Saturday, April 01, 2006

Growing organic veggies four wide with the Mittleider method

Watering Soil-Beds or Grow-Boxes with 3/4" PVC pipe works well, even for 4
rows of vegi's. Just make sure you are doing the holes right, and placing
the pipe correctly. For those who haven't done this yet, here's how.
Pictorial instructions are on the Garden Master CD and in The Mittleider
Gardening Course at - The Store.

On one end of your pipe, make marks dividing the circle into 4 equal parts.
Two adjacent marks are at 90 degrees. Now make a mark between those two,
and you have the starting points for 3 straight lines down the length of the
pipe that are 45 degrees apart.

Take a piece of 2 X 4 - 6" long and notch one side of it so that a 3/4" PVC
pipe fits snugly. Drill a hole from the top to the center of this notch the
size of a pencil. Insert a sharpened pencil, and as one person holds the
pipe from moving, another person starts at one of the three marks on the end
of the pipe and makes a straight line the length of the pipe. Turn the pipe
to the next mark and repeat. Then repeat a third time.

Next, take a measuring tape at least as long as your pipe, place it
alongside the pipe and draw a line every 4" across the 3 lengthwise lines
already drawn on the pipe.

Insert a #57 drill bit (that's .042", and is found at a hobby shop) into a
hand drill and drill 3 holes every 4" the length of the pipe - on the points
where the lines cross.

If your Bed is longer than the pipe, glue two pipes together - being very
careful to line up the holes on both pieces of pipe.

Attach male threaded ends on both ends of your pipe. On the far end, place
a threaded end-cap, and on the front-end place a ball valve with female

Plumb to your water source (I will post pictures of the Zoo garden, and the
books show how it's done).

Place the pipe in the center of your Soil-Beds or Grow-Boxes, on 4 - 2 X 4 X
6" blocks equally spaced along the length of the bed. Each block should
have two nails in the top center placed 1" apart, to keep the pipe from
falling off.

With the holes at 45 degrees and the pipe 3 1/2" above the soil surface, the
water will quickly fill the 12" planting area and water all plants in the

Jim Kennard founder


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