How to get started Gardening with the Mittleider Method

If you’ve thought about building a garden in your yard, here are our tips on How to get started Gardening with the Mittleider Method.

How to get started Gardening with the Mittleider Method_Hero

{this post contains affiliate links}

If you haven’t heard of the Mittleider Method, then read on, and check out the tips in the book I got to help you even more.

I have many memories of gardening in my formative years, and not all those memories are positive. In fact most memories involve me holding my breath while I carried the compost bucket from the kitchen to the giant heap of egg shells, rotting fruit and vegetables, and other smelly items in the back yard. I do remember, however, the sense of pride I felt when my one little strawberry plant grew a few itty bitty strawberries that to an 8 year old, were the tastiest strawberries that ever existed. It is always fun to eat the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor!

In my married life, I have started my a garden in 3 states–Utah, Texas and now Missouri. My dear husband always has the same reaction…joking about the “$45 tomato” but still being supportive and helping me construct boxes to hold my precious vegetables.

I’ll be honest. Up until now I have sucked it up as a gardener. I am fabulous at starting projects. It’s the maintenance I struggle with. My previous two gardens have turned into weed-laden or grass-laden plots of land in my backyard. So why am I attempting a garden again?

A– I strongly believe that we should try to be as self-sufficient as possible. Learning to grow your own food is a pretty big part of that.

B–I had a great role model, my mom, who came up to Missouri specifically to teach me how to garden with the Mittleider method. She even went to a week-long boot camp just to learn how to do it.

If you haven’t heard of the Mittledier method, go to It explains how Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider spent 55 years tweaking and developing this method of growing food. His goal was to help people around the world be able to grow their own food. And with this method, you can grow food in any climate and with pretty much any soil. I think this is amazing! I think of all the people that could be helped by learning how to garden. I am blessed at this point to be able to just head to the grocery store if I’m in need of sustenance, but not every family is in that position. And we might not always be so blessed. So I was excited to learn a new method of gardening.

Here are some pro’s of the Mittleider method:

  1. The soil was dang cheap. You basically make your own soil. I used the ratio of ⅓ concrete sand to ⅔ sawdust. I spent a total of $40 on all the soil, and I have bags and bags left over.The yield is supposed to be amazing. I am still in the planting stage and will keep y’all updated on my yield. But David Gillmore, the teacher of the epic boot camp my mom attended, tells the story of how he and his wife had a gardening competition with each other. She swore by her methods of only using organic ingredients and scoffed at his methods. But after a few weeks of comparison, Gillmore caught his wife on video whilst she snitched his weekly feed to put it on her gardening bed! She was so ticked that his yield was so much better.
  2. Like I said before, you can grow things in any climate, with any soil. It’s all about having the right ratios. Super cool!

Here are some con’s of this method:

  1. It’s a precise ordeal to build the garden. Things need to be measured, leveled, measured again, leveled…for someone like me, who does not enjoy that much detail, it was kind of stressful at the beginning. The good thing is if you do the set-up right, the maintenance is  smooth sailing.   My husband and my mom at the beginning stages of the project. We dug up a lot of sod!!

gardening with Mittleider Method

2. It was definitely an adventure getting the soil. Here are some pictures of where we had to go for the concrete sand. This was only 15 minutes away from my house. My awesome husband, Kirk, traveled 45 minutes to a sawdust mill in the middle of nowhere to bag sawdust for me. These supplies were cheap but you have to do your research and find places to get them in your area.

 how to garden with Mittleider Method

We have two girls and another girl on the way. Boy oh boy, did I wish I had boys when I went to this factory! It was pretty exciting to see all the huge machines doin’ their business.

You can buy your own Mittleider Gardening Course book if you’d like, but for your reference these are the supplies I used for my 2 boxes that are 18” x 15” (usually it’s recommended to do a boxes that is 18” x 30”, but half of my garden wouldn’t have much sun so we split it up between two boxes instead).

  •   63 feet of 2” x 8” treated lumber
  •   4 10’ ¾” 200 psi pvc pipe
  •    1 box of 2 ½” galvanized screws
  •    Drill
  •    3 lb rubber mallet
  •    Ratchet style pvc pipe cutter
  •   Leveler
  •   Tape measure
  •    Circular saw






Mittleider Method

how to start a garden

I’m excited to see how my garden turns out when I start planting! 

Do you have any gardening tips? Have you planted a garden with the Mittleider Method?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *