While the veg are winding down, the annuals, with the help of a late August application of fertilizer, are going gangbusters.
Usually a June application at planting time of Miracle-Gro shake'n'feed gets me through to frost. Year after year. Decade after decade. But this year they changed the 10-10-10 formula to 12-4-8.
And I didn't notice -- until the annuals showed so poorly. They had upped the nitrogen (from 10 to 12). So more fast green growth. Then they reduced the phosphorus (from 10 to 4) resulting in fewer blooms. Finally, the potash went from 10 to 8 - so root systems weren't as good resulting in less water/nutrient uptake.
When I figured out what was the problem - the Shake'n'Feed that I'd used for FOR.EV.ER - I was, um, pissed.
I contacted Miracle Gro and they 'noted my concerns' and refunded my $$ for not only a large jug of Shake'n'Feed, but 3 - 2cuft bags of potting mix (which includes their reformulated fertilizer).
After the refund, I shopped around on the internet and managed to find some eBay sellers who still had the old formula. Bought some. Then went to Home Depot and perused other options (eBay stuff is pricey).
On the railing is the old Shake'n'Feed jug (left) and the new. (Note different label pics.)
Beneath are my new purchases: StaGreen (15-30-15) and Scotts (10-10-10). The smaller jug of Shake'n'Feed is the eBay purchase of old formula (10-10-10).
Ironically, the Scotts IS Miracle Gro. So don't ask me why the heck they changed the Shake'n'Feed formula unless the Shake'n'Feed is a better seller and nitrogen probably costs way less than phosphorus and potash so they make more money with each sale. I don't know. But for cryingoutloud, if you're going to make a major change like that why not let us know by putting a big "NEW FORMULA" on the front instead of the micro printing on the back of the jug.
Long story short (what? oh yeah, too late for that LOL), I sprinkled some StaGreen on the potted annuals over the past couple of weeks and WOW. New green leaves, bright new buds and blooms. Happy bees. Happy gardener.
You just can't trust ANY company these days. Really. These days I take a magnifying glass in my purse - I'm watching the fine print from now on.
P.S. They also changed their PREEN products - they are no longer just a corn gluten-based pre-emergent, they have added HERBICIDE. Be careful shopping your usual products these days...
Hey, vegetable harvest update on the VEG page. Or just click the pic.