Hydroponics Mittleider Grow Box


The Mittleider grow box is a combination of soil gardening and hydroponics. It was created by Jacob Mittleider as a viable way to raise vegetables even if your soil was of poor quality. He contends that as good as hydroponics may be, just maybe there is some nutrient or element contained in soil that plants need that we have not yet identified.

His method anchors plants in a growing medium held within a grow box allowing roots to penetrate the soil below so plants receive the 'best of both worlds', so to speak.

Advantages of the Mittleider Method:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Combines hydroponic principles with soil gardening to increase crop yield.
  • Plants can be planted closer together thus increasing yield per square foot.
  • Is ideal for areas where soil gardening would not work due to poor soil quality.
  • A Mittleider box can be placed anywhere which is its real advantage - I placed one on the corner of my gravel driveway which was unsuitable for a conventional garden.
  • Plants can be grown in substrate made from local materials such as smashed rocks.

This method requires a 'box' 8 inches high with no bottom of any length and width. Place this on the ground in the desired gardening spot and fill with a mixture of perlite, peat moss, sand and saw dust.

The actual composition of the medium does not matter as long as it drains well and stays aerated.

Place your plants in this medium spaced half the recommended distance part suggested for soil gardening. Each week an exacting amount of fertilizer (non-hydroponic) is added to the base of each plant for nutrients.

I actually tried this method and it really works! Believe it or not I had 14 foot tomato plants .... There is a danger to this - Be sure to measure the fertilizer exactly or you will burn the roots of your plants and kill them.

I recommend trying this method .... and in the hydroponic design area of this web site I will give exact instructions as to how I implemented this method...


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