hydromikeAugust 7, 2009

Has anyone tried mixing their own liquid for the AeroGarden? I am trying to use MiracleGro. I use 1/2 teaspoon to 1 gallon of rain water. Not sure if this is too strong or weak. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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The proportions sound about right but MiracleGro is NOT a hydroponic nutrient. The major nitrogen source in miraclegro requires bacteria in the soil to break it down into a source that plants can use, sure it works for a little while, but does not work for very long before your plants suffer for it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 12:01PM
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Thanks for the info. What would you suggest I use to get Nitrogen to my plants or where can I get Hydroponic nutrients to raise Lettuce in my AreoGarden that are less expensive then the one that you can get from AreoGarden? they seem to be too expensive.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 7:55AM
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find a local landscape supply company. have them order you a bag of soluble hydroponic solution (from southern ag, though others may produce it) and a bag of greenhouse grade calcium nitrate. On the front of the sol. hydro. sol. bag are instructions for mixing a general and tomato forumula.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 10:30AM
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I keep hearing that MiracleGro doesn't work for long because it requires the microbes. I can understand and fully agree with the common claim that Miracle-Gro is not a complete nutrient source and thus not good as the primary source of nutrients for edibles, but not sure I understand why it's said it won't work as a nitrogen source. Here is why:

A) Hydro isn't sterile unless you work really hard to make it so, which can be damaging to roots. Even municipally treated water loses it's sterilizing chemistry fairly soon. R/O and rain water won't be sterile, though. So microbes will be present in short order. Maybe longer if it's a sterile environment, but that's not likely for an aerogarden.

B) Miracle-Gro works great for soilless medium potted plants. Especially the MiracleGro Houseplant Food. I know of a couple people that use it for plants potted in a completely soilless medium (coco chunk/perlite/conifer bark chips). Potted plants are hydroponics that just require your mechanical application, so it stands to reason that anyone using Miracle-Gro for potted plants successfully is proving it as a successful hydro nutrient source (albeit incomplete). What am I missing?

One thing I find a little worrisome on the Miracle-Gro site is that it states "healthy looking". Not "healthy". Maybe because it's not a complete nutrient? That's purely speculation on my part, though.

In answer to your question: I would just guy some General Hydroponics (that's the name of the company) nutrients or something at the nearest hydro shop. Follow the directions. Grizzman, is the source you suggest cheaper? What did you have to pay out up front? Did you have to buy in bulk?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 4:10PM
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I think I paid about $80 total for the soluble hydroponic solution and the calcium nitrate. the first is a 25# bag and the latter a 50# bag. in 2 weeks I use 78g of the hydro solution and 35g of the cal nitrate. this is the total for all my plants. 2 toms, 16 peps, 2 eggplant. Assuming I keep the same size garden, the nutrients I bought will last me almost 20 years. [the math: 25# ~ 11340g. assuming 8 nute changes. (8 x 2weeks ~ 4 months) thats 8*78=624g per season.
11340/624~18 seasons]
And yes it was a bulk purchase. Before that I always used GH for my nutrients. I feel GH is good for getting your feet wet but once you start growing any quantity of plants, it's quite expensive.
on the issue of miracle grow, I think if you use traditional hydro techniques, microbes will not have time to adequately build up in the solution to perform their enzymatic action to convert the fertilizers since the solution is normally changed every two weeks. At least that's my understanding of the argument. My experience dictates otherwise. I grew basil and parsley just fine using miracle grow several seasons ago (as well as a hydro spider plant) but I generally just kept feeding a standing solution. add water daily, then adjust the EC maybe once a week by adding my miracle grow/Epsom salts nutrient solution. So I agree that it can be done, but I'm not sure how it will affect fruiting plants.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 8:30AM
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Wow. That is definitely a whole lot cheaper. One season of growth with good harvest will pay for the nutrients in my systems. Not so much with an aerogarden, I'm sure. With GH, there is no payback beyond the satisfaction of growing your own veges and fun with experimentation. And you just get a landscaping company to order the stuff for you? Time to make some calls . . .

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 11:03AM
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I know I always sound like a broken record preaching the stuff, but its sooo much cheaper.
with all due credit, I got the product info from a guy named Chuck who used to post in this forum. So while I shout the praises of the stuff, he's really the guy who turned me on to it. search the forum for him and then go check out his web site. Not the greatest layout, but lotsa good stuff there.
Also, for me, shipping was relatively low for the stuff from southerag. they have a distributor in NC and the company I ordered it through deals with them regularly. That's why I suggested you might find another manufacturer if you're not near them. (they're also in FL)to save on shipping. I'm sure with shipping though the cost still would've been under $150 (that'd be A LOT for shipping)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 11:30AM
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I wouldn't worry about sounding like a broken record. Keep in mind that often times new people come to the site and only check out the first couple pages of the forum. Rather than chiding them into doing a search on questions that have been asked many many times (which I've seen veterans on the compost forum do to new people a time or two), it is much more polite and useful to just repeat the good info so all can benefit from it. At least, that's my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 9:26AM
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I did a big boo boo... I used MiracleGro Liquafeed in my Aerogarden... about two weeks later the filter was gunked up and there is algae in my water tank... I have cleaned it all out and rinsed with hot water. I replaced the water with Brita Filtered tap water... will this be sufficient to save my Lavender...which were just beginning to sprout. BTW- My wife is about ready to kill me for doing much for trying to help :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:56PM
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