Saturday, March 01, 2008

Gardening software and compainion planting


Does anyone know if the Garden Master CD takes into account Companion
Planting? If so, I have just received the CD and would like to know
how to accomplish this.

Also,is there any consideration with this software for planning next
years garden so that the plants are properly rotated?

If Companion Planting and Rotating are not options, has anyone worked
out a clever way to accomplish this in conjunction with the software?


Linda & Group:

We discourage companion planting. Each plant requires the space around it to assure adequate light, water, air, and nutrition. When other plants compete for these resources, whether they are weeds or other vegetables, both plants suffer.

The GM CD software places plants according to height. However, you have the freedom to place them wherever you choose. Meanwhile, rotating crops in a family garden is usually neither necessary nor effective.

It’s not necessary because you feed the plants everything they need, no matter where they are in the garden, or what nutrition the soil holds.

And it’s usually not effective because in a small garden you can’t move plants far enough to avoid the problems with bugs or diseases that might have bothered the plants last year.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Growing vertically questions and answers

Jim and group,

I really want to grow vertically as much as possible. Will be the first
time. I understand the tying of the twine at the top but not sure how to anchor the other end at ground level. I get quite a bit of wind here and sometimes occasionally burst of 35 to 50 MPH. If I do not secure at the ground level the plants will end up in the next county. Any suggestions?


Place stakes along the length of your soil-beds, in line with the ridges on the side of the bed your plants are on. If your T-Frames are already there you don't have to use stakes.

Then place wire just above ground level on the stakes or T-Frames with nails.

Ty your baling twine strings to this wire, and you will avoid many problems later.

Jim Kennard

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Simple answers to fertilizer measurment questions

Several years ago I was able to buy fertilizer components from an
agricultural fertilizer plant. The man who ran the plant was very
knowledgable and understood what I was trying to achieve with the
Mittleider Grow Boxes. He sold me all the components and I still
have some of them. One of the things I have is 50 lbs. of potassium
chloride. I neglected to write on it the NPK numbers. My source
died and the plant seems to have closed down since we lived in NM the
last time.

So my first question is what is the ice melt (potassium cloride) NPK

Mr. Kennard told me that if I could get these items I'd have a great
34-0-0 use 10#
0-45-0 use 4#
0-0-60 use 6#
add 3# epsom salt

should I use 6# of the potassium cloride to finish this if I ever
find a supplier again?

so here is what I was able to get
ammonium sulfate 21-0-0
triple super phosphate 18-46-0
potassium cloride
magnisium sulfate

The man from the local fertilizer plant said to use:
sulphur pellets instead of gypsum (in the Pre-Plant mix)
ammonium sulfate use 10#
magnesium sulfate use 6#
triple super phosphate use 1.25#
potassimum chloride use 6#
boron use 10 grams

What do you think of his recipe?

Someone from the Scotts company told me something that doesn't make
sense. I don't think they understand what y'all are trying to do
here. This is part of her note.

" a 45-45-45 mix would become a 15-15-15 due to percentage
of weight (45-45-45 is divided by 3) The analysis could be too much
fertilizer for your vegetables in the boxes. Are the nutrients you
want to combine a slow-release or agricultural grade? You may want
to contact the manufacturer of the products you have to make sure
they are safe for vegetable plantings."
Thanks for your help. I'm confident you can help me understand how
to get this stuff mixed up. We had over 1000 tomatoes from 5 plants
the last time we did this with plenty of sunshine. We look forward
to landscaping our new yard with vegetable beds, fruit trees, and
berry bushes.

Virginia & Group:

First, your potassium chloride is 0-0-60, so it is good for what you
are trying to do. And yes, if you were using the other ingredients
6# of this would be right.

The fellow from the local fertilizer plant does not know fertilizing
plants as well as Dr. Jacob Mittleider, but that's to be expected,
because NO-ONE does. He is out on several points, but he got two out
of five right. By the way diammonium phosphate is the name of 18-46-
0. It's known all around the world as DAP.

What you are after is a mix with a ratio of 110-60-110. So using the
materials you say you can get here's what you should use:

(I invite you serious gardeners to do the calculations to prove
this. You will forever after be able to mix the correct fertilizer
mix, no matter what your source material is)

21-0-0 13.5#
18-46-0 4.5#
0-0-60 6.0#
Mag Sulfate 3.3#

To this you should add one 8 ½ ounce package of the Mittleider Micro-
Mix that's available at www.growfood. com in the Store section under

Do not use sulfur pellets INSTEAD of gypsum. Gypsum is the source
for essential calcium in high pH soils. If you have extremely high
pH you might need some sulfur, but never instead of your calcium.
Also, gypsum has sulfur in it, so you usually don't need added sulfur.

The Scotts woman was trying to tell you that if you combine (as a
hypothetical example) 100# of Urea, which is actually 46-0-0, 100# of
triple super phosphate, which is 0-45-0, and 100# of potassium
sulfate, which in some places might be as low as 0-0-45, you would
have the following:

Analysis #purchased # of N # of P # of K # of Inert Matls
45-0-0 100# 45 0 0 55
0-45-0 100# 0 45 0 55
0-0-45 100# 0 0 45 55

300# 45 45 45 165

You would still only have 45# of each of the three mineral nutrients,
but you would have 300# of total fertilizer. 45 as a percentage of
300 is only 15% - the rest being inert materials. You see then that
you end up with a mix of 15-15-15.

The 15-15-15 is most assuredly safe for use on your vegetable
garden. And it is typically agricultural grade, rather than slow
release. We therefore use a very small amount and apply it each

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Do I need to use compost?

Do i need to add compost to my soil before hand? Last year my soil PH
was off, so we added 2 truckload and tilled it in. It helped a little
but we could have used more. This will be the first year of using the
Mittleider Method. Wasn't sure if the pre-plant mix and weekily feed
are enough.


We promise "a great garden in any soil, in virtually any climate" without amending your soil.

The Pre-Plant and Weekly Feed formulas are ample to do that job.

If you have trouble with cracking clay soil, cover your seeds with sand (we recommend that be done on almost any soil), and add a little more sand before watering when cracks appear.

Jim Kennard

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Growlights how long to use per day

You can go to Lowe's and they carry 4 ft. long fluorescent bulbs for growing
plants and they also say that they can be used for fish tanks. I used them
last year and am using them now and they do a great job. Cost is $9.95 each.
I keep my seedlings just one inch below the lights and keep the lights on
them for 14 to 16 hours a day. Do not keep the lights on 24/7. Believe it or
not, the seedlings need 8 hours of sleep (unless they are in the far North - those seem to be fine with light day and night in the summer - JK).

In four weeks, my tomato plants were ready for transplant into larger
containers. Egg plant also. To slow down the growth, cut down the time they are
under the lights and just give them window light.

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