Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

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Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby DrewInToledo » Mon May 02, 2016 2:38 pm

I haven't seen anything on this board regarding Jacob Mittleider's method of gardening, so I decided to give it a go using raised beds employing a growing medium of sawdust and sand mixture. The idea is to provide trace minerals to the plants that they require and provide water to the roots only. I cleared out a 20x20 area and started building...

I saw this idea on youtube and got excited: I thought it would be nice to contain the raised beds inside a hoop house, but as usual I got super excited and jumped the gun. My hoops aren't even squared up yet and I already have stuff planted in here which I'll now need to work around when I finish the greenhouse! Heck I already planted broccoli, onions, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, 2 blueberry bushes (hard to grow here), green peppers, cucumbers and more. I draped 6 mil plastic over the structure and need to start fastening it down but I do have enough up to make it usable. I hope we don't have any high winds!

Image

Anyway, the idea is to feed the plants weekly a special mix of minerals and water the plants each day via structure of PVC plumbing which will eventually be fed via rainwater from the roof. The sides from the ground up 4 foot to the horizontal boards have a run of screen. I'll be able to pull up the plastic over these areas to let the house breathe on those hot days.

I also have a couple of drums that I'll fill with water to use as thermal mass on those cold nights. I built a solar thermal collector a couple of years ago which I never utilized so I'll use that to heat the water in the barrels. I also have a little water heater that I'll install in one of the barrels. I'll blow off excess solar into this hydronic heater when my battery bank is full.

Just thought I'd share my scratching in the dirt... Errrr... sawdust and sand. Let me know if you've tried the Mittleider method and how it performed for you.
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon May 02, 2016 8:22 pm

Never tried it, let us know how you like it. Was the saw dust fresh, or well rotted when you started?
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby DrewInToledo » Tue May 03, 2016 11:32 am

Hey guy, it's not rotted at all. It's not about the compost factor as much as a loose growing medium. Other mediums are recommended such a s perlite, rice hulls, etc.

The idea here is to use inert organic materials to create a well drained "soil".

Do you have a garden growing? You can still use the minerals I mention if you'd like to experiment. A packet of minerals can be purchased here: http://growfood.com/shop/natural-mineral-fertilizers/ They are to be mixed with some 16-16-16 fertilizer and makes about 30 pounds when complete. The trace minerals can be mixed yourself, but with the ratios, you'll end up with hundreds of pounds of minerals and would probably need a barrel to store it all.
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby matt walker » Tue May 03, 2016 1:31 pm

Nice, I hadn't heard of that method, but it's looks to me to be a simplified, organic-fied hydro system. Put the roots in a medium that dries fairly rapidly, and run the water with food through the medium in timed cycles to give the plants the food, water, and air they need. I do similar stuff in my greenhouse with drip lines, loose media, and similar hydro feeding solutions.

Time to pack it up and move it out the 'stead Drew! Did you see Nutcase's hog panel scissor lock truss thingy? It's in Heating and Cooling, check it out if you haven't.
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby Colorado » Tue May 03, 2016 7:41 pm

I bought the book years ago. I never got to it. I am off the farm now and in small town. Good luck.

I have just 4 4x8 beds. 6x8 plastic greenhouse. Not much room here. I am RA and may not be able to do anything this year either .
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby DrewInToledo » Wed May 04, 2016 8:41 pm

Hey Matt. I did see the truss with legs thingie. That's purdy neat and something I probably could have done cheaper than what I put up.

Colorado, no matter how small your garden is, apparently the minerals still do it good. The book is nice and it really makes things easy to follow. I still managed to mess a few things up.. .like drilling holes 45° apart on the watering system.

Here's part of my build if you care to hear me mumble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IorTpS6Wa1Q
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri May 06, 2016 10:06 pm

Very nice, Drew. I think you will really benefit by having your warm weather crops under that structure and extending your growing and harvest seasons. Will you control the watering manually or will you run a pump on timers?
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun May 08, 2016 11:45 am

Hi Manny!

My original idea was to incorporate times for watering but I can't seem enough time to move my rain tote over to the garden. I don't have any timers yet but I'll keep an eye on Craigslist for them.

The hoop house has been VERY enjoyable. I sat out in it last evening with an iPA listening to chamber music for about an hour and a half. Before that I was rocking some SRV, starting with Riviera Paradise.

...still need to finish the plastic tho!
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby Lollykoko » Mon May 23, 2016 3:54 pm

Looks good Drew!

I hadn't heard of the method previously. I will take some time to check it out, now that you've mentioned it. A few weeks ago I considered the possibility of creating some hugel beds and putting them under a hoop house. The government entity 'that tells me the rules' says that I must remove a lot of trees from a 3 acre field and I want to use that resource somehow. Your video gives me some ideas to play with.
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Re: Mittleider method and ANOTHER hoop house

Postby DrewInToledo » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:06 am

A small update. I recorded this a few days back and since then things are skyrocketing. I'm really excited with this method. https://youtu.be/i9XFEtfGVlE
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