Tag Archives: garden planning

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.

 

 

 

 

planning your Mittleider garden

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.

planning your Mittleider garden with the garden planning detail sheet
planning your Mittleider garden

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.

planning your Mittleider garden
Planning your Mittleider garden

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.

Time to plan the 2017 garden!

I had an order of seeds from Mountain Valley seeds arrive recently.  This weekend we will be sitting down and planning our garden for this year.  Once we have decided what we will plant I’ll begin setting up the grow lights and getting everything ready to start seedlings.  

We are going to plant less of everything this year.  We had too much and couldn’t keep up with everything which made the garden suffer as a whole.  Much of what we plant will be a 1/3 to 1/2 of what we had last year.