In this article, we will be reviewing the Miracle-Gro Performance organics all-purpose compost, the fruit and veg compost and potted plant compost, to see if there is a difference between the three. If you have been following my website for a while, you know that I have been reviewing the Miracle-Gro Performance Organics range to see if the TV adverts are living up to the promises.
You know I have reviewed the All-purpose Granular feed and the All-purpose liquid concentrate, but now I want to review the composts range to see if they can help the gardener before using any kind of additional fertiliser.
Miracle-Gro performance organics has three composts in their range; the All-Purpose organic compost, the fruit and veg organic compost and the potted plant compost. Three different composts and you would expect three different results. Well in this article we will find out if there is any difference in what the company says and my experience with these composts; Read on to find out.
As you know from reading previous articles that I have been trialling the performance organics range and the composts are no exception.
In this article, I will give my initial thoughts of the composts and later on I will update this article to give a truer picture and experience of using the performance organic compost range.
MIRACLE-GRO ORGANIC RANGE IS NEW
If you are aware, the Miracle-Gro organic range is a newly launched product line here in the UK. They are based on the organic principles of using natural products but my research has found that the composts contain Guano, which is bird and bat poo.
It is therefore not a product suitable for Vegans. The granular feed and liquid concentrate may be suitable for vegans, but the compost definitely uses animal products. So mix messages but all the products are organic.
They are also prevailing that the products are bee friendly (no point in using products that will kill bees), child friendly and will not harm your pets. You expect this from costs as there should not be anything in the composts that will harm any living thing.
The question that comes to mind, ‘is what makes the products different from other organic-based composts?’. As you can imagine you cannot see compost being made without any animal-based fertiliser being added. The green material they use to make the compost may not contain any dead animal but fertilizer that are added to it to enrich it may not be. It could contain animal waste products that some gardeners will not be aware of. The compost range does contain an animal-based product and that is Guano, added to make the compost have much more nutrient-rich.
Before we compare the three composts, we need to talk about each compost in turn.
MIRACLE-GRO PERFORMANCE ORGANICS ALL-PURPOSE ORGANIC COMPOST
Name of Product: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics All-Purpose Organic Compost
The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk
Product Dimensions: 60cm x 40cm x 10cm.
Shipping Weight: 13.5 kg
This is a 100% organic compost for your plants, flowers, fruits mad vegetables.
It still has the claim that Miracle-Gro has that they will help to grow your plants twice the size. The exact blend that goes into the compost remains a mystery but they do claim that it has enough nutrients to last 3 months.
What we know is that it is based on waste from the forestry industry and that it contains Guano to help increase its nutrient content., This is the same Guano that comes from the excrement of birds and bats, which is often nutrient-rich. By talking to the manufacturer I have found that the nitrogen: phosphorous: potassium ratio is 8:5:5, which is quite good for a general-purpose compost and will, therefore, have a lot of uses in the garden.
What makes this a useful product is the polythene bag it comes in is recyclable and is manufactured from 30% recycled polythene from other sources.
The food comes from the waste of the food industry but also comes from the waste generated by the forestry industry, The problem is that it still contains 50 to 75% peat, which for environmentalist amongst is still a large proportion. This need to be reduced if it wants to meet tight environmental creds.
IT HAS MULTIPLE USES
It can be used in containers, hanging baskets, beds and borders. To use in containers place a layer of compost on the base of the pot until a certain level is reached. Tap out the plant from the old pot, loosed the roots and then place it on top of the compost in the new container. Fill the gaps around the root ball by adding more compost, ensuring the compost levels cover all the roots and sides. Water and then allow the compost to settle around the plants.
For beds and borders dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Position the plant in the right area (normally at the centre of the hole at the right depth) and then backfill with a 50% mixture of compost with 50% of soil. Final firm the plant in and water the base of the plant very well. Once 3 months have elapsed in the container or the ground, you will need to feed the plant once more with either the granular feed or the liquid concentrate.
Not suitable for growing acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Pieris. Rhododendrons etc. It is recommended to start feeding your plants when the leaves look paler or 3 months have elapsed.
HOW MUCH 40 LITRES WILL ACCOMPLISH
How much will 40 litres fill in the container garden:
- It will fill 8, medium, 22 cm diameter pots.
- 2, 35cm diameter pots
- And 1, 42cm diameter container or 6, 30cm hanging baskets.
- It is an organic compost that can be used throughout the garden.
- It is just as good as other compost but does have the added benefits of being based on total organic products
- Can be used to fill many containers and have enough feed to last for 3 months. Usually, compost manufacturers only recommend that their compost will feed plants for 6 weeks, so twice as long.
- Comes in a convenient size with is easy to carry around the garden.
- Suitable for seeds, shrubs, trees, fruit and veg in the ground or containers.
- For the amount of compost you get, it can be said to be costly.
- It contains Guano, a product made from bird and bat excrement. Why would a product specific for vegans contain an animal-based product? Because it is organic it does not mean that it is suitable for vegans.
- Why would you use this compost instead of other bog-standard multipurpose compost? The product must have something else in it but we do not know what.
MIRACLE-GRO PERFORMANCE ORGANICS FRUIT AND VEG ORGANIC COMPOST
Name of Product: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Fruit and Veg Organic Compost.
The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk
Product Dimensions: 60cm x 40cm x 10cm.
Shipping Weight: 13.5 kg
Like the all-purpose compost, it is quite similar but has a different composition of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium,.tailored to be more suitable for growing fruits and vegetables. After a discussion with the manufacturers that disclosure that there is a different, but the difference is only slight. How slight only God knows? What is confusing is that if the written instructions for both composts are the same. It suggests that both can be used for growing fruit and vegetable.
This begs the question of why would you use one compost instead of another. Normally, when you get different compost the composition will vary slightly, the NPK ratio will be different but does the difference make a truly different product?
For a fruit and veg based compost, you expect the nitrogen content to be higher to support those veg that produces leaves and higher phosphorus to support root development but lower potassium, as little is required in the early stage as the plant develops. You do not want a plant to flower too early.
The problem is that the NPK is quite similar and everything I have said about the All-purpose compost will apply to this product as well; it is organic-based and made from food and forestry waste and contains Guano.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
How many containers it will fill will be identical and the pros and cons will be the same. The price is comparable between the two products and there is little to distinguish between the two. Do not be fooled because two products have different names written in front, it does not mean that the product will be any better or worse. I will use both products and report later om to see if there is any difference. Time will tell.
The final compost in the range is
MIRACLE-GRO PERFORMANCE ORGANICS POTTED PLANT ORGANIC COMPOST
Name of Product: Miracle-Gro Performance Organics Potted Plant Organic compost
The Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.co.uk (Currently Unavailable)
Product Dimensions: 51cm x 33cm x 7cm.
Shipping Weight: 6.65 kg
This is the third compost in the range and is specifically designed for those who garden in containers. Like the others, the NPK ratio is the same as the All-purpose compost. This product has been specifically designed to be used in containers and this begs the question of why would you use this compost instead of the other two compost in the range?
The All-purpose and fruit and veg compost can be used in containers. So why would you get the product for extra expense? Normally potting compost contains a wetting agent that allows the moisture to be retained in the compost for longer. This is very important in containers, where drying of the compost can be a serious problem, but then yet again most quality compost have wetting agents, so what is the difference?
IS IT BETTER THAN OTHER COMPOSTS?
As in containers, the nutrients tend to be used up quicker than the nutrient content will have to be pretty high or you will have to start fertilising much more quickly. You tend to find potting mixes tend to be fluffier than normal compost, so that roots can grow quickly through the compost and establish quicker.
Seeing the product I can tell you that this is the case. But a good feeling product does not necessarily make a supreme product. Like all other composts on the range, it is made from waste from the food and forestry industry, is organic and contains Guano. The bag is made from 30% recycled polyethene. The formulation may be slightly different but the nutrient composition is much like the others; like the other two products. It comes in a smaller bag. A marketing ploy used to make you feel the product that you are buying is more special than it is.
WHAT WILL 20 LITRES COVER
As a guide, one 20 litres bag will fill:
- 4, 22cm diameter pots,
- 2, 25cm diameter pots
- or 3, 30cm diameter hanging baskets.
The problem with all these products is that to make them organic peat has been used, but this does not add to the green credentials of the product. It may be organic but that does not mean that it will not harm the environment.
All the pros and cons mentioned in the All-purpose compost will apply to this product.
The review has highlighted several issues concerning the manufacture can answer
- Is there any physical and chemical difference between the three products?
- Will the product cover all uses?
- Can it be used in the border or containers?
- Do the NPK and nutrients found in these products differ enough?
All these questions are difficult to answer without the manufacturers being more open. I did get in contact with the manufacturer but they were reluctant to give differences between the three products in great detail, so I can only guess the difference.
WOULD I BUY THESE COMPOSTS?
As with all products in this range, it is a new product, we do not know how it will behave in the garden under real growing conditions. There are a lot of unanswered questions but I believe that will work as compost, but will all the compost work in the same way for all plants and all growing conditions, we simply do not know.
I will be using all these composts this growing season and this article will be updated in the near future. If you want to try the products, do not forget to click the links and report back to me about your experience.
If you have any questions or comments you wish to make, please do deposit them in the comment box below.
Keep hoping and do not be afraid to experiment.