Is miracle grow moisture control any good for tomatoes?

carolsewzitApril 18, 2011

Just wanted to know if miracle grow MC is any good for growing container tomatoes. I added some cotton burr compost to it because it seemed rather compacted. Hope I didn't make a mistake using this in my containers. I'm new to this. Ran out of room in my garden,so I thought I would try to do some in containers. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Too much water retention. I'd at least use 1 part perlite to 2 parts MGMC. Better to add bark fines to the mix.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:14AM
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lunita(9)

I like it, especially in my hot, dry climate. It's what I use to start my seeds & (non-tomato) cuttings, and I've recommended it to others for container grown tomatoes (and they've had success with it.) It is expensive to use in containers, though, and I think the recommendations against bottom watering with it (someone posted about that recently?) would make them a bad choice for self watering containers? The last time I actually grew plants to maturity in containers, I used pro-mix instead, because I could get it much cheaper, in big bales.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:54AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As Taz mentioned above, several of us who have tried it in various containers find that it holds too much water - doesn't drain well in other words and can lead to root rot and other problems - doesn't work well in self-watering containers.

But I'm sure weather and environment can affect that so whether or not it would work for you might very well depend on where you live - garden zone, weather, etc. You need to provide that information for best info results.

On the Container gardening forum you'll find recipes for making ideal container mixes.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 2:46PM
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maternut(7 west tn)

Off subject, but you added cotton burr compost to your tomato plant soil. Be very carefull putting that stuff around food products. Cotton is sprayed with lots of bad stuff. The cotton hulls or burrs is loaded with the spray chemicals. I like the compost but will not put around food products.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:54PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Yes, it will do, but keep an eye on the watering & also make sure to add any essential micronutrients (Ca, Mg, etc.) a different way as the MG MC does not include them. That is what I used 2 years ago when I got the really bad case of BER on my San Marzano's.

- Steve

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:39AM
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mickyfinn6777(UK)

I had nothing but problems with it, caused quite a lot of damping off at the time, so I stopped using it altogether .

Might be ok for potting up larger plants later on in large pots and full sun etc.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 1:44AM
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luvkuku

I bet it would be good for big clay pots here in the hot dry desert.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:43AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

I prefer compost and decomposed 3 year old mulch. The water retention is good and the nutrients are better. Plants do not live by water retention alone.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 2:16AM
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Julie717

I haven't used it for tomatoes, but I had a problem with the jelly floating up onto the soil surface after heavy rains when I used it in flowerpots.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 1:28PM
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kurt_in_sw(7A-high desert)

I think you need to adjust the mix and the comments for the growing region. I'm in the southwest, and I've used Sta-Green Moisture Max (Lowes). It's cheaper than Miracle Grow. I also don't use it straight out of the bag, I blend it with a mix that has bark, and add vermiculite, perlite and compost in varying amounts depending on the effect I am trying to achieve. (Try mixing it with KGro from kmart: cheap, great texture, bark fines, bonus fertilizer--the two together make a really nice textured mix.)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:05PM
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sheri_ok(6)

I had nothing but problems with it regarding tomatoes. Never again.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:28AM
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jmhewitt(8a Coastal NC)

I have used this for tomatoes for years, in self watering containers. always (except the first year) mixed half old and half new. have had pretty good success, last year excellent..

however, this year I am using last years fill mixed with Bark Fines and Perlite as suggested by other growers. we will see.

Michael in the swamp: Hampstead, NC

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:35PM
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Crofter55

This stuff becomes unbelievably hot and cooks the plants!!! I have 4 enormous ornamental planters in my gardens, which I have planted with purchased annuals for over 20 years. I am very experienced, and these planters have excellent drainage. This year, I switched the potting soil out for Miracle Gro Moisture Control. I flooded the planters before putting the plants in - several times. I planted them, and was surprised to have to water every single day. This soil product felt moist, but none was shared with the plants - their soil root balls stayed bone dry. The 2 planters in full sun had dying plants. I plunged my arm at least 25 inches down into the planters and the soil was hotter than beach sand, all the way down. This product somehow retains heat and was cooking my plants. When I removed this soil, I was surprised to find big pockets of it that were dust dry. The 2 planters in shade did a little better, but no plant growth whatsoever. Maybe if the plants grew in this from seed, they would do better, but you can't put plants in root balls into it - this soil just won't let the moisture leach into adjacent soils. And it cooks them. If your plants are still alive, rescue them and replace the soil. I don't know what this stuff is, but I would definitely not eat anything grown in it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Nunyabiz1(7)

It is all I have used for years with excellent results.

Number one the only way it will retain too much water is if the pot doesn't have really good drainage.
The only way it might get too hot is if you don't have 2-3" of good mulch on top.

For tomatoes make sure you use absolute minimum of 10-12 gallon pots for Determinate Bush type plants and 15" gallon pots for Indeterminate's that grow to over 8'.

Drill about a dozen 1/2" holes in the bottom of pot, use a whole 55 quart bag of MGMC and add about 1/2 bag of so of Moo-Nure cow manure and compost mix.
Plant the tomato deep, put either 2-3" of your favorite mulch on top or use a red plastic sheet.

After that water the plants every day, all excess water drains right out the bottom, the plants take a nice big drink and the soil stays moist until the next day.

My tomatoes are growing like weeds in it right now.

I also have 380 quarts of it and nothing else in my Vegtrug.
With Bok CHoy, Lettuce, Basil, Rosemary, Cilantro, Lemon Thyme all growing so fast I can hardly keep up eating it all.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 7:29AM
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