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Mittleider gardening

Page history last edited by Dave Raftery 10 years, 12 months ago

Mittleider method

  • Raised beds or grow boxes - 18 inches wide, 30 foot length, wide paths between beds
  • Create artificial soil with sand, sawdust, etc
  • Use special Mittleider fertilizer mix weekly to feed plants (does this kill soil microbes?)
  • Special low consupmtion watering techniques
  • Row or staggered row planting

 

http://foodforeveryone.org/vegetable_gardening/20/what-is-the-mittleider-method

http://www.howtoorganicgarden.com/

http://www.foodforeveryone.org/

http://foodforeveryone.org/faq/

http://voices.gardenweb.com/2006/11/25/

http://foodforeveryone.org/vegetable_gardening/20/what-is-the-mittleider-method

Sustainable gardening brochures

 

If you have a Farmer's Association anywhere close, they have the best prices that I have found for both lime and Epsom salt. They also sell in bulk, depending on the size of your garden.

 

Pharmacies always have the Epsom salt, but I've found it to be much cheaper to purchase (if the FA was out) in the garden areas of Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Wal-Mart. For some reason, if it's for a bath, it's priced higher than for the garden.

 

Wal-Mart usually has the best price for Borax (in the detergent aisle), but if they're out, try some of the smaller grocery stores. They carry it more often than the bigger chains.

 

Watering according to the Mittleider Method consists of watering only the root zone of the plants, and doing it often enough to maintain soil moisture at all times without water-logging the plants.

To accomplish these things we raise the actual planting area an inch or two above the surrounding aisles; we level the planting area and put ridges around it, to hold the water and assure it reaches all plants in the bed without running off at one end; we use hoses or drilled PVC pipe to water fast, rather than using soakers or drip irrigation, so we also know how much water is being applied; and we do it without sprinkling, so as not to encourage diseases.


Amount of fertilizer for pots.

Some of you who grow in containers may want to grow in pots of different sizes, and will need to know how much Pre-Plant and Weekly Feed natural mineral nutrients to use.

Starting from the basics:  Dr. Mittleider tells us to mix 1 1/2 ounce (3 tablespoons, or 9 teaspoons) of Pre-Plant into the soil of an 18" X 18" X 2 3/4" square flat, and 1/2 that amount of Weekly Feed.  All of this before planting seed or seedlings.  Let's do the math and see how much soil we have, then we can translate it into other size containers.  18 X 18 X 2.75 = 891 cubic inches.  With 1728 cubic inches in 1 cubic foot, we have .5156 cubic feet of material in an 18" square flat.  We will round to 1/2 cubic foot.

Suppose you have a 6" round pot that's 6" deep, and want to know how much to use.  Multiply pi X radius squared X height, or 3.14156 X 9 X 6 = 169.64.  Divide by 1728, and you have .098, or 1/10th of a cubic foot.

Since you will apply 9 teaspoons of Pre-Plant to 1/2 cubic foot of material, you would apply 2 scant teaspoons to the soil in your 6" pot.  Plus, you apply 1 scant teaspoon of Weekly Feed.

For on-going feeding of the plants in your pot, you either water with the Constant Feed solution of 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) in 3 gallons of water, or you can sprinkle 1 scant teaspoon of WF on the surface and water it in.

Now suppose your pot is 6" square, instead of round.  Multiply 6 X 6 X 6 = 216 cu in.  Divide by 1728 = .125, or 1/8th of a cubic foot.  Nine is to .5 as X (the unknown) is to .125 = 2.25.  So you apply 2 1/4 teaspoons of Pre-Plant and 1 1/8 teaspoons of Weekly Feed to a 6" square pot of soil mix.  Did everyone follow that?  Probably not, but if you will follow those simple formulas you can know how much PP and WF fertilizers to apply to any size container you might be using.

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