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Old April 15, 2016   #1
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: NC
Posts: 511
Default Homemade Miraclegro Liquafeed Refill

Are you tired of being held hostage to those expensive refills? Here is the solution (with easy math)

I pretty well like the MiracleGro injector device. And, that is, what it pretty much is. It injects fertilizer into your line at a fixed rate. It works with just about any watering method, and it doesn't have to be removed do to unresolved pressure issues. When you want to use it, switch it to "feed". When you want clean water, switch it to "water".

Here is a link in case you have no idea what im talking about:

First let me say I DON'T work for them, I just like the product itself. I have used it with drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and a plain wand. It works pretty darn reliably. Not to mention, a whole lot cheaper then a commercial injector.

The hang up, is the cost of the refills. Not to mention the lack of variety in the refills.

Now, this tutorial even applies if you have a brand of fertilizer you like other then MiracleGro. Just got to math it out. I know plenty of folks hate MircaleGro, and thats ok.

The first thing to establish is how much water passes thru the injector too empty the refill bottle. On that link I gave you, they have a handy dandy chart. Ignore that, its useless. If you do enough reading, way down in the FAQ, they give the answer, sort of.

The injector has a mix ratio of 325:1 To make this really simple (for those who don't quite understand it) 1 gallon of concentrated fertilizer would make 325 gallons of fertilized water (the stuff your feeding your plants with).

We need to make this a smaller number because the refills dont even come in a one gallon bottle. The refills are 16 ounce bottles.

One gallon is 128oz.

128/16 = 8

So it takes 8, 16 ounce bottles too equal a gallon. Perfect. Now we divide the 325 by 8.

325/8 = 40.625

We can round that down to 40. So we now know that the injector, with a refill bottle makes 40 gallons of fertilized water. Give or take, but close enough for my purpose.

Now the refill. I like the "All Purpose". Its labeled as 12-4-8. Which is a 3-1-2 ratio. Here is where this all works out to our advantage. If the fertilizer is a 3-1-2, 6-2-4, 9-3-6, 12-4-8, 15-5-10, 18-6-12, 21-7-14, or, 24-8-16, they are exactly the same, with one exception, the strength of the fertilizer.

To get to the point, 12-4-8 is half the strength of 24-8-16. So 24-8-16 is 2 times as strong as 12-4-8. Keep this in mind. We need to side track for a moment..

I prefer a weekly, weak feeding. I started that this year and have noticed improved results over feeding every other week. Plants are growing at what I would consider a consistent rate, they don't jump over night. They are staying green and lush. I fertilize every Friday morning. Its easy for me to remember that way.

Now back to math, and my previous point. To make our refill, use the 24-8-16 bulk fertilizer. Cost wise, its the most bang for your buck. Reading the instructions (and its pretty much the same for all water soluble MiracleGro) 1 TBSP of MG mixed with 1 gallon of water.

Now, following that math, using 24-8-16 (diluting in 1 gallon of water)

1 TBSP = 24-8-16 = 40 TBSP needed per refill bottle (This might kill you plants)
1/2 TBSP = 12-4-8 = 20 TBSP needed per refill bottle (Manageable every other week feedings)
1/4 TBSP = 6-2-4 = 10 TBSP needed per refill bottle (This is what I use every Friday)

We now have something to work with. Grab your supplies and your kitchen apron, its time to mix up a refill.

You will need some el cheapo measuring spoons, a funnel, coffee filter, and a jar/bottle to mix everything in. Also your empty refill bottle.

In your jar/bottle put in 14 to 15 ounces of warm water. I like using a quart size Gatorade bottle. But anything with a tight sealing lid will work.

Measure out your fertilizer (I use 10 TBSP) and add this to your jar with water. Shake this until the fertilizer is dissolved. Dont worry if you see some particles floating around. This is some sort of inert stuff that wont dissolve no matter what. Set this to the side.

The refill bottle has a valve that has to be removed. Using a knife, pry it off. Be careful, the first couple of times the valve is firmly seated. After that, it gets easier.

Now place your coffee filter in the funnel and place that into your refill bottle. Pour your homemade fertilizer in and let the filter do its job. I use one of the permanent coffee filters that is a fine metal mesh. It filters faster then a paper filter.

You want to filter the mix due to the sediment. It will clog up the injector if not.

Once your refill bottle is full, put the valve back on. You will hear it snap when it seats properly. Then, go feed your plants.
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