Monday, November 10, 2008

Growing in the desert using the Mittleider method of sustainable gardening

I live in the southeast corner of Arizona at medium high elev. - about 3500' - desert. I just used the container method of the Mittleider Method of Gardening.

We have lots of bugs, rabbits, javeline, birds and our own dogs.

Before Mittleider I got three tomatoes on one plant. Now we've got tomatoes but we have to keep the dogs away from them because they eat them. So we fenced in the garden of containers and now my herbs are growing. I still have squash growing across the pathway.

Tomatoes here bud early compared to the rest of the U.S. due to our long growing season. I have put in some experiments in the pots and they grew.

We are building raised beds because we have caleche soil. Some Master gardener from this area recommended shading the plants in pre-Monsoon
and Monsoon seasons but she said that I could grow up until frost in the beds with out shading after 90 degrees.

What has been the biggest problem here is the high winds. We are working on a wind block. Our fencing is just chain link. Hope this encourages you. I'd like to hear how your enclosed growing area works after next season. Gloria


If you can limit your shade to 25% or thereabouts, and allow for direct sun in morning and later afternoon, the shade won't hurt your production.

For a wind-break I recommend you visit your fence companies and ask for the plastic slat material that can be slid between the links of the fence. These give virtually total privacy and reduce the wind as well.

Jim Kennard

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