6 Reasons Why I Don’t Use the Mittleider Garden Method

This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
Today I have another exciting episode for you, and today we’re going to answer a few
viewers’ questions, actually, and this has been a very popular subject, actually. I’ve
gotten a lot of emails and question regarding this and I thought I’d answer once and for
all, in detail. I have had a question such as this one in pat episodes, and I’ve talked
about it a little bit, but I’m really goanna kind of dive into my thoughts about what we’re
goanna talk about today. So, one again, if you guys have a question the best place to
post it is actually on my YouTube comments page. So, go to my channel page, go to discussion,
you can enter your comment there, or if you email it to me through the email system on
YouTube I will also get it and I may answer it in a video such as this one. So, I apologize,
I can’t answer all the questions I get ’cause I get so many questions and I got a normal
life to lead, I got to do my gardening, and all kinds of other stuff. So, I guess without
further ado let’s get into today’s questions. Let’s see, tallstarlight asks, ‘John, what
do you think of the mittleider method? They call for fertilizers weekly and claim it’s
organic certified. Please clear this up for me because everything points to it being true
except for what I have heard from you. Which is better? To use compost, rock dust, worm
castings and teas and so on, which I am growing in right now, but everything seems to be in
slow motion compared to my next door neighbor using mittleider magic fertilizers. Thanks.’
Before I answer that question, let’s go on to the next 2 as well. Let’s see, next one
is from mrmrlee, ‘John, could you give us your take on mittleider gardening at some
point? I fell it is an unsustainable method based on chemical fertilizers and does not
improve the soil but would like to know your feelings on it, thanks.’ Alright, we won’t
answer that one yet. Let’s read the last one. It’s from vaunleechum. ‘John, dude, I wouldn’t
normally ask but this guy spreading chemical gardening as organic blocks comments and deletes
those who mention permaculture, especially those (me) who delve further into it attempting
to be nice and share the love of gardening with nature, opposed to chems. People are
subbing this guy like crazy. It’s factory farming, dude. He’s setting this community
back. IMHO,’ in my humble opinion is what that stands for, ‘thought I see he wants to
produce good, healthy plants and is a keen gardener, just a little misguided, IMHO. If
I am wrong about this, am always learning to help. Faithfully, Vaun.’ Alright, so, let’s
go ahead and talk about all these different questions. First we’ll go back to the first
one from tallstarlight. ‘John, what do you think of the mittleider methods?’ Alright,
so the mittleider method is a specific way of gardening, and a guy wrote a book on this
a long time ago, and he did a lot of work to figure out the best way back then on how
to grow food sustainably all over, and so he came up with a system, and systems are
very good because it allows the average, novice, person without any formal garden training
without becoming a master gardener to grow successfully and easily the first time, and
in this system there’s many different aspects of the mittleider gardening system. So, for
me to say, ‘oh that thing’s a piece of crap,’ it would be wrong because in every system
there’s always pros and cons to every different aspect of the system. Some of the aspects
of the system is that they make a grow box, which is akin to a raised bed, and I definitely
think that raised beds and grow boxes are really good. Another thing they do is they
plant things particularly closer than normal, and they trellis things up, which is also
similar to the square foot gardening method that I use, and I think that’s excellent.
Another thing they do is they have an irrigation system where they water just the roots of
the plants. So, they don’t waste water and they conserve water, and, once again, I think
this is fabulous and everybody should conserve water and put the water where the plants need
it in the root zone, by either drip irrigation or better yet subsoil irrigation. Another
method of the mittleider method is actually starting your seeds inside early to get a
jump on the season, which I also absolutely agree with. Now, probably the main source
of contention is this next aspect that I’m going to talk about. In the mittleider gardening
method, the mittleider system, they say there’s nutrients that the plant needs. 3 can get
obtained from the air, and 13 needs come and we need to add them to soil because the soils
are depleted. So, I definitely agree with some of that statement. Plants need a lot
of nutrients. I wouldn’t necessarily say that they only need 16. Most gardeners, they add
3 nutrients back into their soil, NPK, which is like the numbers on every fertilizer bag
you buy. So, at least they mittleider method expands that to a total of 16 nutrients that
you’re going to be adding. Basically, 13 of them are in little mineral packs, trace mineral
packs, and as you guys know, I’m a really big fan of trace minerals, so I think this
is really excellent. Now, where the mittleider method gets a little bit scary, and once again
in this video, I’m only going to explain my opinions about this gardening methods, and
my opinions are simply that, and mind you, you guys get what you pat for. All my videos
are free. These are sharing my opinions based on my experiences being a gardener, growing
the natural way, and all this kind of stuff. I’m never going to say one method is right
or wrong. Of course, if you’re spraying toxic herbicides, pesticides, and GMO’s, I’d probably
say that’s wrong, but most gardening methods, you know, they have their pros and cons, and
these are my opinions. Not to make any one gardening method right or wrong, you know.
You guys have to find the right gardening method for you. That’s what I’m all about.
I like to share all my ideas and all my different projects so that you guys can figure out what
you want to use and what’s best for you, and of course if you want to follow what I’m doing,
of course I show you guys exactly what I do so that you can model that if you desire so
that you can see the results that you’re goanna get based on what I do and my results and
my goals and values. You know, what I do works great, and I always continually strive to
improve. So, let’s get back into the question. So, the challenge with the mittleider method
is that, you know, they use, in most cases and especially how it’s portrayed on YouTube
and other videos, they use a standard fertilizer form a bag from a big box store. 15-15-15,
13-13-13, 16-16-16, and these are basically manmade synthetic chemical fertilizers. You
know, are those good or bad? Well, if you guys watch the last episode you’d kind of
get my opinions on that. I’m not a big fan of those, but if using synthetic chemical
fertilizers allows you to grow a garden, and you would not grow a garden otherwise, I’m
all for it because I’m all about you guys starting to take some control and some power
back into your hands by growing your own food instead of letting, you know, industrial agriculture
grow your food because they’re only adding 3 minerals, and at least the mittleider method
adds, you know, about a bakers dozen more, which is good, but, you know, I think you
guys could do a lot better. Next, in general, let’s talk about the mittleider method and
some of the marketing behind it and why people may want to do it and also let’s talk about
organic gardening and some of the differences. So, the mittleider method, in my opinion,
you know, they say, ‘our method gives the plant everything it needs,’ and, you know,
they’re really big on that and giving the plant everything it needs is the 16 different
nutrients. Now, is it true that a plant only needs 16 nutrients, and that’s everything
the plants needs? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t talked to any plants lately
to find out if they only need 16 nutrients. In my humble opinion, I think, you know, that
plants need far more than just 16 nutrients, and I want to supply the plants with everything
it needs. I mean, if you guys go to a buffet and they have all you can eat, and they have
like, you know, a pizza counter, a hamburger counter, a salad counter, a dessert bar, I
mean, you guys could choose anything you want and by the end, you’re going to get everything
you need, but imagine if you in to that same all you can eat buffet and they only have
the salad counter. Half you guys out there would probably starve. You wouldn’t want to
eat just salad. You want a pizza or a hamburger or something else, right? So, that’s like
what I feel about plants. I don’t want to just give the plants the salad bar table,
I want to give them everything they need and give them the choices and that’s why I choose
to put form 70 to 90 different nutrient in my soil, plus a whole host of other things
as well to build the soil. Beneficial microbes, funguy, and bacteria, and don’t forget the
fungirls. So, you know, to me, gardening is a lot more than giving the plant everything
it needs. I mean, that’s more akin to like hydroponic growing, and actually in the mittleider
method, they’re not really concerned about the soil you’re growing it in. In many cases,
they’re like, ‘oh yea, just bring in some sawdust to grow in,’ because to them, the
soil is inert, and I mean it’s the pro and con. This means you could pretty much anywhere
in the world, even if you live in a dessert or wherever the conditions are, because soil
is not a factor. You aren’t fostering life in the soil. Basically, the soil’s just here
just to hold the roots, like in a soilless hydroponic system, and, you know, while those
systems and those growing methods can work great, I’m not a big fan of them. That being
said, I will start growing hydroponic these days when I get a system up and going, because,
once again, I think growing some food is fat better than buying your food at the grocery
store. Another thing I want to talk about is growing organically. I mean, this is often
misconstrued. There’s not definition of what is growing organically. I grow organically,
but my neighbor next door could be growing organically, but, you know, he could be growing
organically because he’s just not spraying stuff and he just took some seeds and planted
them in the ground, and he’s not using compost, he’s not using rock dust, he’s not using and
compost teas, he’s not using worm castings, he’s not using kelp meal, like things that
I would use. I mean, he could also be using cow manure, and I rarely, if ever, use any
high volume of cow manure. So, there’s many different ways to do organic gardening. So,
that’s where some confusion can come in. In my opinion, there’s definitely good, better,
and best ways to do organic gardening, and I think to think I’m more bear the best side
and try to do everything I can to nurture the soil to build it up so that it can literally
take care of me, and other side of organic gardening, you can literally just plant in
the ground without adding anything and you’re just organic because you’re not spraying and
you’re not adding anything. You’re doing things naturally, and while that can work, depending
on where you live and the fertility of your soil, I think that’s not maybe the optimal
thing. The next thing over might be just adding some cow manure, you know, but your soil may
stull be too hot, may burn, all kinds of stuff, so there’s no general definition of organic,
but at least with the mittleider method there’s a specific system and they tell you what to
do and you’re definitely goanna get some proven results depending on where you live and whatnot,
’cause I have read, you know, different forums, and some people trying the mittleider method,
it just doesn’t work in their climate zone. So, that’s also something to consider. Next,
let’s get in to more of the mittleider method, and I want to read this off for you. This
is actually from the mittleider gardening website. It says, ‘the mittleider magic natural
mineral nutrients are essential plant foods mixed in a balanced formula to give your plants
just what they need for fast and healthy growth, and the micronutrients are the part everyone
else leaves out. This is the lynchpin, the key to great gardening in any soil. Get your
today right here! Only $13.95 for two 10oz packets.’ So, basically you’re going to spend
about $14 for 20 ounces, and they’re probably also goanna add shipping on there for you.
So, without shipping that works out to be $11.16 per pound of trace minerals, about
13 trace minerals I believe, and, man, that’s quite expensive. I get a bag of azomite for
gaia green rock dust for sometimes, man, I buy the gaia green, it’s 50 pounds for about
$16. So, I mean, that’s significantly cheaper. That’s because I have a good source near me.
If you’re not able to get the source that I’m at and have a nursery near you that sells
it, which most places don’t sell that stuff, you can order it online, and it works out
to be about $1 for some good rock dust trace minerals, or you can get something like the
C90 or ocean solutions, which are good way to add like 90 minerals instead of just the
13 at a much more affordable cost. So, what you’re supposed to do is take these mittleider
magic minerals and mix that in with some 15-15-15 Epsom salts for weekly feeding, and every
week you need to feed your plants the mixture because they need to get their nutrients because,
once again, the soil is inert, devoid, of nutrition. You could go down to your Wal-Mart
and get 15-15-15, and most gardeners, that’s exactly what they’re doing. They’re using
conventional bag fertilizer put in their garden. So, that means with the mittleider method,
you’re adding more minerals. You know, that’s definitely a good thing because your plants
do need more minerals or nutrients than just the 3 that’s in a standard bag fertilizer.
So, I think that’s definitely excellent. You know, I always want to take it to the next
level and do even better because there’s always a way to improve, and as I grow on in life
and as a gardener, you know, I always strive to improve and learn new things and make my
garden better. So, before I get into my 6 reason on why I don’t use the mittleider method,
I do want to mention, you know, the mittleider method does have some benefits. I mean, with
every gardening system, there’s always pros, there’s always cons. You got to kind of weight
that balance out and which can be best for you. I mean, one of the benefits to the mittleider
gardening method is that it’s a method. This is especially important if you are a new gardener,
and you don’t want to go through the learning curve, you don’t want to figure things out.
I mean, it’s more like you’re a drone or you’re a clone and you want to just do it and it
works. I mean, you know, with the mittleider method, for the most part, you don’t have
to use your God-given brain o think, because they lay out everything for you, and you can
get success as a gardener really easily. That being, I want to encourage you guys to use
your God-given brain because, you know, god, nature, gave us the brain to use, to think
critically and it kind of perturbs me sometimes when people are just the sheeple and follow
things without thinking things through. So, no matter what video you’re watching on YouTube,
I always encourage you guys to use your brain and really thing about if it makes sense to
you or not, and I won’t put a judgment on anything, but, you know, I want you guys to
think instead of just follow blindly. So, that’s definitely something to think about.
With that, I want to get into the 6 reason why I don’t personally use the mittleider
method, and these are, once again, reasons you may want to consider as well. Number 1,
disrespectful. In my opinion, the mittleider method is disrespectful because it disrespects
the soil organisms, man. You’re like putting ’em down because they are not needed in the
mittleider method. The soil is inert, it’s just the holder of the roots that you can
put your nutrients in that can be basically leached through the nutrients and the roots
can absorb ’em. I mean, you’re disrespecting all the beneficial soil microbes. There’s
fungi, beneficial fungi, bacteria, beneficial nematodes, protozoa, earthworms, all in the
soil that god put here for a reason, and if he put them here for a reason, I mean, why
do you want to go against gods system of having nature works, having ecosystems and huge forests
and rainforests that have been working for millions of years? I mean, they don’t use
the mittleider method in the rainforest, man. That’s natures systems hard at play, hard
at work, and that’s the systems I try to do in my garden. So, I want o appreciate nature
instead of disrespecting nature. Another thing that I think about is that the mittleider
method is more similar to actually hydroponics than actually real in-soil gardening because
the soil is inert. It’s just the carrier of the roots, and, you know, to me this is like
man is smarter than nature, or you could say man is smarter than god because god put things
here on earth for a reason, and when we’re trying to like, you know, make it better than
what god does, maybe we’re playing god. So, you know, I’m not too much into that whole
philosophy. I want to and choose to respect the earth, respect the creatures on the earth,
including the soil microbes, and live in harmony with the earth as much as I possibly can.
Number 2 reason is pollution. You’re thinking, ‘what? John, pollution? Like driving my car?
That’s like pollution.’ Well, in my opinion, suing manmade, factory, chemical, water soluble
fertilizers, right, that basically leach through the ground and go into the water table that
cause runoff and will probably even, over time, build up excess salts in your soil and
pollute so that you’ll actually have to throw it out and get new stuff, you know, is a form
of pollution. So, if we look at what’s happening at the gulf of Mexico, all the runoff form
the farmers of the Midwest are running off and creating dead zones where things cannot
grow. I mean, is this fostering life? Is this what god wants for us is to create dead zones
and lifeless place? I mean, that may be the end of everything if all the soils eroded
into nothingness. So, in my opinion, it is probably better not to pollute your soils
by using these mineral salts that are goanna wash through with the water table and also
the land you own. I do have a good video I uploaded, last video actually, where I talk
more about this Josh from the boogie brew company if you want to learn more. Reason
number 3, in my opinion, why I do not use the mittleider method is because it’s unsustainable
in the long term. Now, what do I mean by unsustainable? That word is commonly overused in our language
these days. To me, unsustainable means, you know, if there’s an economic collapse, WWIII,
stores close down, you couldn’t buy your 15-15-15 fertilizers anymore to put in your mittleider
gardening method. I mean, yes, you might have some stored up for five years or ten years,
but hat about after that? I mean, you’re screwed. You’re not goanna have your fertilizer so
you won’t be able to grow. So, in my opinion it is unsustainable, plus it’s unsustainable
from the fact form what I just talked about, from the pollution aspect. Pretty soon you’ll
get salt buildup or nutrient buildup in your soil and you will not be able to grow anything
in your soil, and you will have to replace the soil, and what about what happened when
you rub out of soil to replace the soil you’re growing in>Well, the you’re kaput. Also,
what about when the water-soluble fertilizers wash through and contaminate your water supply.
Then where are you at? Then you can’t drink the water, you can’t even use that water to
grow you plants because it’ll create a dead zone. I talked about that in the last part.
So, in my opinion, the mittleider method, as shown in other videos on YouTube, is definitely
unsustainable. Reason number 4 why I don’t use the mittleider gardening method is because
you’re creating dependence. You’re creating dependence on your plants for you to fertilize
it in your weekly feeds, plus this also ties your ass down so you cant go n vacation and
do other things in life, cause you got to feed your plants every week, ’cause if they
don’t get their shot, their boost, of fertilizer, you know, they’re not goanna do as well, they’re
not goanna perform, because they are dependent on you for their success, and, you know, I
don’t like codependent relationships, and I don’t like dependent plants either. I want
to create, you know, independence with my plants and also in my relationships, and so
how can we create independence with our garden? Well, you know, my garden, that you see behind
me, I have millions, bazillions, trillions, of workers in there right now. You’re like,
‘John, I don’t see any elves behind you. I don’t see any gnomes or oompa loompas working
behind you.’ Well, that’s because you guys don’t see these guys. The workers that I have
in my garden are underneath the soils; they’re in the soil. They’re the earthworms that you’re
not seeing. They’re the bacteria, the fungi, the protozoa, that are in the soil gobbling
up different things and they’re all pooping out nutrients for the plants. So, literally,
my soil creates its own fertilizer that can nourish the plants so that they can continue
to live. I mean, this is how nature works in the forest, in systems that were here that
god created for us naturally over thousands of years, and so by using the mittleider method,
you’re going to have to work more and yes, while it may work and give you results, it’s
totally going against gods principles and nature at the same time. Reason number 5 why
I do not use the mittleider method is because, in my opinion, it creates substandard food.
‘John, I heard the mittleider method creates more nutrient dense food than convention food
and even some organic foods,’ and, yes, that’s totally accurate, but, to me, I like to think
of what I’m growing by adding 70-90 trace minerals and building the soil microbiology,
growing some of the highest food. You know, some of the methods of some of the research
I’ve seen on farms growing food, I mean some of the different linchpins and antioxidant
levels and nutrition levels are significantly higher in food were the soil is nurtured in
such a way that I’m doing versus a conventional method or a method that’s better than convention
but not quite as good as adding 90 minerals and allowing your plants to select, you know,
the minerals they need to perform well and to fully express. I mean, imagine raising
your kid, and I do not recommend doing this, on nothing but snickers bars. I mean, we all
know that if you give a kid only snickers bars, the kids goanna be deficient in some
nutrients, he might not grow as tall, he’s not goanna be a basketball player, and frankly,
he probably wont be healthy either, and then imagine raising a kid on home-grown food,
things that you produced only in your back-yard urban homestead and you give the kid the best
stuff ever. I mean, he has the best possible chance of being the healthiest and strongest
and growing the tallest and being quicker, having more brain clarity, mental energy,
and being to do the stuff he does, and I kind of do the same with my plants. I give them
everything they need so that they can produce the highest quality food, be the healthiest
for me, and produce more and better quality food for me, instead of having only 16 nutrients,
I give my plants 90+ nutrients, easy, and that’s what I recommend for you guys as well.
I mean, after all, what are my goals? My top goal in having a garden is not to grow for
no money, to grow freely, to grow cheaply, not to have it simple. My number one goal,
and I will do anything to reach this goal, is to grow the most nutrient dense foods as
possible, because money cannot buy nutrient dense foods in our society. In our society,
foods in conventional agriculture, you now, not matter what kind of food they are, are
growing for one thing and one thing only. That’s the profit, man. The whole economic
system is driven by profit, not by the nutrition of the food. Let me tell you, I almost lost
my life when I was younger. The doctors told me that I might not make it out of the hospital
alive. When you’re in that situation, you think long and hard about what is really important.
Saving a couple 5 bucks on some fertilizers, some methods, having an easy garden easy to
get big, you know, nutrition and poor produce. What I think now is that I want to make every
bite count. Every bit I et, I want to make the highest quality stuff so that I don’t
end up in the hospital again because the doctor said that I had compliment immune deficiency,
that I could be stricken with any other disease and any time, and I could be back in the hospital
and in the position where the doctor says, ‘John, you might not make it out alive,’ again,
and, you know, I’m not goanna out myself in that situation. So, for me, my garden and
growing nutrient dense food is my answer. Yes, if it’s hard, if there’s hurtles to overcome,
I’m all for it because my goal is to grow the most nutrient dense foods as possible.
If you want to do that, you might want to follow some of the things I’ve learned and
I do, and that’s why I do them. Not to save money, not to be frugal, or do anything else
but to grow the most nutrient dense foods possible in the most sustainable way possible.
I know some of you guys are thinking, ‘John, shipping rock dust across the country is not
sustainable.’ Well, I have local sources of rock dust, and I would encourage you guys
to do the most sustainable thing you possible can that meets your goals and you needs and
values in gardening. Another thing I want to talk about is does size matter? Now, if
you’re a girl, you might say size definitely matters, and I think I’m a decent size, but
with food and growing food, does size matter? I mean, I’ve seen analysis done on big, large,
conventionally grown cabbages that look great, but is there nutrition? The vitamins, the
minerals, and more importantly the vitochemicals and antioxidants and things that really feed
us, nourish us, give us protection from diseases that are out there. From the research I have
done, I don’t always see a correlation in is bigger better? You know, it’s fancy having
a video showing a big tomato versus a small tomato, but we really need to get nutrient
analysis done on food to tell if it’s really better or not. I mean, having more food, would
you rather have more food that’s depleted, or a small amount of food that has twice as
much nutrition? Any day, I’d rather eat less food that has twice as much nutrition instead
of more food that doesn’t have as much. My number 6 reason for why I don’t use the mittleider
method is just the ongoing expense of it all. I mean, you got to buy the 15-15 fertilizers,
which is quite inexpensive, but then you got to buy literally 20 ounces of their magic
minerals for $14 plus shipping. Now, in my opinion, buying some trace minerals, whatever
the cost is worth it buy, you know, I just got to say that for 20 ounces, which is a
pound and a quarter, for $14 plus shipping, that’s a lot of money. I mean, here in town,
I get 44 pounds of the azomite rock dust for about $22. So, that’s about 50 cents a pound.
You know, that’s significantly less money than the magic minerals that they’re sending
you. That’s just the minerals. What else do I add in to my garden? Well, you can create
your own soils and truly become more sustainable. One of the things I think about is for our
gardens, we want to reduce the amount of inputs that are brought into the property to grow
food, you know. I’m not entirely there yet, but you can do it if you have different resources
and you have a large property, and one of these days I’ll have enough resources on my
property that I can start bringing in considerably less. For example, I’m currently making my
own thermal compost, or bacterial-based compost. You can make your own compost wherever you
live with, you know, yard clippings, gardening food scraps, dropped leaves, your own food
scraps form the house, and whatnot, and let the compost cook and make your own compost
and you’re goanna enrich your garden with that resource of nutrition to add back into
your soil. I mean, often-used manures can also be a compost source. I would rather use
the plant-based sources, but you can also compost your manures. I do not recommend using
uncompost manures in your garden. You might want to mix it with leaves and whatnot and
make that into a nice compost, which I would be totally for because once again that’s a
free resource you guys would have. Now, the thermal compost and a big component I’ve learned
about recently is the fungal dominated compost, or the, you know, no heat or low heat compost.
This is also critical, because besides the bacteria in our soils, we want funguy and
maybe the fungirls will follow, that’s just a joke, but we want the fungal aspects in
the soil because that’s just a part of the food soil web and from what I’ve seen that
may be missing in a lot of gardens because people are not focusing on this fungal-dominated
composts instead of focusing on the bacterial-based composts. So, what the fungal-based composts
simply are are composted decayed woodchips that make compost usually in about 3 years.
If you inoculate them, they can be broken down into some nice dark, rich black soil.
If you’re not familiar with this, be sure to check my past videos on supersizing your
vegetables with woodchips and compost, and once again I only recommend fully broken down
woodchips, not whole woodchips, to grow in. Number 3, another compost you can make at
your own place for free, no expense to you, is worm castings, or worm compost. You want
to get a whole bunch of pet worms, or, you know, pick some up, and put them in some food
scarps or put them in a pile of manure. I’d probably use mostly plant materials to put
my worms in, and basically they’ll eat that stuff and they’ll make the worm castings.
I mean, these are 3 easy sources that you can make free and clear without any money,
and then just bring in like the rock dust and maybe a few other things to dial in your
garden so that you can get excellent growing results. Now, I’m not goanna deny the fact
that the mittleider gardening method works, you know. I think that any method of gardening,
no matter what it is, that allows you to grow food because you wouldn’t otherwise have done
it is a great thing. That being said, I have specific reasons for gardening the way I do,
and, you know, I would encourage you guys to make a list of the reasons why you’re gardening.
Do you want healthy food? Do you want to have to not buy any external inputs or minimally
buy inputs to be more sustainable? Do you want to have it easy and not have to think
and not have to use your God-given brain to figure things out, like I think were all supposed
to because, you know, something else that I’m also really into is brain plasticity,
and that’s not like injecting plastic in your forehead like some people do, but that’s about
like exercising your brain like you got to exercise your muscles to create big muscles,
right? If you don’t use it, you’re goanna lose, and by thinking and always having to
figure out stuff, like why my kale has holes in it, you’re goanna be more plastic in your
brain and create more neurotransmitters and whatnot and you’re brain’s goanna grow and
become stronger because, you know, brain degradation is a big issue with, especially, people that
get older. So, I always want you guys to work your brain and I think by just standard gardening
in organic fashion using natural ingredients such as I teach, and, once again, it should
be no surprise to you that I teach organic gardening, it’s growingyourgreens on my YouTube
channel page, it says I teach organic gardening. I’m not teaching chemical fertilizers, things
out of a bag and whatnot. I mean, there’s plenty of other channels on YouTube if you
want to learn that kind of stuff. I’m going to teach you guys the stuff I learned, the
stuff I’ve learned by the school of hard knocks, by having to do all this stuff and research
it and learn it myself, and I just share with you guys what works and what works for me.
Whether you guys choose to do that or not, whether or not you guys choose to take all
this information that I just shared with you as something you want to incorporate into
your life, great. If not, that’s great, too. I’m just putting it out there basically to
get my voice heard on my opinions on the mittleider gardening method and how I think things should
work in the garden according to nature, according to god, and how things were made on this planet.
So, I hope you guys enjoyed this episode, me explaining my opinions on the mittleider
gardening method. Once again, these are just my opinions; I’m not saying it’s a right or
wrong system. These are just what I think about it, and I want to encourage you guys
to think critically about what I’ve said, and no matter what, I think the number one
thing is that I want you guys to grow a garden. If the mittleider gardening method allow you
to do that ’cause you don’t want to take, you know, my suggestions and go through the
school of hard knocks like I did, that’s cool, but I think by growing your own food, getting
out of the industrial agriculture system, you’re goanna be far better off for the health
of you and your family. Once again, my name is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com.
We’ll see you next time, and remember; keep on growin’.

100 thoughts on “6 Reasons Why I Don’t Use the Mittleider Garden Method

  1. i love your methods. i have always been an organic gardener since i was very young. my grandfather used bagged ferterlizer in all the stuff we grew. 300 acres worth. i downed his methods for gardening when i grew my first pot plant at the age of 13 using fishing scraps and egg shells mixed with water. i no longer grow pot, but i use the same methods that grew it well. i dont fish anymore but i use all the scraps from the kitchen and grass clippings from our small yard and collect from neighbours as well. my garden grows better then a friends that uses manure compost. she gets mad when her stuff isnt doing well. after all, she puts way more effort and money in her garden. but mine does better with the things that make up the nutrients that are already available in yard waste. love your work, it gives me comfort knowing that there's someone out there that does the same. oh yeah, i make my own rock dust from the rocks i dig up in my garden using a grinding mill i have built. works great for all the brownstone we have here in P.a.

  2. I appreciate your understanding of God. He is the master gardner and put all the soil components there for a reason. When we garden in harmony with the soil and work with it, as Paul Gautschi says Yeah God!

  3. Just food for thought. I recently purchased a new home a couple years back. The Soil was completely admonished of nutrients from weeds and a very large silver maple tree that hadn't been watered in at least ten years. I've been adding compost and supplement nutrients for the last two growing seasons. I know with time this regiment will build my soil up to optimal health, but I feel that where I am and where I'll soon be may need some help. The Mittleider system may be what I need to hold me over till I reach optimal soil health. Disagree?

  4. "God given brain" sooo cool John, I just love it!! My God bless you always and your girl friend, too.

  5. Wow. As the 202,819 viewer, I can say I enjoyed your opinion. I think you should change the channel name to the Punk Rock gardener (I'm sure that's taken though, probably undeservedly). I don't disagree with you (I don't have enough experience yet). Listening(and thinking), except for the fact of the special nutrient package (which I would love to see a "make yourself", I'd like to save some cash), like you mention, the Mittleider method while not sustainable(???) does work as a method and in some soil conditions as a primer, starter, beginner method, might help the beginner or the person who lives in poor soil conditions. It's cool to learn how to do and think for yourself but sometimes the learning curve is too steep. While I'm a few years late to the party I did hit subscribe. So while you don't practice the Mittleider method (for which I applaud), for someone starting out, it might make sense. I don't know, I think I'll be finding out. Keep up the good work (which I"m sure you have been doing) Now on to 2016.

  6. hey John, what about Brawndo?… I hear it's what plants crave…. j/k I love your videos. very informative and I love the hat. <3. I need a good one myself.

  7. If you feed chemicals to your plants, that is what it will produce and you will eat those chemicals in the leaves and fruits. Not for me. I want all natural.. That is supporting Monsanto and Monsanto is all deadly GE and plants growing on chemicals.
    When I began watching his video I could not get past the 5 min with all his pushing for Chemicals. Seemed to be a commercial for Monsanto he pushed it so much – a complete turn off !. Monsanto is all about feeding chemicals. I'm anti-Monsanto.

  8. hahaha…You are hilarious John. Your knowledge and opinion is practical and comment sense. Thank you for not yelling anymore. Your wisdom is exciting already. 😀

  9. 29:00 for the fungal part you are talking about, if i use (homemade) sawdust does that count as wood chips?

  10. I use Mittleider. I tried all the organic, square foot gardening methods for 20 years. The Mittleider method is much simpler, more productive, less expensive and less labor intensive. But then, that is my opinion I am sure others would disagree. But I don't have all day to work in my garden so I needed something more flexible.


    Your arguements are well thought out. I really enjoyed this video. Didn't really see why this Mitleider Method was such a bit hit. Luckily i like in the country and my soild doesn''t need all the nutrients these people are using. Here in Entral New York we have pockets and areas of something called "Muck" which is a sort of soil that is just chuck full of nutrients and organics. Really awesome for growing onions.

  12. bottom line…what does the bricks test say? how healthy is the medliter methods? if its not organic, it can,t be on the same level as far as qualitiy whole food. foundation is a sure thing. much love and god,s peace

  13. "Since Epsom salt is a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulfate in crystal form, it looks an awful lot like salt, but it has no sodium chloride."

  14. John I love watching your videos, and have learned much, but please see the video FOOD FOR EVERYONE FOUNDATION: Gardening From the Heart with Jim Kennard, uploaded by LDSPrepper. Perhaps you will understand the pressing need for the Mittleider gardening system around the world.

  15. Hi, this is Phillip, hijacking my wife's YouTube acct, so be nice to her. What I don't understand is why you call nitrogen a man-made chemical (if I understand you right). Nitrogen is an element- not man-made. Same with other store-bought chemicals like phosphorous, potassium, and so on. Ammonia is a compound and can be synthesized easily but man-made ammonia is 100% the same as natural ammonia. Is it a byproduct or contamination that concerns you?

  16. I have never heard of Mittleider until this video. Thank you. After studying their method, and watching the LDSPrepper's videos, I think their method is superior to yours.

  17. Fertilizers in a bag are synthetic? Are you for real. Under that theory almost everything in the world as we know it is synthetic. Name one of the first 90 items on the periodic table that is synthetic? If you take Natural gas which is CH4 (which has to be an organic compound because it is naturally made) strip the Carbon atom and combine it with Nitrogen from the air we breath (also has to be an organic compound which is naturally made) to make ammonia which is HN3, is ammonia then a "synthetic" compound. The answer is no unless you consider the idea that hydrogen and oxygen compounded to make water, H2O, in which case all of the water in the world is synthetic which would invalidate all of the organic farming taking place. Water is a compound not an element like nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, the top 3 elements in fertilizer. Is steel synthetic because man made it from iron or is it a different type of organic compound? If a tomato plant finds a nitrogen atom and converts it into a tomato through a chemical process is the tomato then "synthetic" The steel and the tomato are both created naturally through the process of chemistry. There are no synthetic nitrogen atoms only organic ones. Heaven forbid to mention bad words here if you take uranium and process it into plutonium the plutonium is not synthetic both are natural organic elements. So if you fertilize your tomatoes with uranium ore straight out of the ground then your tomatoes are still organically grown. I will pass if you grow any. The bottom line is that fertilizers that are straight elements combined into a compound, placed into a bag and used on your plants are just as organic as the "natural" compound you found behind a walking cow. Use the bag of fertilizer stay from the pesticides if you want "organic".

  18. He says that Mittleider uses man-made synthetic fertilizers. That is not true. The sixteen nutrients are natural minerals mined in nature, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This is what he uses as the foundation of his talk, they use man-made synthetic fertilizers.

  19. Using the Mittleider method is like feeding myself only popcorn and then taking vitamins . But, please, John, stop using sexual or sexist comments, it just detract from the good things you have to say. I swore I'd quit listening to you because of that juvenile habit, but I did watch this one and, indeed, you slipped some in. I quit listening at that point.

  20. I think the biggest part of the pollution of water soluble fertilizers come from the industrial industries to create them.

  21. Props to you for mentioning God. Most of the special little snowflakes out there don't have the guts to admit their insignificance, and proclaim anything about our Creator.
    "Mittleider?" How about Mitch Ryder, playing C C Rider. That's what I say. PEACE

  22. John, excellent video, explaining the difference between chemical based and natural fertilizers. I have come across several of your videos on gardening, and watching this one in particular I am becoming a big fan of your gardening philosophy.

  23. DUUUUUUDDDEEEEE !!!?? ?! WHY IN GOD's NAME IS THAT IMPORTANT ? YOUR SIZE ?WTF ?!!?!?!?! you know last time I watched a video of you about "saving seeds" all you could mention is spreading YOUR SEED ! WHAT IS IT WITH ALL THE INNUENDOS ?! do you really think that your audience needs this information ?!

  24. Having just heard about the Mittleider method I was wondering if it was something to get into. Glad I found this video and the in depth explanation of what it is, the pros and cons. I agree, it's not sustainable or natural and includes store bought fertilizers that I had already chosen not to use. Great video and thanks for taking the time to include so much detail.

  25. Just a comment on is the bigger size better. My personal observations, is when ever I have tasted wild plants (berries, root veges, fruit and fungi), the flavors are off the charts more intense then farmed, but more so, the sizes are much much smaller than farmed produce.

  26. before you go spotting about god and natural, remember that every plant that we grow in the garden was designed by man. You can't feed the world on god made fruit plants. It took man to get the modern garden.

  27. I have learned that only Organic has the plant shield, protection against diseases.  Makes sense kids who have all these baby shots never build immunity.  Because of that there is going to be an epidemic of shingles.  I prefer using God's plan.  World War 11 chemical factories used to make bombs was turned into products to grow food in. Problem we are having trying to save depleted, ruined soils.

  28. Wow 70-90 nutrients!? I have a list of stuff that I've been learning about to do and I've seen several of your videos and paid for a few Fiverrs. Having said that, do you have a video that has all of those things in one go? I am compiling my list so when I start in new areas I can prep the soil and not miss amendments etc. I'm interested in what you can grow with aquaponics to feed the soil like your own kelp meal or algae etc. I would like to see a list of all the soil amendments and things that get put in to build a full profile soil. Are they all classified as 'soil amendments' ? I have a garden bed with wood chips on it for the past year, but I didn't add inoculant or amendments underneath it and now I'm stuck not being able to put stuff under it without disturbing the chips…. Is there something that you put in there that falls outside of the category of compost/tea, inoculate, amendment, or sea food?

  29. Came here because someone asked if I was talking about this method when I didn't know what it is. So much good info in here too. Love your videos, haven't seen this one – you have a lot of content!

  30. A good video but a bit long. Your method of rock dust and using composting worms are great. But too much rambling!.Brain plasticity is true. I use a program called posit science.

  31. Do you have horticultural qualifications ? just like real animal fat is bad for you, wait no now its good for you its the carbs. were does it all end ? nutrient is nutrient right ?

  32. You suggest that it's fine that people would use industrial chemical fertilizers on their way to more sustainable methods using compost, worm castings, etc. I would suggest using organic fertilizers as a start instead. They actually work great. Garden-tone is a good example. And even though they're N-P-K rated, they bring along all the nutrients from the various natural components.


  34. totally well said. Thankyou…all the details explain why your (OUR) way is most natural and I agree, its seriously about building the soil…a seed that falls upon infertile ground cant grow by itself

  35. John, your opinion is your opinion. Some of us follow you and agree to most of what you offer. As always there are those that just have to argue..sad state of affairs 🙁 I for one am a fan

  36. The nutrients in the Mittleider Gardening Method are elements, such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, potassium, etc. I don't know how John can add 60 "nutrients" that go beyond what Mittleider does. Is John adding Gold or Silver? Uranium or one of the heavy metals perhaps? I don't think so. MGM is against adding various manure products due to heavy salt content getting added over and over again to the soil.

    John, your arguments against MGM regarding chemicals are pretty weak. MGM actually tries to minimize the volume of added chemicals and maximize the quality.

    Another argument by Mittleider is that plants do not know the difference between "natural" fertilizing chemicals or man-made fertilizing chemicals, so the "natural" nitrogen versus a scoop of nitrogen fertilizer is not something the plant can differentiate or even care about.

  37. If you guys talking abt God as prevention for us human to use the brain that God gave, then woe to Israel who tuned the dessert land into one of the best agricultural country. Mittleider is simple cheaper also provide better results. The guy spent a long time to researched it in diff countries diff type of soil. He'a a scientist too. Plus I just don't want to spend that much money on a garden.

  38. Thank you for this information! I appreciate your care and concern for God's creation. As well as your thoughtfulness about the holistic view of gardening. Do you have a condensed list of the fertilizers, minerals, microbes, nematodes, etc that you buy?

  39. It doesn't take 30 minutes to cover this topic. Stop the rambling and going off topic. In other words, Get to the point!

  40. When it comes to food security and self sufficiency, any system that requires you to buy premade garden amendments is dependency, unsustainable, and more susceptible to possible interruptions in the current human system.

    For highest quality compost, IMHO, gather as high a mix of ingredients as possible. Just like your diet with a variety of foods makes for a higher variety of nutrition and healthier bodies, a compost with a variety of foods translates to higher variety of  nutrients and healthier plants.

  41. I just want to say something. I was watching a video on YouTube and he was talking about 40 people out of every 100 stop gardening after their first year. Check this out and this is for everyone that is even thinking about quitting. And I am working on a video about this and my story. I have diabetes real bad have to take 5 shots a day. Every time the season's change I get real sick. I lost everything I had car truck house job because of diabetes. So to make a long story short I am homeless but I want to start a nusury so I can sale not good quality but great quality tomatoe and pepper plants among other veggie plant's with herbs and flowers. I will only sale to the GP (general public) I will not ever sale to big box stores. I just want my business to be like the old Mom and Pop nusury where they grew there own plants to sale. Today most nurseries don't grow their own plants anymore they order from multiple sources. In my opinion is not better than the big box stores. All they are is middle men. If we cut them out prices would be a lot cheaper and you the gardener will get a whole lot better quality plants. For one the plants will not go through shock from shipping so many times. And that's why you get to know the people that is growing plant's for you. When big box stores and big box nurseries get any organic plants the first thing they do is water the plant's with city or well water. Well the water just killed it from being organic because of the stuff in that water. Part of the reason a plant or vegetables and fruits are organic is because they're supposed to only water with rain or distilled water so there are not chemicals in it. So when they water with well or city water especially they add chemicals to the plant's . When they do that they just ruined the plant's because they are not organic anymore.

  42. I know next to nothing about botany or farming . However I dounderstand that biodiversity is the key to a healthy ecosphere . You have talked me out of The Mittleider System before I had even considered it

  43. I…think (I think) the first video I ever saw of yours, John, was your employing bag-after-bag-after-bag-AFTER BAG of various sorts of, well…"nutirents" you were adding to your…soils? And, I was left thinking: WOW, what an expense towards…gardening, that is (would…be), truly? And, while I wouldn't dispute your…claim's soundnesses: how can MANY FOLKS afford all those things, truly? So…maybe the Mittleider methods MAKE SENSE for people who're, maybe, just… gardening–JUST TO have some decent produce at a reasonable cost for…themselves, truly? (You're, even, speaking…HERE–as reflects upon that initial video of yours, I saw it, probably–about SO…MANY nutrients, truly? Whereas…IF Mittleider gets by with…less–but, provides AFFORDABILITY, however? Well, THAT'S "a step", truly?) Another…question–as one relevant, of course–is, perhaps, CHOICE OF NPK sources? And, SOME additions? While…HEY your soil is alike the…CADILLAC of soils, probably? And, while soil…building HAS TO be a "great" idea, of course–more NATURAL methods, praiseworthy, as A PROCESS of things taking place over…TIME, hopefully? "Folks" of varying…means-available HAVE TO start somewhere "reasonable", too? (That…earlier video–I believe yours–contaned just simply DIZZYING amounts of "additives", right? To where–IF THAT'S entirely…necessary–WHO can afford it, really? [I know–for GOOD REASON, yours: eating better having saved your…LIFE, possibly–you'd have never-ending…ZEAL, and, it shows here or…elsewhere, and, we can LOVE IT everything you're exploring that, always? But, really, Mittleider–maybe, SANS those exact chemical sources–is a WONDERFUL start upon…soil building, too?]) Keep on…truckin': NOT MEANING to be…"critical"–just simply…"realistic" MANY PEOPLE'S circumstances-regarding, of course? (Oh, yeah–I DON'T KNOW enough to endorse Mittleider: while endorsing "soil building" by whatever…NATURAL MEANS-POSSIBLE, of course, yes?)

  44. The mittleider method ain't sustainable. I am going cheap. I have my own labor to put into building a soil system. To buy all those nutrients cost. I used to grow using an ebb and flow with soil. I use a lot of whole fish fertilizer. But taste it in herbs if use too much. Seem to lose the natural flavor of the plants using nutrients or potting soil. Why grow different strains or variety if the nutrients make it taste the same? I ain't growing vegetables fruits and herbs to sell. So taste means a lot. Rather have safe soil than something out of the Pacific with possible radioactivity. I still use some fish fertilizer but its made from flying carp or fish cleaning station left overs. Depending on which I buy.

  45. More than 25 years research into soil building taught researchers that using green ramial wood chips is "the" way to build new soil. Importantly, mixing in the surface soil as one adds more shredded green ramial wood is considered to be "of paramount importance" to creating new soil even over compacted layers. Keywords bois raméal fragmenté or BRF in French.

    I compost green shredded hardwood chips leaves and all, and add when it's composting some wood ashes to increase pH, micronutrients, and especially calcium, potassium and phosphorus. My shredded green hardwood is about 1/2 rotted in 4 months. I don't add manure but I do use some urea to the compost bin and sometimes when I water plants.

    Wood ashes can be neutralised/reacted with vinegar and then topped up with water to make about the best foliar feed you can make at home. I don't have to use commercial fertilizer.

    I do a fast-ferment and then trench compost baby horsetail and comfrey tops; the horsetail gives up bioavailable silicates and the comfrey is well-known to contribute minerals and especially nitrates.

    So I do add minerals, like the Mittleider method does, but with wood ashes and natural compost. I agree there is always a reason to improve, and being flexible enough to change out someone's commercial method in favour of a more grassroots approach hits the sweet spot IMO with regard to personal improvement.

  46. Love reason #6 Disrespectful. No respect for the life in the soil. They've taken a hydroponic stance on outdoor gardening.

  47. I have just heard about this Mittleider system, and all the hype on youtube, and was looking for more information on it. You've kinda nailed the coffin shut on that one. I am currently growing using the Back to Eden method on 1.25 acres with great success. I've seen videos of the Mittleider method and saw plants that looked horrible (I don't know if it was the gardeners fault or what), while my plants look great and healthy, and I use composted grass, duck and chicken manure and ashes from my two wood burning stoves. It also looks kind of expensive in the long run, and seems to be a lot of work, compared to turning a compost pile every now and then. Btw, you can use duck manure straight out of the coop, without burning.

  48. Why not do the best of the best John ? Do the Organic gardening you are doing. But add a few steps from the Mittleider method – such as add some epsom salt and Boric acid to give extra magnesium and Boron. Azomite do not have enough Magnesium. You know that. Add Azomite and Kelp like you do and also do the worm castings, composts, beneficial microbes etc but also add Lime, Epsom Salt, Boric Acid etc. Just buy something thats not laced with chemicals.

  49. I don't use it either. Nothing organic in the system all chemicals. Sand and sawdust plus the chems. I use composted materials and my garden seems to flourish.

  50. Organic is for hippies and liberals. It's funny watching people do experiments between organic and using chemical fertilizers, and then watch them back peddle or lie about the results. Same goes for GMOs and global warming…Fake News! I like to park next to a Prius or Leaf, to use as a step stool when getting in and out of my Big Ole Man Truck.

  51. Good John…..You are very sincere . . and spending half the video time accommodating the feelings of the Mittleider groupees . . . probably wise . . . . else a lot of hurt feelings….. some crying ….. could have been a massive tizzy fit.

  52. Even tho I don't like synthetic and chemical gardening, I've always been very interested in seeing how to big warehouse factory farms work. Like what is actually going into everyday American's food? I think it would be interesting for you to go to something like this and make a video, if they even let you video tape what they're doing.

  53. Show me an Element Table that shows the difference between NPK organic, and Ground up rocks, their isn’t one, an Element is an Element, when you find that different table let me know.

  54. I appreciate the way you went about explaining your point of view. From what I have gathered on the mittleider system, it's designed to produce food as if your life depends on it. But you don't bash it just because that's not how you garden. I personally like your gardening style, and I enjoy your videos. I like the fact that you are open minded and just want people to grow their own gardens with what works for them. Keep making the great videos and I'll keep watching. Thanks for all your advice and not being a hater.

  55. The god nonsense is just that! I grow organic and I also grow hydro indoors. It makes not a damn bit of difference as long as you are growing your own! You and the weed grower boogie brew buddy wants to sell the compost tea garbage to the suckers! Rock dust does nothing! It takes months to break down rock dust to even do anything! SCIENCE John! Not emotional bullshit! Unsustainable is a mantra and used by the fake scientists to collect free money from the slaves! Gods principle? Let us go with the nonsense, God would flood and murder millions and earthquakes and if god gave men minds? Then men are gods for creating? Think John?

  56. So glad you didn't rubbish the Mittleider method but explained what you thought was good and bad instead.
    Far more informative and after many years of gardening I'd agree with most of what you said.
    The soil is key and I aim to provide as natural a system as I'm able.
    Great video John

  57. Plants require 16 elements to grow well. However animals require cobalt, chromium and selenium plus others. I worked mixing livestock feeds for a decade and some areas soils lack these elements and livestock suffer. Therefore we custom added these elements by the gram/ 2 ton batches depending upon analyzing blood or manure samples. Some of those soil microorganisms aren't friendly and that's the main reason why Mittleider either sterilizes or replaces soils. I've grown gardens in tropical soils on 2 different continents and even though I use the organic + Fukuoka method, disease and nematodes are a constant problem.

  58. Your method sounds like it would be great for master gardeners but not for those of us who just want to grow a simple garden. Best of wishes to you.

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