We are putting together this video series on how to grow a Mittleider garden cheaply and to grow in your soil. Most homes already have the tools needed to grow in your own soil. With a little of your labor you can have your own beds in and ready for the next step before planting.
You don’t have to garden in grow boxes to have a Mittleider garden
There seems to be this misconception that one has to have expensive grow boxes to grow a Mittleider garden. That is absolutely not true. You can grow as good of a garden in your own soil for a lot less money.
But you don’t understand, my soil is horrible
Those words are heard a lot when trying to convince someone to stop amending their soil and grow with the Mittleider method. You can grow in your soil. Because we provide all the nutrients the plant needs on a weekly basis the lack of nutrition in your soil is entirely irrelevant. With the Mittleider gardening Method the soil is used for the following:
it provides the plant with anchorage and protection for the roots
Holds air and water for the plant
It stores the nutrition we apply to the soil beds
Get the 7 lessons on growing in your own soil for FREE
Garden rows and which direction they should run is a topic that is discussed frequently. Selecting garden row direction doesn’t matter if your tall crops are planted in the right rows. With a Mittleider garden the rows running in either direction work well with a couple simple rules.
The direction of your rows should be determined by the natural slope of your garden area. In a Mittleider garden grown in your own soil your rows need to be level. Using the contour of your gardening area you layout your rows is best. This will require the least amount of work to keep those rows level.
If your garden rows run north and south you will want to plant any tall crops in the rows to the east. This permits the shorter crops to get a full 6-8 hours of afternoon sun and prevent them from being shaded out.
For the garden rows that run east to west the gardener would likewise plant tall and vertical crops would be planted in the rows on the north side of your garden. Allowing all your plants to get a full 6-8 hours of sunlight is one of the six laws of plant growth with the Mittleider Gardening system.
I’ve heard rows running one direction work best
Because of the contour and available growing area in our yard we have two garden areas. One has rows running north and south while the second has rows going east and west. Both produce equally well. This is true because we plant our tall and vertical crops to ensure everything gets adequate light. Light is the 1st of the 6 laws of plant growth in a Mittleider garden.
Are there any row directions to avoid?
With a Mittlieder garden the only rows you need to avoid are ones that will face south. A south facing row will be in shadow and prevent the plants from getting adequate sunlight. There are other considerations on selecting a garden location that will be covered in a fewer blog entry.
See our gardening areas in this video
In this quick video you can see our two Mittleider gardening areas and hear the reason why row directions don’t matter
Making Mittleider soil beds is the cheapest way to get started with the Mittleider gardening method. A Mittleider soil bed can be made with a few basic yard tools, a few sticks and some string. Any type of soil can be used for making Mittleider soil beds, even if it has sand, clay or rocks. A Mittleider garden can even be grown in a raised grow box filled with only sawdust and sand!
In just a few hours a class of beginners in this Mittleider gardening course boot camp were able to transform this bare patch of ground into a bunch of Mittleider soil beds. The raised soil bed allows for proper drainage. The edges of the grow bed have a raised ridge to contain water during daily watering. Watering just the grow beds and not the entire garden reduces your water consumption and helps to cut down on weeds.
Making soil beds with rakes and shovels
In the picture below you will see the boot camp class making 30 foot long soil beds. Those beds are 18 inches wide and are kept straight with 4 stakes and 2 lengths of twine.
Shovels and rake are used to move soil from the isle between the beds and into the soil bed. Those soil beds are kept straight with 4 wooden stakes and two lengths of twine. A simple and inexpensive garden level is used to ensure those Mittleider soil beds are level. Level soil beds are critical in a Mittleider garden.
Download the free 7 chapter on making a Mittleider soil bed
You can download the first 7 chapter from the Mittleider gardening course book for FREE. Those chapters cover everything you need to know to grow a soil bed in your own soil. Go to growfood.com/soil and get your own copy.
Watch Jim Kennard making soil beds
For the visual learners, you can watch Jim Kennard explain and then show you how to form up a Mittleider soil bed. He learned how do build them and worked directly with Dr. Mittleider.
Our quest to be self reliant and grow a healthy garden