Is Pre-Plant Really All That Important?

Q.  Last year I used a sand and sawdust bed constructed as you say but did not mix the pre-plant fertilizer in as I was still trying some organic stuff that didn’t work.  I did order your suggested weekly feed fertilizer but the results were less than optimal.  What should I do now?  Can I just get some pre plant fertilizer and mix it in before planting? 

A.  The best results would have been obtained by applying Pre-Plant on the surface of the ground before filling the Grow-Box, and then applying again in the soil mix.   Dr. Mittleider calls lime (or gypsum) the foundation of a good feeding program for good reason.  Calcium is as essential for plants as it is for humans.

Having missed that opportunity, I recommend you mix Pre-Plant into the soil mix before planting – at the normal rate of 32 ounces for each 18″ X 30′ box.   I trust you will have better success this year.

How were the other elements of your gardening procedures?  Did you automate your watering?  was the water applied close to the plant roots?  Did you continue the water until it began coming out of the bottom of the box?

Did you plant your rows 12″ apart?  And apply the Weekly Feed down the middle, between the two rows of plants?  Just checking, to help you make sure every element is done properly, and assure great success this year.

Thanks for writing, and consider yourself blessed.  The good people whom I am
teaching in the villages surrounding Gyumri, Armenia are among the poorest in
all of eastern europe – earning less than $1 per day, and often very much
less.  God Bless America!