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Mittleider weekly feed comparison

How does Mittleider weekly feed compare to similar products?

Recently I got to thinking, how does the Mittleider weekly feed compare to similar products that are marketed for gardeners?  I made a note to check the garden section the next time I went to Walmart to see how they compared.  Lets talk about what I learned and why the weekly feed is superior.

For this comparison I am going to use three MiracleGro products and Oscomote.  The three MiracleGro products are Liquafeed, and their Potting Mix.

Mittleider weekly feed expected analysis after mixing

After we mix our weekly feed for the garden we can expect the following analysis assuming the NPK came from triple 16 fertilizer.  Those percentages below would change depending on your NPK percentages.  The following percentages come from the instruction sheet that comes with the packets of Mittleider Magic Micro-Mix nutrients:

Plant nutrient                                                              Percentage

N  – Nitrogen                                                                                        13.000
P  – Phosphate                                                                                     13.000
K  – Potash                                                                                             13.000
Mg – MgSO4                                                                                           1.000
B  – Sodium Borate                                                                              0.050
Mn- Manganese Sulfate                                                                  0.120
Zn -Zinc Sulfate or Sucrate                                                           0.300
Fe -Iron Sulfate or Sequestrene                                                 0.030
Cu – Copper Sulfate                                                                           0.030
Ca – Calcium                                                                                           0.700
S  – Sulfur                                                                                                  3.000
Cl – Chloride                                                                                           2.000
Mo – Sodium Molybdate                                                                 0.015

Osmocote expected analysis

Here are some pictures that show the analysis of the Osmocote.  The percentages are good for N,P and K but that is all that it includes.  Osmocote is missing 10 of the nutrients that are provided in the weekly feed.  If you calculate the cost of this product just to use it as a standard fertilizer its going to be very expensive.  I can buy 50 pounds of fertilizer for one one and a half containers of this product would cost.

Mittleider weekly feed compared to Osmocote
Mittleider weekly feed compared to Osmocote

How does weekly feed compare to Osmocote

Guaranteed  analysis of the Liquafeed

The expected analysis of the Liquafeed is Nitrogen 12, Phosphate 9, Potash 6, Manganese 0.05 and Zinc 0.05.  It only contains 5 of the 13 nutrients the plants need us to provide.  It contains no calcium which aides the plant in taking up those it does provide.

How does weekly feed compare to Liquafeed How does weekly feed compare to Liquafeed

The expected analysis of the MiracleGro potting mix

The potting mix is another one that contains only the NPK.  The percentages are Nitrogen 21, Phosphate 11 and Potash 16.  People use this and grow container gardens in it.

How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro potting mix How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro potting mix

The expected analysis of MiracleGro Shake’n Feed

In the Shake n Feed I found the closest results to the weekly feed: Nitrogen 9, Phosphate 4, Potash 12, Calcium 3.5, Magnesium 1.4, Sulfur 7, Copper 0.05, Iron 9, Manganese 0.35 and Zinc 0.1.

Of all the products I compared to the weekly feed the Shake’n Feed comes the closest to having the 13 nutrients found in the weekly feed.  Unfortunately it lacks three nutrients.

How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro Shake'n Feed How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro Shake'n Feed

Rock dust guaranteed analysis

The data I found for the rock dust was derived from volcanic rock.  Other forms of rock may produce a different analysis. Also, the phosphate shown in the analysis is Phosphoric Acid.  Phosphoric acid 13, Potash 11, Calcium 1.23, Magnesium 1.74, Iron 0.8465, and Sodium 1.20.

weekly feed compared to other products
weekly feed compared to other products

Side by side analysis comparison

Here is a simple spreadsheet showing the products side by side to make it easier to see how they compare.

weekly feed compared to other products
weekly feed compared to other products

Mixing constant feed for seedlings

Mixing constant feed for seedlings

If you are starting seedlings you will need constant feed. After your seeds have germinated the seedlings require a smaller dose of fertilizer than what would be applied in the garden.   To give them a full dose of the weekly feed in a small container would burn them.

The MGC Book, on page 183 calls for the mixing of 1 ounce of the weekly feed fertilizer to 3 gallons of water.  The nutrients do not dissolve immediately. Typically we will mix up a new batch and allow it to sit overnight to ensure everything dissolves.

If the constant feed is needed immediately one could add the weekly feed to a small amount of hot water and stir until dissolved.  Add that solution to your bucket with 3 gallons of water and stir before using.

What containers can I use for the constant feed

My favorite container for solution is an old rectangular laundry detergent bucket.  The shape makes it ideal for getting up close to the edge of the seedling table and our seedling flats.  We can get the constant to the seedlings without slopping the liquid every where.

You can see the side of my bucket below.  A measured 3 gallons of water was poured into the bucket. Then the water line marked on the outside of the bucket with a marker.

when mixing constant feed for seedlings you will need 3 gallons of water
when mixing constant feed for seedlings you will need 3 gallons of water

 

If you will  have a LOT of seedlings then a plastic barrel or trash can with a lid would work to hold your constant feed.  Avoid using metal containers, the solution will cause rust.  To use the constant feed from a large container one would simply stir the solution and dip the watering bucket into the barrel.

The special device for watering seedlings with constant feed

A sprinkling can is simply a can with holes made with a small nail and hammer.  For our own use here at home we took an empty 16 ounce can of green beans and made the holes.  A small nail like the one shown below is ideal.

The "high tech" watering device we use to give seedlings constant feed
The “high tech” watering device we use to give seedlings constant feed

You can watch us build the watering can