually done by big companies.

Since i grow carnivorus plants, its sad to say that theres no real altenate quality product with consistant results. Coco peat is alrternate, but if the sorce is by the sea, a dangerous amount of salts can build up in it. Since theres no way to tell if the product has been grown by the sea or not, it can be risky.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 4:34PM
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I just have to pipe in. There is a push internationally and in somewhat in america right now for sustainable industry. I think that this is great. Huge, chemical giants like cargill-dow, dupont, and BASF are opening plants to make biodegradable and compostable plastics made from agricultural sources. I just bought biodegradable stakes for the garden the other day. Companies like P&G have replaced phosphates in their detergents with enzymes that do the job better with way less environmental impact. And now companies like miracle grow are marketing organic soil.

What is the point anyway, isn't the point to improve our environment, to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and the green house gasses emitted, to make atleast our piece of the world healthier and better? This doesn't happen in huge leaps, this happens in little steps. Like a city dweller with no access to a feed store and manure stocks buying miracle grow potting soil and planting a few flowers or growing some kitchen herbs. This person then learns of the benefits of organics and trys to support it in whatever way they can.

We live in an industrial society; thats just the facts and it is going to be by moving those industries toward sustainability that we change the environment and attitudes, and this requires customers which buy sustainable products and demand them. Of course companies are moved by profits, it is silly to think otherwise, because a bankrupt defunct company can do very little to move society in any sort of direction. There aren't many who are going to go back to the horse and buggy days cause we were quite organic then. I personally think that science got us into this, and it is science that has to get us out; science and industry are intimately linked.

And just for the record, I definatley support local businesses, my own family runs one. To each their own, but I just had to say this.

Oh dear, I'm getting off my soap box now :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 12:17PM
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cecilsgarden(z6 swPA)

I have used Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil for two years now. I have never seen any indication on the bag of anything in it except organic materials. I believe it has some poultry manure in it as well as the inert ingredients.
I have had great success with it, by growing tomatoes right in the bag. It's a great product.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 2:49PM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

I will not support a company that uses within its company a philosophy which is contrary to my beliefs.

There are many company that do traditional methods using chemicals and also claiming to use organic methods as a separtate market to get in on the organic movement...such combinations of methods are a conflict of interest and I will not support a company in such a conflict as it makes me too insecure with the product.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 8:22PM
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Be wary of Scotts Miracle Grow "organic" products. In bags from two separate baches purchased at two separate big box home centers in my area I found a large amount of landfill debris. I mean dozens of pieces of shredded plastic of all sorts, chips of glass, and pieces of metal. One may even be a strip of lead. Of course I called Stotts Miracle Grow, but I got a complete runaround. I was told that this is perfectly safe and is normal. I was told that they have a machine that sifts out debris and that it must not have been working. All of the obvious questions aside, why would I want soil that comes at least in part from some sort of a landfill?

I, for one, am shocked by the extremely poor quality of the product and by the arrogance and indifference of the Scotts Miracle Grow customer service employees I spoke with.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:22PM
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People bash the big companies for making chemical ferts. But if they try to grow and promote an organic line, they get bashed by the same people.

The disconnect comes (for me, at least) from the fact that this company has only switched to "organic" in this line because it's currently a marketable term. They haven't shown a dedication to reclaiming the natural soil food web, and any cash you give them may be used in the future to produce other organic materials, or may be used to make more chemical ferts, Roundup+, or some other horrible thing, depending on what the market demands at that time.

I'm involved in the open source software community (things like the Linux operating system, the Firefox browser, etc) and we've grown over the decades to be very wary of companies hopping onto the OSS bandwagon when they haven't demonstrated they 'get it.' All too often, the money paid to them and support given turns into ammunition used against us when the management changes or the market directs them another way. Both my computers and my garden are a sensitive ecosystem, and keeping tabs on what I put into it *and* the intent of the producers is important for stability and future health. If the MG company was discussing why the petroleum-based chemical fert route was dangerous, and eliminating those product lines, I'd certainly be listening.

But I think I'll stick with local OM - as local as I can, including my own pile when it's ready (and I can get this knotweed out of it.)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:35AM
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My opinion on the matter is that, like it or not, it is a capitalistic world. People act like it's "evil" to operate a company with the intent of being profitable. Why else would you run a company? Anyone on this forum who is employed by someone else, or operates their own business is doing so because there is a profit being made. If a company does not find a way to be profitable, then they will cease to exist.

I have never bought any miracle gro organic products, as I have plenty of compost and worm poo, but, not everyone composts. Most people go to a large store to buy their gardening supplies, so if they are provided with an organic alternative, that is good for them, and if someone makes a profit off of it, then that is providing jobs and feeding families.

The "organic" fertilizer that is added to their soil is chicken poo, which is a waste product of the agricultural industry. If someone chooses to buy this over regular miracle-gro potting soil and some miracle-gro fertilizer to add to it, maybe that will get them interested in organic gardening, and they will continue to learn, and choose to start using the materials around them to create compost, etc. If not, I can't see that anyone was harmed by having the option of purchasing this product.

My point is that those who are so quick to get angry about capitalism and profit-driven companies are most likely living the quality of life that they so enjoy as a direct result of living in a capitalistic society.

Sorry about my insane rantings, I am done and I feel better. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:22PM
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My point is that this product, at least from my personal experience is 1. NOT organic, and 2. quite possibly bad for your health, given the large amount of household trash I found shredded up in multiple samples of the product. Who knows what leached into this soil before they stuffed it into a bag.

This is not capitalism. This is dishonesty.

This is an arrogant company playing into the current marketing hype value of "organic" without actually delivering a product to match the term. For the record, I have absolutely no problem with a large company serving a growing consumer need. I have a problem, though, with a company misleading people about things that could potentially have negative health consequeces.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 6:28PM
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I've been watching this forum for a while now, and it seems that people are losing sight of the issue in hand, and are more concerned about the pro's and con's of capitalism!!

Here is a link that might be useful: what miracle grow say

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 7:32PM
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I think with some many historically non-organic companies jumping on this organic marketing band wagon. The word Organic means only two things 1) it's a way for a company to raise the price of a product without actually improving the product and making it more inline with what organic really means and 2)we as consumers have to read labels and understand the true meaning of the word organic as each company defines it.

US regulations (USDA) doesn't mean a hill of beans in this arena. Take their definition of free range, it doesn't mean animals are actually free it just means they have to have access to range which in their definition is less than one hour a day; Same thing with the word organic.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 3:21PM
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daria(Z5A ME)

It would seem that the definition of Organic provided by
the Scotts company might include Roundup, since it contains carbon atoms.

C3 H8 NO5 P (glyphosate); C6 H17 N2 O5 P
(glyphosate-mono(isopropylammonium)) (62).

They listed sewer sludge as an organic fertilizer, and organic growers shun sludge as part of their planting regiment as it often contains heavy metals, among other nasty things.

That means that DDT is organic too, by the Scotts company's philosophy.

Let's hope that the corporations don't think they can bend and meld the term "Organic" when speaking of gardening and farming to include many of its previous definitions.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 4:26PM
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chinamigarden(z5 MI)

The dictionary definition of organic includes carbon atoms as one of the defining things that makes something organic.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:17PM
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Well, one dictionary definition. There are others, though. (From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.)

1. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter. 2. Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ: an organic disease. 3a. Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin: organic vegetables; an organic farm. b. Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals: organic chicken; organic cattle farming. c. Serving organic food: an organic restaurant. d. Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle. 4a. Having properties associated with living organisms. b. Resembling a living organism in organization or development; interconnected: society as an organic whole. 5. Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental. 6. Law Denoting or relating to the fundamental or constitutional laws and precepts of a government or an organization. 7. Chemistry Of or designating carbon compounds.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Q: If you get organic matter from a feed lot and remove the desired compounds. Distill them to a concentrate. Add other distilled compounds from other natural sources to get the desired fertilizers, is it a chemical fertilizer?
A: Not to me.
M/G has some P O L products in it so I use it only when I can't find better.
Please remember that just because it is a powder and in a box, like M/G, does not mean it came out of an oil well.

sorry, but I had to throw my tomato in.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 12:17PM
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This is my first post here, and my first veggie garden. Thinking I was doing good, I bought MG Organic Choice All Purpose Organic Plant Food.
How are we, as first timers supposed to know what is good product and what is not?
Is my garden not considered "organic" or just not a good organic now?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 7:29PM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

Yes in every discussion of organic gardening, someone will invariably throw in the (unhelpfiul) dictionary definition, as if they see it as a total revelation and that none of us hasn't heard it hundreds of times before.

For those people, they should know that the definition of "organic gardening" has a meaning far beyond simply including carbon atoms. If confused, please let anyone here know and you will direced to perhaps a million websites that can explain it in simple, easy to understand language.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 12:05AM
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Thanks to everyone for this very informative debate. What struck me on the "Organic Choice" bag was the injunction to "wear gardening gloves" when using the product. I had planned to get my two children (toddlers) to help me plant a small organic veggie garden where I am renting, but I only want them digging in "good clean dirt" that they can put their hands in... Any advice on "toddler-safe" gardening and "good clean dirt" would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 1:30AM
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Im not in the US so things may be different here mimika, but all bags of soils, composts, manures etc carry that warning over here as standard, as well as warnings not to inhale the product or its dust.

this is largely to cover their backsides as any type of organic material can contain bacteria and organisms that can cause things like legionnaires disease or tetanus. now while the chances of catching these things pretty rare, and most people ignore the warnings over here with no ill effects, there is that one in a million chance and that's what those type of warnings are about. there's really no such thing as good clean dirt, all soil and compost etc has bacteria in it, but mostly our immune systems deal with it.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Do the MC people tell us what is in their product?

When we buy food don't we usually look at the ingredients before we buy it? How can a person honestly want to use something like that, especially growing food with it.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:34PM
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The ingredient list some very good amendments in the mix. It is the same stuff that is in some organic nursery soiless mediums. Essentially the Organic Miracle Gro is soiless. It does have sterilized poultry litter but when you pick up a bag you will know what I mean. I think there maybe some "chemical" fertilizer in it. USDA organic is 98% organic source so the 2% could be anything. It is a lot more cost efficient than purchasing a mix at an organic nursery but it will lack the supreme quality of somebody's personal farm mix. Most organic nurseries like to use rabbit manure and greensand, stuff that really gives a plant that organic beauty. I personally have never tried MG soil or soiless but I have seen many people have great success with the Moisture Control and other mixes.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 1:44AM
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Many companies are jumping onto the "Organic" product bandwagon because there is the potential to make a profit there, they are not altruistic and doing this just because it is the right thing to do. When a company does start marketing "Organic" products after years telling people that organic gardening does not work, the motive should be questioned and the products should be looked at very closely. A company like that will always look for ways to reduce costs and increase the profit margin and most often that means taking shortcuts. A company that large with its history is not to be trusted.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:43AM
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I've got the strangest question to ask: If every non-organic company (even ones that have "organic" items) suddenly went bankrupt, and the majority of the population has grown used to those, what would happen?

I'm probably thinking a lot of people would give up gardening, on the premise that a) Organic gardening might be a lot of work, or b) I have to pay more for something that gives me less "instant" results.

It's a slow process to introduce organics into mainstream gardening... Big companies (whatever their motives) are trying...

Chew on that while people go to Whole Foods :P

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:09AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

>Chew on that while people go to Whole Foods :P

What is that supposed to mean?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 7:28PM
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It means, since people might lose interest in organic gardening, everyone who wants organic items would just go to Whole Foods. Let's hope it doesn't come to that (prices are high in there!).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 2:39AM
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This product is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR DOGS. My dogs, and I have found out in the last couple of weeks, many other dogs, have ingested very small amounts this product and been VERY SICK. Vomiting and lethargy are just some of the symptoms. And these are dogs that do not normally go into the garden and get into things in the soil. There is something in it that is very attractive to dogs.

When contacted, Scotts sent a note thanking me for my interest in their products (pretty insensitive) along with a list of ingredients. There is not a complete list of ingredients on this product, so if you need to get this info to help a sick pet when they are closed, you're out of luck.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 11:13AM
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Hello out there! This is something that has been on my chest for a really long time that I would just love to unload (donÂt worry, itÂs not mean, just something I think we neglect.)

I can see most of us don't like miracle grow, and I can totally understand. It is bad for the environment, completely unsustainable, etc; etc; ... and I agree with all of that. I agree that as organic gardeners we need to work together to spread the word about sustainability, gardening, and respecting our environment.

I just hope as a group, we are all putting equal consideration in to our organic amendments. Bat and bird guano mining has been responsible for the extinction of species as well as the devastation of habitat for these animals. We shouldnÂt really be using pre-made fertilizers with them in it  even though it is organic. Pouring any sort of liquid fish emulsion etc; on your plants leaks in to the water table the same way as their chemical counterparts, and manure applied too liberally ends up in wells. Again, we should question this practice. Further we should question the practice of using any commercially available organic fertilizer. We donÂt know the factories that made it and what they do to obtain the raw products, we donÂt know their emissions, and we certainly donÂt know how much oil it takes to ship it.

Ultimately we need to remember that each type of fertilizer whether you feed the soil or not can have disastrous consequences. As growers working to be organic and respect the environment we all need to make sure that we not only look at large industrial practices for flaws, but look at our own practices as well =)

Have a great gardening weekend!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 5:40PM
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I laughed at many of the posts here because they are so right on. Years ago I poisoned myself with overdose of Preen, now they have an "organic" version, and then a "natural" version. It would be very confusing to people who are not well read or informed and I agree with what some of you said, it is hopeful that the market is changing because the producers recognize that the consumers who are concerned are having an effect. I am tryng to just use, natural stuff, meaning manures, compost and compost teas to accomplish things so I do not have to read a label and figure out what it means!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:20PM
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There is pretty strict labeling for fertilizers and other gardening related items. Everything is listed on the label and there are no synthetic chemicals in it. The fertilizer is derived from natural sources (poultry litter).

It seems to just be composted bark fines, sphagnum peat moss and poultry litter. Whether you consider peat moss to be sustainable or not doesn't refute what's on the label, that it's made from natural organic materials. Scott's has bought some organic companies. I think they're getting on board and not just buying out companies to kill the product lines. I still prefer to buy from other manufacturers that have a primary goal in organic products when I can.

I don't know why people need to go loony and make stuff up about there being synthetic fertilizers in there.

That being said. I don't think it's that great. Maybe it varies from area to area and season to season, just like all compost does. It's not like finely screened compost. There were a lot of big chunks in it. I picked up some for a couple of containers. It's nice to have everything in one bag that is available nearby. Will look for something better though.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 10:26PM
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MGF has not gone organic. I was in Home Depot yesterday and I took a look at their "organic' fertilizer. I am going to have to go back and write down the two ingredients they use in their bag organic fertilizer. If you look at a quality organic fertilizer it will have at least five or six or more different types of organic matierial like seaweed, kelp, chicken manure, bat guano, blood/bone meal, steer manure, etc. What I saw was something that tried to pass itself off as organic. Again, I am going to have to go back and check it out.

I will report back when I actually get the info on the package.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 7:37AM
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There are plenty of good reasons one might want to stick with other organic fertilizer companies. There is no reason to make up lies about Scott's brand products. It just weakens the argument.

The bagged Miracle Gro Organic Choice All Purpose Plant Food contains poultry litter and feather meal. It doesn't need to have 5-6 ingredients to be considered good or organic. Many organic fertilizers consist of one component.

This product is like Cockadoodle Doo except Cockadoodle Doo doesn't contain feather meal and while Cockadoodle Doo make it a point to not use litter from chickens that have been given steroids or hormones, Scott's doesn't make that claim.

I personally do not like any forms of manure unless it's been composted, which neither product indicates it has been. Cockadoodle doo just heat treats it like Milorganite. In some areas you can find composted poultry manure which I think would be better.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 11:29AM
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Once again, simply substituting "organic" fertilizers for synthetic fertilizers is not being organic. The goal of any orgnaic gardener/farmer would be to move away from the need for "fertilizers" by building up the soil so it is good and healthy and will grow strong and healthy plants. Relying on "fertilizers" is not going to do that.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 7:01AM
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Dan Staley

Organic fertilizers will, however, bridge the gap between before and after.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 1:27PM
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avid hiker, I'm not sure why you would conclude MG's Organic Choice ferts are not organic simply because they have limited ingredients. A great many perfectly good organic fertilizers are single ingredient products - alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, fish or kelp meal, bat guano, etc. All that is required for them to be considered a fert and be labeled as such is one or more of the three primary nutrients (NPK) in a guaranteed percentage. The MG organic product certainly satisfies that criteria with an NPK of 7-1-2.

And I think we need to move away from the concept that fertilizing is somehow a bad thing or that to do so infers you are an inferior gardener. Virtually all organically derived fertilizers can be considered soil amendments as well, in that they provide organic matter to the soil and stimulate populations and activities of soil organisms. Few, if any, provide nutrients in such concentrations as to significantly alter existing soil conditions. If the statement that "feed the soil and the soil will feed the plants" can be considered a tenet of organic gardening, the appropriate use of organic fertilizers is entirely reasonable. For those who dogmatically insist otherwise indicates a lack of understanding of what organic fertilizers are or how they work.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 3:09PM
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Dan Staley

I'd like to know the percentage of organic truck crop growers who don't use fert. Or even just small market growers. I bet its a single-digit %.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 6:41PM
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Well, just to add my 2 cents. I just started gardening this year and want to be organic, to the extent that it is reasonable. I live in a small town with limited choices and so it was either regular MG or organic MG. i was glad to have a choice.

I have been using the all purpose plant food in the powdered form, and let me tell you, it stinks like it must be organic.

I left it out and it got rained on and the flies thought it was organic enough to breed in.

i have been pleased with the results.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:53PM
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By using Miracle Grow, my souffle fell in the oven. By using Miracle Grow, my neighbor's car wouldn't start. By my using Miracle Grow, my brother-in-law's hair turned grey. By my using Miracle Grow, my sister's bread dough didn't rise ! By my shoving Miracle Grow up my own nose, my aunt's friend developed a severe headache.

After reading the absolutely moronic comments about Miracle Grow by elitist snobs who need to have someone else look after the garden for them, I am more convinced that ever that Scott's Miracle Grow is a good safe product to use that actually works.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 11:28AM
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I just started going organic this year in my garden. If I had not been listening to an organic gardening radio show and just looking on this forum this discussion would have made me think that most of the people doing organics were a bunch of crazy anti business radicals. This discussion has had alot of people trashing a company because it is a chemical fert company. Most of the people who are trashing the product did not even read the lable to see what was in it. If this product had chemical fert in it and some one tested it they would have a major case against MG/Scotts. You may not agree with the company and you should support local organic providers over the large companies that are coming in to "jump on the band wagon" but in some areas these product are what the person just starting out can find easily. Some new gardeners would decide that it was not worth it if this product was not avalible. You can not like a company but you can't trash them for not being organic and then trash them because they are starting to move in the direction you want them to just because they are not moving all they way at one time. The best way to get a company to move to the organic side would be to do some testibg and see if the product is organic and if it works and then support the product. If MG/Scotts starts make a lot of money on organic products then they will start making more of them and less of the chemicals that we don't like. The only way to get the companies to change is through sales. Think about how your rants will be seen by people thinking about do what you agree with and try not to scare them off because you come off as totally insane.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:20AM
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"chemical fertilizers", all fertilizers are chemical, so is your drinking water H2O.
Do you mean "Synthetic" chemical fertilizers?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:51PM
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