Using Miracle Grow on Tomato Plants

Asked June 5, 2013, 4:08 PM EDT

I normally use only compost on my garden. This year I was thinking about using Miracle Grow on the tomatoes and peppers.
With the use of so many chemicals on our food supply, how does using miracle grow work without leaving the chemicals in the veggies?


Logan County Colorado

3 Responses

Plants absorb nutrients required for growth and development, directly from the elements or chemical compounds in the soil. Plants can also use these same elements/compounds of they are on plant leaves or stems. They can't take complex chemical compounds found in organic matter or manure until they are broken down by soil microbes into simple chemical compounds.

Nitrogen is absorbed in either NH4+ or NO3- forms.
Phosphorus is adsorbed in the P203 form.
Potassium is adsorbed in it's elemental ionic form: K+
Zinc, Iron, Boron, Calcium, Magnesium, and other micro-nutrients are taken in like potassium in their elemental ionic form.

All fertilizers including miraclegrow are mixtures of the chemical elements that plants can readily adsorb.

When manure is applied to soils or directly onto plants (lawns), the plant nutrients are locked into proteins, carbohydrates, or fibers.. Soil micro-organisms feed on these complex organic compounds and eventually break them down into simple compounds that are then available for the plant roots to absorb.

To the plant it really doesn't matter where it's essential nutrients come from. All they need are the nutrients in forms that they can absorb into their tissues for growth and development.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for explaining to me. I feel much more confident now on how to work my garden this summer and what to use!!


You are very welcome,

For your information, I work sometime at the Logan County Extension office in Sterling. 508 S 10th Avenue, suite 1, Phone 522-3200. We're open 5 days a week from 8 to 5.

Brian Kailey is our horticulturist there. He can help you with your other tomato and other gardening questions this summer and in the future.

My email is
Brian's email is

CSU Extension provides knowledge through research based information on a wide variety of subjects.

Please feel free to call or contact us for other questions, big or small.