Producing seeds in your own garden is no big problem if you’re growing crops with seeds in the fruit, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc. However, for things like lettuce, cabbage, and onions you have to let the plant stay in the garden while it “goes to seed” – sometimes for as long as a second year.
A. Your problems of last year are not that un-typical. Many times people think they can change this and that and the other thing and end up with a Mittleider Garden yield. It doesn’t work. The promise is “a great garden in any soil, in any climate”, but only if all instructions are followed. Don’t waste another year and hundreds of hours – buy and read The Mittleider Gardening Course, available at www.growfood.com. It is simple and concise, and you WILL have success!
The dark fertilizer is the Pre-Plant, but this is only true if you are using gypsum, which is done in low rainfall areas, such as the Mountain West in the USA. If you have more than 20″ (50 cm) of annual rainfall you will use lime in your Pre-Plant, and it will likely be whiter than the Weekly Feed.
Thereafter on a weekly basis, you should apply 5 ounces of Weekly Feed down the center between 2 rows of plants – so you will apply 10 ounces of Weekly Feed each week to your 8′ 8″ bed or box, until three weeks before your crop matures.
Having a great garden is really quite simple. The book 6 Steps to Successful Gardening, also available at www.growfood.com, is so simple a child can read and understand it, but it’s profound enough to give you a GREAT garden, if followed. Just remember these steps and follow them religiously.
The Mittleider Gardening books and Manuals teach all you need to know about successful vegetable gardening, and can be purchased in the Store section, or as digital downloads.
A digital copy costs 30-40% less, and is available instantly! I HIGHLY recommend you look here https://www.hightechhomestead.com/Products.htm for the best gardening books available anywhere! Get one NOW and be gardening TODAY!!
Q. I’ve been told I should inoculate my bean seeds. Why should I do this, and how do I do it? Does alfalfa need it? Any others?
A. Why Use Rhizobia Inoculants? Rhizobia bacteria are a group of soil based microorganisms, which establish symbiotic relationships with beans and other legume plants, such as alfalfa and clover. They then form nodules on the roots of the legumes, where they store nitrogen and provide it to the plants. In return, the plants provide carbon and energy for the Rhizobia, which the plant produces by photosynthesis. Nitrogen is vital for plant growth. It is abundant in the atmosphere as N2, and in soil organic matter in other forms, but because of its volatility, it is not available in the NO3 form that plants can use.
Conventional methods of providing nitrogen to plants include 1) adding nitrogen fertilizers to the soil, or 2) inoculating with the Rhizobia nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Rhizobia then take N2 atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to the NO3 inorganic form that is useable by plants. In addition, the nitrogen they store in nodules on the plant roots, if the roots are left in the ground, can reduce nitrogen fertilizer requirements for the next growing season.
Therefore, before planting, some gardeners “inoculate” their bean seeds. This consists of coating the seeds with a small amount of powder containing the Rhizobia bacteria, thus effectively enabling the plants to draw nitrogen from the air and deposit it in nodules on their roots. This ability to “fix” nitrogen is unique to plants in the legume family, because of the symbiotic relationship with Rhizobia bacteria.
Inoculants only need to be used in poor soils that don’t have much soil nitrogen for plants to use. In fertile soil, the bacteria occur naturally, so inoculants are not needed. The inoculant comes in small packages, it is usually available where you buy your seeds, and it takes very little to do the job.Immediately before planting, put the bean seeds in a pan and add a little water to moisten them. Then add a small amount of inoculant, and stir the beans with a stick until they have a little powder on their seed coats.
To gain the maximum benefit from inoculating your been seeds, spade or till disease-free bean plants into the earth immediately after the last harvest. This adds organic matter to the soil and releases the nitrogen from the root nodules as well. Always destroy all diseased plants immediately.
Some people mistakenly believe planting beans and corn together is good, because the beans can climb the corn stalks, and the corn can get nitrogen from the beans. This is not a good idea for several reasons. The two plants are competing for the same water, food (13 nutrients are needed!), and light, and both will suffer for having to share. In addition, the nitrogen in the bean root nodules is “fixed” and unavailable to the corn. It is only released to the soil after the bean plant has completed its life cycle.