Six laws of plant growth
In the Mittleider gardening method Dr. Jacob Mittleider defined the six laws of plant growth. If the gardener will observe these 6 laws their garden will do well.
Law 1 – Light
Direct sunlight is best for your garden. All day sunlight is best but you will need 6-8 hours at a minimum. Avoid shade from objects such as buildings and trees. Shade from other plants should be avoided when possible.
Law 2 – Temperature
Seedling production and seed germination are best in a narrow temperature range. Seed germination requires a soil temperature of 70-85 degrees. Seedlings require soil and air temperatures to range from 65 to 85 degrees. Outdoor plants need air temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees.
In temperatures above 90 degrees it may become necessary to provide partial shade. For colder temperatures it will be necessary to provide supplemental heat.
Law 3 – Air
Third in the six laws of plant growth is air. Plants pull three different nutrients from the air to create carbohydrates. Those nutrients are oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. Plants take in air through their roots so it is very important to have proper soil drainage.
Law 4 – Water
A plant is comprised of 80 percent water. Nutrients are carried down through the soil to the roots by water. Water must be available at the roots for them to take up nutrients. During hot weather the plant will try and control its temperature through transpiration with the water. If the plant is wilting it is dying.
Law 5 – Nutrition
This law is the one that most gardeners fail to fully provide for their garden. Your garden needs 16 nutrients to produce healthy plants. For healthy growth of your garden the plants require a balanced nutrition at all stages of growth.
Plants take in their nutrients in a water soluble form through their roots. If your nutrients are not water soluble they will not be immediately available to the plant.
Three of those nutrients the plants take from the air, see Law 3 above. The remaining 13 the Mittlieder gardener provides to the plants. They are comprised of macro, secondary and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients are NPK, also known as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The secondary elements your plants need are calcium, magnesium and sulfur. The micro nutrients are zinc, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron, boron and chlorine.
Law 6 – Competition
The sixth and final of the six laws of plant growth is competition. Competition can come in several forms for the plants in your garden. Disease, animals, out of control weeds, insects and even other plants in your garden can compete with your plants. Learn to eliminate or control the competition while observing all of the six laws of plant growth and your garden will amaze you.