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

Author: Unknown

Friday, May 10, 2013

Second Update On My Garden With Mittleider Method

               I must admit, I am not going to strictly adhere to all aspects of the Mittleider method. I am pretty much following the rules except I have combined a few plants in with others. Mittleider recommends growing like things together. I tend to cram things into all available space. However, I am trying to get the hang of growing some things in Spring and again in Fall, and others in between. In the past I tended to put everything out at once. I am now realizing I can grow things like lettuce,onions, and peas etc early spring, then when they are done the warm loving plants such as tomatoes and beans etc can be placed, then in Fall those Spring plants can be done again. In past years I have planted successions  of bush beans which worked out very well.
               The parts of Mittleider I am testing this year is the pre-plant mix, the weekly feed, automated irrigation, trellising of vertical growing plants,and plant spacing. I just placed my third dose of weekly feed down. At the advice of a tomato grower I read about on Tomatoville, I will also be added a tablespoon of Calcium Nitrate to each tomato plant every 10 days. Her plants were huge, her fruits were huge, and plants very healthy looking.
This is an updated look at the Potager/ Kitchen garden. I am getting ready to frame in a bed at the front with a shaped brick like stone as soon as the weather permits. I also need to get some junk picked up. I don't have anything on the towers yet. I will probably have to move them outside the garden this year to grow beans on. I think I went a little overboard on the seed starting,lol
My Kenebec potatoes have now sarted coming up. There will three irrigation pipes down this bed and the potatoes are growing with a row on each side of each pipe. This bed is 5x16
This 5x16 ft bed has three rows of tomatoes for a total of 51 plants in this bed.  In the other beds I have some more for a grand total of 74 tomatoes planted. I still have about 10 more in cups yet.They are mostly 10" apart. I hope to get the standard Mittleider T-trellis on this bed, to support the tomatoes.  I just started the dosing of calcium nitrate on the tomatoes. Since they are only about 6"- 8" tall, I just gave them a pinch each.
I also moved some of the cabbage I had in another bed to the edges  of this bed. I also have some beets sown in the upper ,left edge, and some Cilantro, Basil,  and Marjoram. They are Chioga and Detroit Red. My first time trying to grow the cabbage, brocolli, and beets.

In the previous post, the strawberries were below the bottom rung of my tower. Eight days later they are now a couple of inches above this rung. They grew probably 6". Roughly 16"- 18"  tall.  This fantastic growth has to be attributed to the Mittleider Fertilizing method. (see info at end of post) There are 17 elephant garlic in this bed that I planted last Fall from grocery store bulbs. Some of the bases are almost 1 and 1/2" across. There is also some broccoli in this bed, scallions at the edges, and more tomatoes that are planted near where the irrigation pipe will lay. behind the strawberries, along this 16 foot fence I planted more pole beans, Stringless Blue lake.
Look at the growth comparison on these strawberries. see the white line? Thats how high the plants are. This growth was in only 8 days with using the Mittleider fertilizing plan.
This bed gets a little more shade, so I am growing my Buttercrunch lettuce here. This is the first time I tried head lettuce. So far so good. 
This bed has my Onions along the edges and either cabbage or broccoli growing down the center. I was so diligent about marking the cups, but got lazy when I put them out, so I am not sure which of these two they are. They kind of look alike to me. I also have 11 sweet peppers planted here, and in the next bed over there are 12 hot peppers. In the bed running long ways on the far left I have 16 feet of pole beans sown.  Ten foot are Fortex, and 6 foot of Emerite. Both a first for me. I was surprised they are dark beans. I am used to eating the white.
This cute little 6" tall squirrel statue was bought for me by my now 7 yo grand daughter last year. I glued him on top of a fence post. he appears to be eyeing my growing raspberries.
I tried to get some what of a panaoramic view of the 60 ft long raised bed at the back of the house. Things are just starting to bloom. The table in the center is getting a good coat of charcoal colored textured paint. Hopefully this weekend. You can barely see the cups with plants still sitting on the edge waiting to be planted.

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.