"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away?"

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Mittleider Gardening Experiment

       For the past couple of months I have been researching how to improve my garden. Year before last ( my first year) the garden did pretty well. Then last year, I got next to nothing out of it. It might have been a big part to the dry season we had last summer. I started out watering regularly, then we were traveling a lot, and the garden would end up going for 10 days or more with no water.Neither year did I have an abundance of veggies.
       I first stumbled onto this method when I found a post on a tomato forum by someone who uses this method to grow produce for sale. Check out these pics in this thread  HERE. Her tomatoes are unbelievably huge and abundant.
       Then I found the "Back to Eden" method of using huge amounts of wood chips to grow in. Then I stumbled upon youtube videos by LDSprepper who started out testing Back To Eden, then Mittleider. Check out his comparison results between the two methods HERE. Check out his many very informative other videos while your there.
                    Here is a website explaining some of the Mittleider process.
      I couldnt find any bad reviews on this method, so I am going to test it this year. The only thing I had to special order was the package of micro-nutrients, and a #57 drill bit for the irrigation system. You could wait on the irrigation and just do it by hand, but since we travel a bit, I wanted to go ahead and put this in anyway. The remaining items to buy locally and are fairly inexpensive are 13-13-13 fertilizer, epsom salts,lime or gypsum, and Mule Team Borax for the boron. You can make beds with the alternative grow mix, or just do it in your native soil. I opted to use my soil.
        I wanted a couple more raised beds added along side my potager because I wanted to try corn and potatoes this year, and a few other things. Here  are some pictures showing my progress.

   My husband tilled up the ground where the two new beds are to go. The potager is off to the right, enclosed in the fence. He made several passes. Luckily the ground was a little soft from the occasional rains we have been having making it a lot easier. We are adding in two 5'x20' beds with a walk space between the fence, and another between the two beds.

       I had to dig a small ditch from the top edge of my large raised bed and retaining wall behind the house. This is to run some pvc pipe to get the water from the faucet up to these beds for irrigation. Then drop it over the upper wall, and thru the lowed bed, and over the lower wall.
This pic shows the two retaining walls for my 60 ft long raised flower bed.
I am going to keep adding to this line to detail my experiment on this gardening method.

Meanwhile, I couldnt pass up a close-up shot of these beautiful blue primrose flowers showing their pretty faces in my raised bed.

If you want to try The Mittleider Gardening Method for yourself, you can find lots of info at the link at the top of my sidebar on the right. There are also links there with free plans to build  your own greenhouse, and a free gardening journal to download. If you have any questions, I will do my best to help.

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