Find Your Gardening Style – 8 Reasons to Try the Mittleider Gardening Method
While researching the Vegetable Gardening Styles Series, I came across a YouTube video about the Mittleider Gardening Method that looks really promising. Promising because of the yields it claims and the fact that it can be used anywhere; an apartment patio, a city yard, a country lot or a farm. It has helped many people around the world with their adverse growing conditions.
Mittleider Grow boxes are bottomless, wooden or cement frames leveled in place, usually 4 feet wide, 30 feet long and 8 inches deep; but they can be any size and built most anywhere. They are filled with “custom made soil,” a mixture of sawdust and sand or other inert and organic combinations. The “custom made soil” is combined with a balance of fertilizers that can be purchased at any garden center. If you have access to 15-15-15 and Epsom Salts you can fertilize your garden.
This method can also be used with soil-beds, which are narrow strips of ground prepared for high-yield vegetable production. Soil-beds are usually 18 inches wide and 30 feet long. Their length can vary depending on the size of your garden. The width of the soil-beds should always be 18 inches. This looks like the traditional method of high production gardening we are all used to.
8 Reasons to try the Mittleider Method
- Use it on any kind of ground – rocky, hilly, alkaline, clay or nutrient depleted – by creating a “custom soil”
- Useful any time of year or in any climate
- This method doesn’t require much space
- It’s easy to care for and harvest your crops
- Easy to add a greenhouse covering to your raised beds and have protection from adverse weather
- It’s easy to convert your existing raised bed garden to the Mittleider method
- This method uses 40 percent less water than conventional gardening
- Exceptional yields – grow enough produce on 1/8th of an acre to feed a family
Things to Consider about the Mittleider Method
- Do you have access to the fertilizer? I found a 40 lb bag of 15-15-15 for $22 and 2 lbs of Epsom salt for $2.50 at my local feed store. This weekly fertilizer will feed your plants for 1 year. There are other yearly fertilizer requirements.
- Do you have access to the “custom made soil” ingredients? While this gardening method can be used with regular garden soil, the Mittleider Method recommends that you use an “inert” soil replacement like sand and sawdust.
- Is it important for you to grow “organic”? Further research is needed on my end, are these naturally occurring compounds considered organic? Probably not.
- What level of self sufficiency are you looking for? It is space saving to store 5 years of these fertilizers vs 5 years of manure and compost. If there is a breakdown in society, will this method be sustainable?
I really think it is valuable to take a look at these YouTube video’s from LDSPrepper. Even if you are not interested in the Mittleider Method, you will learn some great gardening tips about raised bed gardening in general and the video’s about building the greenhouses and trellises are fantastic. Give it a look and decide for yourself.
Resources for the Mittleider Gardening Method:
The Food for Everyone Foundation – Gardening the Mittleider Way
LDS Prepper YouTube page with 15-20 how to video’s
Other Posts in the Vegetable Garden Styles Series: Container Vegetable Gardening, Vertical Gardening, Raised Bed Gardening, Square Foot Gardening
The micronutrients are absolutely organic. There are no man-made chemicals involved. The micro nutrients and minerals are harvested from the ocean floor. These are on the ocean floor because of years and years of run-off. You are just putting them back where they belong.
I’m not understanding the appeal of this method when there are no recommendations for % of ingredients. Sounds almost like a hydroponic medium set on top of your soil and the plants are dependant upon the fertilizer added. Fill a raised bed with lasagna gardening our sherry mulching layers to enrich the existing soil and build soil structure and fertility over time. Much of the ingredients for sherry mulching may already be on site, so the cost of getting started is also considered. The benefits you list above are true with any raised garden bed. Good luck. Happy gardening.
Paula Taylor says
The reccomendations for applications and fertilizer are all found in the Mittleider Gardening Course book. I IS like apoor mans hydroponics. One can know for certain that their plants are getting all the nutrition they need without waiting for composting or soil tests. It eliminates the weeds introduced by mulching or composting.
Thank you very helpful tutorial
Tutorial powerfull Mr..Tank you for sharing