Mittleider Gardening: 6 Laws Of Plant Growth

After learning so much from the Mittleider Gardening Course book , these are the six laws of plant growth. If you want to have a successful garden you MUST follow these 6 laws.

Law 1:

Your plants need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight. Every plant needs photosynthesis to survive, so keep that in mind if your planning on growing vertically , and with plant spacing, you don’t want to have plants to close or they will fight over sunlight. From my experience I didn’t follow this step when I had my tomatoes in cages then the ended up dying from blite, because of lack of sunlight, not enough air circulation, and I didn’t use the automatic water system they outlined in the book. So make sure you find a good sunny spot in your yard that allows your plants to get at least 6-8 hours.

Sunny gardens

Law 1- Make sure your grow beds or garden gets enough sun.


Law 2:

Depending on your type of crop almost all plant need temperatures from 55-85 degrees, but some like your winter crop will prefer it on the lower end and sweet potatoes and tomatoes will prefer it on the higher end of that range. So this law is basically saying, if your trying to grow sweet potatoes in the PNW like me, then you’ll need to have an in the garden green house. 6 mil clear plastic to cover your crop will help you have great success. Or if your in the south and its getting high temperatures, you will need shade cloth so your plants won’t burn.

Law 3:

Plants need water, but just not any water. Scheduled watering, it is best like humans to be able to feed your plants on a schedule. This is why in the Mittleider course book, they talk about have an automatic watering system. For our garden, I had each grow bed on a different zone water timer. This ensures that your plants don’t dry out, this can also help your tomatoes not get blossom rot. By using the automatic water system they outline how to make, you can save 40% more water that traditional gardens.

automatic watering system

Law 3- I have my automatic watering system all hooked up on a water timer, to ensure my plants gets the water then need

Law 4:

Make sure your plants have sufficient air circulation, you can do this by adding sand, or other amendments to your soil, proper drainage is very important or your plants roots will drown and rot away. In my garden I have soil beds made out of 1/3 soil, 1/3 sand, and 1/3 compost. I also have grow beds made out of 75% sawdust and 25% sand. This summer will be the first time using soil beds, for me the sawdust and sand works great because of all the rain we get. We want to test out to see if which growing mediums have the highest yield.

potato barrel soil

Here you can see that the 75% sawdust and 25% sand allows enough air for your plants to grow and produce a lot of vegetables. This is our potato Barrel we did last year that we got about 18X yield from, we only planted 1lb of seed potato and gained over 18 lbs of red potato after subtracting the bucket weight.

Law 5:

Plants need nutrition all season long, so make sure you fertilize on a regular basis. That is usually the problem when people don’t have a successful garden, they only fertilize once at the beginning and assume the plants will be fine. Its like playing a sport, the harder you play the more thirsty your body becomes. This is why in the Mittleider gardening method they talk about the 16 nutrients plants need. Airborne nutrients is Carbon(C), Oxygen(O), and Hydrogen(H). Primary Nutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Secondary Nutrients are Calcium(Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S). Trace Elements needed are Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Molybdenum (Mo), and Chlorine (Cl). The book goes into greater detail of why each of these nutrients are needed. I love using the pre plant fertilizer and weekly feed, you can mix your own based on the list of minerals needed or you can buy it already mixed for you (click here for the micro nutrient mix). Even if the Mittleider Method weekly feed doesn’t interest you, you can still benefit from the Garden Doctor vol. 1-3 . In these 3 books they talk about nutrient deficiency you may have based on the look of your plant. The Garden Doctor books are full of pictures and great information on what your plant needs. Like humans we feed our body the nutrients it needs to perform and we need to do the same with our plants.

Law 6:

Keeping the competition at bay, for example don’t allow weeds, insects, animals, etc to overtake your garden. This is sometime easier said than done, but your plants need to have a clean area to grow without bugs, weeds, and animals to worry about. You can use many organic choices out there to deal with this, from fences, netting, to Down dish soap mix to kill bugs, or to just pulling out the weeds by hand your garden can thrive and be productive. This is one more reason I love using sawdust and sand as a growing medium, it doesn’t allow weeds to take over your garden.


All of this information can be found in the Mittleider Gardening Course book (click here for the book)

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or come join our face book page!

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Categories: Gardening


  • […] started looking for gardening methods and found the Mittleider Method. I used the same 6 laws of plant growth (I have also done a post on all 6 laws) they mention in “The Mittleider Gardening […]

  • Reign O says:

    Watched your sweet potato video on youtube. Kudos on getting a good harvest. Have you considered growing early (short season) sweet potato varieties? The ones you get from the grocery store may not be the best for your region. sandhillpreservation is an excellent resource. I’ll be suing some of your potato barrel tips this season. Cheers.

    • Melissa Martinez says:

      That sounds like something I should try next year. I already have 3 vases full of sweet potato slips. But next year I’ll definitely look into the short season sweet potato! How is the yield? I’m hoping to grow enough sweet potato for my family and my sisters family since she has a baby on the way. Thank you for sharing!

  • […] Source: 6 Laws of Plant Growth | Moms Simple Life […]

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