Category Archives: Mittleider Garden

What is the Mittleider gardening method?

The Mittleider Gardening Method is referred to as the poor mans hydroponics system.  It produces hydroponics like results without the expense.  It combines the best of traditional gardening and hydroponics methods.  In addition, it is a complete system and easy to follow.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Mittleider system is that it maximizes the utilization of space, resources and the gardeners time.  Because plants are grown closely together they can be nourished by weekly feedings of naturally mined nutrients.  Results are much like those of hydroponic gardens yet farm less expensive because no special equipment is required.

A Mittleider garden can be grown in your own soil or in raised beds. Because the plants are given all their required nutrients a Mittleider garden can even be grown in sand and sawdust.

Due the plants being grown closely together it is possible to grow a very productive garden in a much smaller area.

Geothermal heat sink greenhouse

Geothermal heat sink greenhouse build

We are excited to be starting the planning process on a geothermal heat sink greenhouse build.  We will build this geothermal heat sink greenhouse to allow us to grow our own food year round. It would be wonderful to be able to grow frost intolerant crops like tomatoes during the dead of our winters. Without question, we will be able to grow hardy and moderately hardy crops all year inside this greenhouse.

More details about our green house plans

For the heat sink we will use 48 inches of rock that will be placed under 24 inches of topsoil beneath the greenhouse.  We will use a 4 inch thick Styrofoam insulator 6 feet tall around the perimeter of the rock.   The foam board will prevent the heat held in the rocks from being drawn out into the cooler soil outside the foot print of the greenhouse.

During the day, the warm/hot air from the peak of the greenhouse will be drawn down through duct work and a fan and be pushed out near the bottom of the heat sink.  The 4 inch pipe that is used below the ground will be perforated to allow the air to escape.  The air will move up through the rock to a second set of pipes, transferring the heat from the air and into my thermal mass.  The air will enter the second set of perforated pipes and be pushed into the greenhouse.

During the night when the green house temperature drops below that of the thermal mass heat sink the system will work in the opposite manner.  Cool air from the green house will be pushed through the rock and pick up heat.  As the air returns to the greenhouse it will be warmer, keeping the greenhouse temperatures warm through the night.

The high tunnel kit we selected

For our high tunnel kit we selected a 20 x 44 foot kit from Zimmerman’s High Tunnels.  They use 14 gauge steel that is 2 3/8 inches in diameter.  It is a little larger diameter than most kits we found while searching for kits. Zimmerman’s is a few hours drive from our home and we will be able to pick it up to avoid freight charges.

The drainage pipe we are using

For this project we will be using 4 inch corrugated drain pipe, often referred to as drain tile.  All of the pipe that will be horizontal will be perforated to allow air to escape and enter the rock.  Anything installed vertically will not be perforated to ensure the air makes it to our heat sink.  This is what our 4 inch corrugated and perforated pipe will look like.  We will buy it in 250 foot rolls for around $98

Geothermal heat sink greenhouse build
This perforated drain tile will be used horizontally in our rock heat sink

There will be two layers of this pipe, ten each, the will run the length of the greenhouse.  Both will be buried within the rock 3 feet apart.  One group will be 6 inches from the bottom, the second 6 inches from the top.  The top and bottom layers will not be connected.

The pipe near the bottom of the rock heat sink will be connected to the fan that draws heat from top of the greenhouse.  We intend to use a 55 gallon plastic barrel as a manifold to bundle all 10 of the pipes together.  With the fan mounted on top of the barrel it will be able to push air through all 10 pipes.

The ten pipes 6 inches from the top of the heat sink are also perforated and will direct the air blown in from the bottom up and back out into the greenhouse.  All of the pipe laid horizontally will be perforated.

Airflow pattern through the heat sink

Air will flow down to the bottom of the 10 perforated pipes at the bottom of the heat sink. The air will be pushed through the perforations and up through the rock to the second set of horizontal perforated pipes.  The air enters through the perforations and is directed back up and into the greenhouse.

Where each pipe terminates inside of the rock heat sink we will place a cap designed for the the corrugated pipe.  When we connect the perforated and non-perforated pipes we will use a an external connector designed specifically for the corrugated pipe. All unions will be wrapped in a tape intended for drain tile and to be buried.

How we came to decide on our greenhouse dimensions

As with all our gardening here, we will be utilizing the Mittleider Gardening Method in our geothermal heat sink greenhouse build.  There will be 4 grow boxes inside this greenhouse that are 18 inches wide and 30 feet long.  We want plenty of room to move and work in our greenhouse in additional to being able to do all our seedling production in the same place.

We have settled for an overall length of 44 feet.  This will allow a 5 foot walkway at both ends of the grow boxes.  At the far end of the greenhouse we will do our seedling production.  We intend to build a 4 foot bench along one wall for seedling stuff and storage of gardening equipment.  Ultimately there will be batteries here and a charge controller for the solar panels we want to install.

For the width we are going with 20 feet.  It was tempting to go wider to add a 5th grow box, but that would have increased the final cost significantly.  The added cost for the greenhouse itself wouldn’t have been horrible.   But the additional gravel requirements combined with the other costs for excavation and materials would have  significant.  And I can grow a lot of food in just 4 thirty foot beds using the Mittleider gardening method.

Considering snow load and high winds

A twenty foot wide greenhouse is pretty strong and able to stand up well to wind and the weight of our Missouri snow.  We don’t get much snow here so this allows us to save a little money because we don’t need W-trusses.  If we were to go wider it would be smart to spend the extra money for W-trusses with our kit.  W-trusses for the kit we selected would have been another $500.

While the heat sink and geothermal combined makes sense, we haven’t yet seen it work.  We don’t yet know how it will truly work during our winters.  If it doesn’t work and allow us to grow year round a larger system will have been a waste of money.  We will start with a smaller system and see how it performs. If it works well and inexpensive to operate a larger unit that would allow us to sell to our local community might be a good business venture.

Removing trees before building

Before we start this project there will be several trees to remove.  Doing this will prevent shading on the greenhouse and the root system from taking over the ground under the greenhouse.  Removing trees close to the greenhouse will prevent a tree from falling on the greenhouse and damaging it.

There are about 5 trees that I want removed from the vicinity of the build site.  Two of the trees are west of the site and will cast shadow on the greenhouse if left in place.  One tree is massive, an old black locust, that could potentially drop limbs on our greenhouse.  The roots from this tree could also end up under the greenhouse.  We prefer to avoid the possibility of any of those problems and will remove the potential entirely.

There are a few additional trees that are to the north of this geothermal heat sink greenhouse site that I want removed.  They don’t pose any immediate threat to the greenhouse, but I’d like to remove them now and ensure no trees will ever fall on the completed greenhouse and damage it.  We will remove them now to avoid the possibility of tree fall damage entirely.

Goal to have the greenhouse off grid

After the greenhouse is completed and in operation we would like to start getting the greenhouse “off gird”.  We will monitor the energy usage and design a solar system that will meet our needs.  On the end of the greenhouse under the seedling tables we will build an enclosure for the charge controller and batteries.

Through rain collection off our nearby home into a cistern we will be able to water our greenhouse.  We have enough annual rainfall that we can easily collect enough water for our needs.  Ultimately we want to use an automated sprinkler system for a lawn to water the 4 grow boxes inside our greenhouse.

Goals for monitoring the geothermal heat sink greenhouse build

A secondary goal for this geothermal heat sink greenhouse, is the ability to wirelessly monitor the temperatures of the greenhouse,.  Additionally, outside the greenhouse and  the ground temperatures of the heat sink.  Ultimately allowing others to view current temps and historical data would be nice.

I’ve not yet researched the options of products that will allow this.  We do plan on placing a piece of PVC during the build that would allow a temperature probe to be dropped into the heat sink material.  The PVC will be relatively inexpensive, we may add two to allow temperatures to me monitored at the top and bottom of the heat sink rock.

Almost ready to start excavation

We have all the materials except the styrofoam for the heat sink on hand. As soon as we can schedule the delivery of the 125 yards of rock we can start the dirt work, weather permitting. Our goal is to have the heat sink portion completed by the end of February. The greenhouse portion we hope to have completed and ready for seedlings mid March.

We will be documenting this project with photos and video, be sure to check back for updates of our progress.

keeping weekly feed dry

keeping weekly feed dry

Frequently I see folks in the Mittleider Facebook group discussing their wet weekly feed and them asking for ideas on keeping weekly feed dry.  Once you add the Epsom salt to your weekly feed mix it becomes hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the air.  If you’re in a dry climate adding a half pound of Perlite to your weekly feed mix will help.  For the gardener in a high humidity climate the Perlite will not be enough.

Another option to keeping weekly feed dry is to mix the fertilizer and micro nutrients but not add the Epsom salt until you need weekly feed.  The fertilizer and micro nutrients are not hygroscopic.  It isn’t until the magnesium sulfate is added that it begins to absorb moisture.

Add Epsom salt to smaller batches

Currently we have seedlings growing under grow lights.  They are fed daily with a mixture called constant feed.  Constant feed consists of 1 ounce of weekly feed in 3 gallons of water.  We were out of weekly feed and I needed to mix up a batch of weekly feed.  We won’t be putting seedlings in the ground for another 6-8 weeks, or weekly feed in our high humidity would have been very wet by the time we needed to use it in the garden.

Instead of dealing with wet weekly feed, we decided to mix up smaller batches.  We mixed up 25 pounds of triple 13 fertilizer with the 10 ounces of micro nutrients and stored that mixture in a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma lid. Don’t add your Epsom salt yet!

Typically you would add 4 pounds of Epsom salt to 25 pounds of fertilizer and the 10 ounce packet of micros.  But we want to mix the weekly feed in smaller batches.  We decided to figure for one pound of the epsom salt, so we divided the combined weight of fertilizer and micros, 25.625, by 4 which gives us 6.4 pounds.

So mixing 6.4 pound of the fertilizer and micro nutrients mix with 1 pound of Epsom salt will give us 7.4 pounds of weekly feed.  You can mix more, or less, as you require.  because we only need an ounce of weekly feed every time we mix constant feed I elected to mix up 3.2 pounds of weekly feed with a half pound of Epsom salt.

keeping weekly feed dry
keeping weekly feed dry

Watch the video

You can watch this video where I describe steps for keeping weekly feed dry.  This is one of many videos on YouTube discussing Mittleider gardening.  Please consider watching some of our other videos and subscribing to out channel.

seedling heat mats

Seedling heat mats for seedling production

A great way of ensuring success in growing seedlings is through the use of seedling heat mats.  This is particularly true when starting hardy crops indoors before the average last frost of the year.  Seedling heat mats will maintain a constant temperature of the growing medium.  This will help get and keep your growing medium at a constant optimum temperature for germination.

To work with a pair of the Mittleider seedling flats, we went with a seedling heat mat that was 20 inches wide and 48 inches long.  Two seedling flats fit on this mat with room on each end.  We use that space later once we bump plants up to individual containers.  Ours is like the one pictured below and includes a thermostat.  It has a digital readout and maintains the temperature you set. You can see the seedling heat mat we use here.

seedling heat mats with digital thermostat
seedling heat mats with digital thermostat

The thermostat includes a probe that is placed in the soil.  The current temperature of the growing medium will be indicated on the digital readout.  The operator can adjust the desired temperature as needed.  Our units are both set at 80 degrees for germination.

Combine heat mats with grow lights

When starting seedlings indoors it may be necessary to combine a seedling heat mat with grow lights.  Currently our seedlings are germinated in the basement where there is no natural light.  We start all our seedlings under grow lights and on the heat mats.  Light and temperature are the first two of the six laws of plant growth and are necessary to grow healthy seedlings.

The grow lights heat the growing medium and helps cut down on the frequency for which the heat mats need to kick on to regulate temperatures.

Starting spring crops

Starting spring crops

It is February, which means it is time to be starting spring crops.  We start all our seedlings under grow lights and on seedling heat mats.  Everything is in our basement currently, but in the future we will be moving seedling production to the greenhouse.

Our seedling flats were moved to the basement today and have begun to come up to germination temperature.  Once the growing medium reaches the correct temperature we will add seeds.

Starting spring crops

Start with hardy and moderately hardy varieties

Everything we are starting now are varieties that are hardy and moderately hardy.  They will go into the garden well before our average last day of frost and will be protected with mini hoop houses.   Some of this will hopefully be going into a greenhouse we will build soon.

Our seedling choices for spring

We have amended our list of crops for this year.  Those we will be planting first are broccoli, cauliflower, onions, kale, spinach, red and white beets, and cabbage.

Determining when to start seedlings

While planning or starting spring crops we take advantage of the garden planning detail sheet in spreadsheet form.  We enter or ADLF and the spreadsheet will calculate when we need to start and transplant the different seedlings.  You can get the XLS file from the Mittleider Gardening group on Facebook.  It is in the files section there in the group.

Every couple weeks we will be starting more seedlings.

Changes we are making to our garden plan

We are dropping a few plant varieties that we really don’t eat and have added a few.   Radishes, eggplant, bush beans and Brussels sprouts have been removed from our garden plan for this year.  The bush beans were difficult to get everything picked without having some sort of trellis to hold up  the plants.  We are instead going a pole bean.  The others we found we just don’t eat much.  That space they used to occupy will be better used for the things we do eat.

Starting seedlings indoors

Starting seedlings indoors

Here at our home we have begun the process of starting seedlings indoors. We use seedling heat mats and grow lights in our basement. Starting seedlings indoors has been the one not successful step we have learned through the Mittleider Gardening Method to increase our gardening success. Growing our own seedlings gives us better control over ur garden. We only use the strongest and healthiest seedlings.

By controlling variables such as soil temperature, daily available light, moisture and nutrition we have more success as compared to direct sewing seeds into the garden. We won’t have seeds delayed in germination, or failing to do so entirely, because an unexpected cold snap moved through and dropped soil temps.

Starting seedlings indoors
Starting seedlings indoors

What do I need to get started

You’ll need a space where you have ample room and the ability to control temperatures. That space will need room for the plants as they grow and you bump them up to larger containers. Enclosed porches, an extra bedroom, the basement or a small seedling house with any required supplemental heat will work. Electricity to power the grow lights and seedling heat mat will be needed. A nearby access to water would be a bonus, but isn’t absolutely necessary.

If you’re utilizing a room with adequate light a grow light won’t be necessary. If you’re growing in a basement or a room with inadequate lighting you’ll need an artificial source to keep your plants alive and healthy.

What grow lights do I need

Grow lights can be purchased or made to suite your purposes with items commonly available at your local Walmart. Sams Club and Costco both sell “shop lights” that are complete and just need to be hung and plugged into a power source that will work.

Commercially made grow lights are more expensive, but the grow light bulbs will use less power. I’ve not idea how many years we will need to run ours to reach s break even point but am happy with our lights.

If you want to go the budget route you can find florescent light housings at Walmart. If you’re a handy person, or have one in your life that will help, the fixtures are easy enough to assemble, hang and then install bulbs. Standard florescent bulbs will work to start your own seedlings indoors. Or through places such as Amazon you can buy bulbs specially for grow lights that you can install in your fixture.

For those who are concerned about your energy consumption, consider going with the LED bulb. If you’re using existing florescent fixtures they can be easily converted to power the LED bulbs. Be sure to bypass the ballast to further reduce your energy usage. There are tons of great videos on YouTube that show the conversion process.

Why grow your own seedlings

Starting your own seedlings indoors is a great way to control the quality of your garden. Using certified seeds and sterile soil helps ensure there is no disease. By growing extra seedlings you can insure only the strongest and healthiest plants make it into the garden. Having healthy seedlings to transplant into the garden helps ensure all the available space is utilized. No failure to germinate from directly sewed seeds results in more on your table or in the pantry.

Mittleider Gardening Course book through Amazon

Mittleider Gardening Course book through Amazon

For those of you who are Amazon fans, you can now purchase the Mittleider gardening course book through Amazon.  If you will be attending the upcoming Mittleider gardening course you will need this book.  You can get it here at Amazon, or at Grow Food.

Mittleider Gardening Course book through Amazon
Mittleider Gardening Course book through Amazon

You can get a searchable digital copy of the book at the Grow Food site, just select the “ebook” format option.  The search feature works well and makes finding something specific in the book quite easy.  You can print from the document and it is $7 cheaper.

Purchase the digital version of the Mittleider Gardening Course book
Purchase the digital version of the Mittleider Gardening Course book at the GrowFood website

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018

If you’re interested in Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018 there only appears to be scheduled.  The class scheduled for this year will be held at the Preparedness University in Kidder, MO.  The class will be held April 9 through the 14th.  To learn more about and reserve your seat go to Jim’s website, Grow Food.

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018
Tomatoes grown 7 inches apart vertically in a Mittleider garden

Will there be additional class dates or locations

Jim and the Food for Everyone foundation has a very big year in 2018.  If there are additional Mittleider gardening course dates for 2018 I will update this page.  Check back periodically for any updates.

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018
More tomatoes growing vertically in a Mittleider garden

What will you need to bring?

What will you need for the classes?  Not much.  Enough clothes for the week, boots or appropriate foot wear for out in the garden and possibly for some mud.  You will be using rakes, shovels and other hand tools as well as digging in the soil.  A pair of gloves to protect your hands, if you so choose.  April can still be quite cool and windy in Missouri. Including some clothes for cool and windy weather would be a great idea.

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018
MGC students preparing to make soil beds

What can you expect from the Mittleider gardening course class

During the Mittleider gardening course you can expect to spend time in the classroom as well as in the garden.  Students will have the opportunity to create their own soil beds.  There will be workshop time where everyone will have the opportunity to make seedling flats and many of the other Mittleider gardening tools.

Mittleider Gardening Course dates for 2018
Mittleider soil beds created with rakes by students

You can see a more comprehensive bulleted list of the topics and activities broken down by shop, classroom and garden time below.

Classroom and Garden Activities:

  • Garden Planning & Preparation (Old school using paper and pencil or high tech using satellite imagery for free, it’s not what you think.)
  • Seedling Production (How to turn that black thumb green and stop killing seedlings.)
  • Understanding Soils (Dirt isn’t just dirt. What you really need to know.)
  • Growing in Any Soil, in Any Climate (How and why you don’t need to do anything different if you know this secret.)
  • Bonus session: Grow year-round using Geo-Air, and building small or large greenhouses – in our own Geo-Thermal Greenhouse!
  • Creating a Mittleider Garden (How and why to REALLY create a productive garden.)
  • Growing in Containers or Grow-Boxes (Like growing above ground? You’ll love this session.)
  • Planting & Transplanting (Master this and you’ll never go hungry.)
  • Watering & Weeding (Made easy!)
  • Feeding – Plant Nutrition (How to source, measure and mix all the nutrients yourself to make your own natural mineral nutrient mix.)
  • Growing Vertically (Grow tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash and other plants vertically? Yes you can and why you should.)
  • Pruning & Caring for Plants (Almost every gardener gets this wrong. Understand how to really prune properly and see your garden explode with food.)
  • Protecting Plants from Weather & Bugs (Got a bug eating your garden? We will share solutions that will stop them in their tracks.)
  • Beating the Competition (How to keep deer, moles, raccoons, skunks, voles, bears, etc. and kids from destroying your garden.)

Lab and Workshop Projects

  • Mini-Greenhouses or Low Tunnels (How to extend your gardening season by 3 months!)
  • Planting seeds for seedling production (Super successful soil mixture, proper plant varieties, hands on practice.)
  • Transplanting seedlings in seedling production (We talked about it in class now you get to do it live and see how your seedlings grow through the week.)
  • Drilling PVC pipe for watering systems (Learn how to prepare your watering pipes super fast and easy.)
  • Installing automated Watering system (You don’t need to be a plumber to learn how to install your own watering system either above or below ground.)
  • Making flats for seedling production (Struggling to find all the materials and tools to make this at home?  Make as many as you want and take them with you.)
  • Making markers for seedling production and garden planting (Make your own garden marker or one for a friend.)
  • Building T-Frames (With the right tools this takes just minutes to make. You’ll learn how to do this accurately and quickly.)
  • Building In-The-Garden Greenhouse (Don’t need a big greenhouse but want to extend your growing? You’ll learn how doing this.)

Preparing for my gardening season

Preparing for my gardening season

With the New Year upon us we are just a couple months away from starting seedlings under grow lights it is time to start preparing for my gardening season .  In order to be prepared it is necessary that I plan out the years garden and make sure we have the tools, seeds, growing medium and chemicals that we will need to get started and to make it through the year.

Mittleider Gardening tools

This list is easy and generally will not need any attention unless you’re new to growing a Mittleider garden.  This list includes a shovel, rake, hammer, pump sprayer(s), the Kenyan hoe for weeding, and pruners.

For starting and growing seedlings my list includes growing medium (sand and sawdust), seedling flats,  and to check on the grow light setup.  Other required items include preplant, weekly feed, a bucket for the constant feed, and a watering can.

Depending on how you implement growing seedlings and your Mittleider garden, your list will likely differ slightly.

Seeds for the Mittleider garden

Preparing  for my gardening season includes making sure I have the seeds in enough quantities to get through the gardening season. This is accomplished by planning out your garden.   This can be accomplished with pen and paper or even on a computer using a spreadsheet.  The Mittleider garden planning detail sheet helps in determining how many seeds you will need for the year.

If you’re new to planning your garden you may find the video at the end of this blog post helpful.  Any certified seed provider will work, our seeds come from Mountain Valley Seed.

Growing medium for the Mittleider Garden

There are many options for custom soil mixes in a Mittleider Garden, as outlined in the book.  In our garden we use sand and sawdust because its readily available and we can acquire the sawdust for free.  If your garden has grow boxes with custom growing medium in it those grow boxes will need need topped off.

Our seedlings are started and grown in sand and sawdust.  Before starting our seedling production for this spring we will make the trip to get a truck load of sawdust.  That will be used to mix up our growing medium to fill the seedling flats and our three grow boxes.

Nutrients needed in the Mittleider Garden

I won’t go into everything needed to mix the weekly feed and preplant, but you will need to ensure you have everything to mix up  a batch.  The micro nutrients are the only item we can not source locally.  We buy our micros throw the Grow Food website.

Chemicals used in our Mittleider Garden

We use several different chemicals in our garden for pest control.  We use Bacillus Thuricide,  food grade diatomaceous earth, Neem Oil, original Dawn dish soap, and pyrethrin.

 

 

 

 

Seedling success through sterilized soil

Seedling success through sterilized soil

If you grow seedlings, and you should, you too can have seedling success through sterilized soil.  That sounds pretty serious but it is actually pretty simple.  This process is only for starting seedlings.  To do an entire garden simply would not be practical.

By sterilizing the soil where you start your seedlings you accomplish three things.  Any diseases dormant in the soil from previous crops will be destroyed.  If there are insects or their eggs in the soil this process will kill them.  Finally, any weed or unwanted seeds will be prevented from ever germinating.

Growing seedlings in sterile soil helps ensure the plants are healthy and improves your chances of success in the garden.

grow seedlings successfully in sterilized soil
Starting seedlings in sterile growing medium

How to sterilize your soil

The process of sterilizing your soil for the purpose involves a few cookie sheets and your oven.  Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  Place your soil on the cookie sheet.  The soil should be 1/2 to 1 inch deep on the cookie sheet and the soil level.

Once the oven is preheated place soil filled cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the cookie sheets and thoroughly mix the soil on the cookie sheet.  re-level the soil and place it back in the oven and bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Once the soil has baked at 250 for a total of an one and a half hours it will need to cool before being used.  You can put it into the containers where you will place your seeds or into a container with a lid to be used later.

An alternative to sterilizing soil

Another alternative to sterilizing soil for starting seedlings is to use a custom growing medium,  Here in our garden we chose to start all our seedlings in sawdust and sand.  It is nearly pH neutral and won’t contain any disease.

Watch the video on how to sterilize soil for starting seedlings

For those of you who are visual learners like me  consider this video that covers the subject.

Mittleider weekly feed comparison

How does Mittleider weekly feed compare to similar products?

Recently I got to thinking, how does the Mittleider weekly feed compare to similar products that are marketed for gardeners?  I made a note to check the garden section the next time I went to Walmart to see how they compared.  Lets talk about what I learned and why the weekly feed is superior.

For this comparison I am going to use three MiracleGro products and Oscomote.  The three MiracleGro products are Liquafeed, and their Potting Mix.

Mittleider weekly feed expected analysis after mixing

After we mix our weekly feed for the garden we can expect the following analysis assuming the NPK came from triple 16 fertilizer.  Those percentages below would change depending on your NPK percentages.  The following percentages come from the instruction sheet that comes with the packets of Mittleider Magic Micro-Mix nutrients:

Plant nutrient                                                              Percentage

N  – Nitrogen                                                                                        13.000
P  – Phosphate                                                                                     13.000
K  – Potash                                                                                             13.000
Mg – MgSO4                                                                                           1.000
B  – Sodium Borate                                                                              0.050
Mn- Manganese Sulfate                                                                  0.120
Zn -Zinc Sulfate or Sucrate                                                           0.300
Fe -Iron Sulfate or Sequestrene                                                 0.030
Cu – Copper Sulfate                                                                           0.030
Ca – Calcium                                                                                           0.700
S  – Sulfur                                                                                                  3.000
Cl – Chloride                                                                                           2.000
Mo – Sodium Molybdate                                                                 0.015

Osmocote expected analysis

Here are some pictures that show the analysis of the Osmocote.  The percentages are good for N,P and K but that is all that it includes.  Osmocote is missing 10 of the nutrients that are provided in the weekly feed.  If you calculate the cost of this product just to use it as a standard fertilizer its going to be very expensive.  I can buy 50 pounds of fertilizer for one one and a half containers of this product would cost.

Mittleider weekly feed compared to Osmocote
Mittleider weekly feed compared to Osmocote

How does weekly feed compare to Osmocote

Guaranteed  analysis of the Liquafeed

The expected analysis of the Liquafeed is Nitrogen 12, Phosphate 9, Potash 6, Manganese 0.05 and Zinc 0.05.  It only contains 5 of the 13 nutrients the plants need us to provide.  It contains no calcium which aides the plant in taking up those it does provide.

How does weekly feed compare to Liquafeed How does weekly feed compare to Liquafeed

The expected analysis of the MiracleGro potting mix

The potting mix is another one that contains only the NPK.  The percentages are Nitrogen 21, Phosphate 11 and Potash 16.  People use this and grow container gardens in it.

How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro potting mix How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro potting mix

The expected analysis of MiracleGro Shake’n Feed

In the Shake n Feed I found the closest results to the weekly feed: Nitrogen 9, Phosphate 4, Potash 12, Calcium 3.5, Magnesium 1.4, Sulfur 7, Copper 0.05, Iron 9, Manganese 0.35 and Zinc 0.1.

Of all the products I compared to the weekly feed the Shake’n Feed comes the closest to having the 13 nutrients found in the weekly feed.  Unfortunately it lacks three nutrients.

How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro Shake'n Feed How does weekly feed compare to MiracleGro Shake'n Feed

Rock dust guaranteed analysis

The data I found for the rock dust was derived from volcanic rock.  Other forms of rock may produce a different analysis. Also, the phosphate shown in the analysis is Phosphoric Acid.  Phosphoric acid 13, Potash 11, Calcium 1.23, Magnesium 1.74, Iron 0.8465, and Sodium 1.20.

weekly feed compared to other products
weekly feed compared to other products

Side by side analysis comparison

Here is a simple spreadsheet showing the products side by side to make it easier to see how they compare.

weekly feed compared to other products
weekly feed compared to other products