Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why the Mittleider method is organic

There are several reasons the Mittleider Method of gardening is sometimes called “the best of organic”.
I. Rather than teaching the use of pesticides or herbicides, we use cultural practices to eliminate the need for them. For example:
1) We eliminate all weeds – from the beds, the aisles, and even the garden periphery.
2) We never water the aisles, but keep just the root zone of the plants moist.
3) We keep leaves off the ground, and prune plants to maintain good air circulation.
4) We grow healthy plants fast, so they have good resistance to bugs and disease.
5) We don’t use materials that could introduce bugs, weed seeds, or disease into the garden.
II. We never guess about the nutrition we give our plants.
1) Compost & manure often lack some of the essential nutrients plants need.
2) The gardener never knows what elements are missing from compost & manure.
3) We use a balanced mix of USDA-approved natural mineral nutrients.
4) We feed plants regularly – in small measured amounts – to match their needs.
III. We harvest our crops at peak maturity, and never leave old plants in the garden to attract bugs and disease.

Labels: , ,

Pruning determinate vs indeterminate tomatoes

Thanks for the replies.? I think it was most clear when Jim said "just make sure you have ONE stem growing upward, and remove everything else."? I must confess that this is what I was thinking everyone meant, but couldn't imagine it was really true!? I guess I'll have to go take it on faith and wait and see where the tomatoes actually from from then.

Also, about determinate vs indeterminate. ? Do I understand correctly that this has to do with vining vs non-vining?? So if I can figure out if my tomato plants are determinate or not, will that dictate whether I should even prune at all?? Could someone please clarify this for me as well?

Thanks again. Rick

Rick & Group:

It really is hard for people to believe a single-stem plant can be very productive, but remember you plant every 9", so you get quite a few plants in a small space as well. And that single stem will produce a "hand" of 4-7 tomatoes every 6-8" up the stalk, until frost kills the plant (different varieties have different growth habits, so don't panic if yours doesn't follow the pattern I've described).

Determinate plants will not grow tall, but remain low. The only pruning you should do is to remove old leaves and those touching the ground, and to prevent the plants from crowding their neighbors. You do NOT remove the sucker stems, as that is where the fruit is produced.

Your nursery can tell you if the plants you have are determinate or indeterminate. Or if you know the variety you can look online. Determinate varieties produce over a shorter period of time, so don't expect to be eating tomatoes for 6 months with "patio" tomatoes.

Jim Kennard

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gardening in Fiji

Bula Jim
I've been through twice on the training discs x 4 you sent me.I intend to go through five times before I begin to& nbsp;farm.

Can you advise me on the following:
1.Is it permissable to spray the bush and burn the dry weeds?
2.We intend to grow the eight acres with veges and root crops.
3.We thought to have fish ponds on the remaining two acres.Do you recommend?
4.Can you supply us with a Garden Master Mittleider Pro Version disc for my training?Please advise the cost.
5.May we have the price list of all the nutrients necessary to provide the plants.

Thank you for your continued support. CHEERS !!
With kind regards,

Fani & Group:

I would certainly burn the weeds, but that is not all - you must also remove the rhyzomes and runners of all perennial weeds. These won't be killed with surface burning, and they'll give you fits if you don't get rid of them.

With what are you proposing to spray the bush? Why not cut them down and/or burn them also?

I know nothing about fish farming - any among the Group who can advise him?

The Garden Master CD is $29.95 plus shipping.

I'm sorry that I can't give you a price list for the nutrients where you are. Even here in Utah, in the USA, they change constantly. I recommend you look at the list, then check with the closest good source of fertilizers for prices.

Labels: , ,