Planning your Mittleider garden
Knowing how many seedlings you need when planning your Mittleider garden can be difficult to figure out. Tools like the Mittleider garden planning detail sheet is invaluable in helping the gardener calculate how many seedlings will be needed. Certainly a simple calculator would make the process easier as well.
You can find a copy of the garden planning detail sheet inside the Mittleider Gardening Course book. A digital copy of it is available for free in the files section of the Mittleider Facebook group. We choose to use the garden planning detail sheet as a spreadsheet to make the process a little easier.
How we use the garden planning detail sheet
First we determine how many feet of soil beds and grow boxes we need to fill. Once that is done we decide how many feet of each crop we need to plant. Because we like to use the spreadsheet version of the garden planning details sheet, we started a spreadsheet like the one below.
The hardiness, spacing and number of columns comes from the garden planning detail sheet. The total feet is how much of the bed we want for a specific crop. It was determined by how much of each particular plant we want to grow based upon our need and the available room in our garden.
The seedling number is determined by multiplying the number of feet times 12 to get the number of inches. Take that number and divide by the number in the spacing column. As a reminder, that comes from the garden planning detail sheet. Take that number and multiply it by the number of rows. This will tell you the total number of seedlings you will need for the allotted space in your soil bed or grow box.
For the example given above, I will need 32 red beet seedlings to fill 3 feet of our soil bed. The “+ 10” portion I will discuss next.
Always plant extra seeds
Regardless of where your seeds come from there isn’t going to be a consistent 100 percent germination rate. Each time seeds are planted for seedlings you will need to plant extra to make up for those which fail to germinate.
Seeds bought from a reputable company will average as much as 85 percent germination rate. What that in mind we can plant an extra 15-20 percent and should have enough seedlings to fill our allotted garden space.
Another tip I might like to point out here, in those seeds that do germinate there will be seedlings that fail to thrive or just look weak. Those seedlings should never make it into your garden.
To help ensure only our strongest seedlings make it into the garden we plant an extra 10 percent of seeds. That makes a total of 30 percent extra seeds being planted. In most cases this will produce adequate enough seedlings to cover failure to germinate and the weak seedlings.
Because of the extra seeds planted we have plenty of healthy seedlings to fill the soil beds in our garden.
Planning your Mittleider garden video
For the gardeners who are visual learners, I’ve made this video and uploaded it to our YouTube channel.