Q. We just moved to 4 acres of very poor soil, that has been exposed after strip mining, and we need to get something growing. Is there any hope? What can we do??
A. Lucky You!
I’m really not kidding, and here are three good reasons why.
First, it is with good reason that we promise every Mittleider Method gardener “a great garden in any soil”, even WITHOUT ANY SOIL AMENDMENTS!
Following the tried and true principles and procedures outlined on the website, in the books and CDs, in the Training Videos, as well as in the posts on the Yahoo Groups MittleiderMethodGardening Group, you WILL have a great garden – even if your soil is as barren as sawdust and sand.
The natural mineral nutrients are so complete and balanced that you can grow healthy plants even in WATER. That’s one reason this is called “the poor man’s hydroponic system”.
The second reason is that your “barren” soil is probably not as barren of nutrition as you fear. The top layers of your soil – before the mining was done – had been weathering and having nutrition leached out of them from rain, snow, wind and crop removal for thousands of years, and they were probably already deficient in many nutrients.
However, the sub-surface layers of soil had much less of that weathering and leaching going on, and so may actually have MORE of some elements than the top layers had.
The third reason you may actually be lucky is that your land almost certainly has very few weed seeds, bugs, or diseases in it, for the very reason that all of those things have been scraped off. You have a CLEAN slate with which to work, and believe me many others would envy you that fact.
So, don’t worry about your “poor soil”, but be grateful for the positives I’ve described, then just create slightly raised level beds with 4″-high ridges, apply the Mittleider Magic Pre-Plant and Weekly Feed nutrients (per the formulas given in the Mittleider gardening books and CDs, as well as in the Learn section of this website) as instructed, then weed, water, and care for your plants, and you will be very happy with the results.