Many have referred to the Mittleider Method as “better than organic” – – and even “the best of organic” because most of our gardens can qualify as organic, depending on criteria being used.
The reasons gardens may be the best of organic are:
1) Because we leave nothing to chance, but apply small amounts of natural mineral nutrients, all of which are approved by the USDA for use in a Certified Organic garden, to assure fast, healthy growth. This also helps our plants ward off pests and diseases that will often destroy less healthy plants.
2) We encourage growing healthy seedlings in a clean, warm environment, which gives the plants a major head-start and avoids many of the problems encountered upon germination and emergence – with cold soil, hungry bugs, damping-off, etc.
3) We water only the root zones, thus not encouraging pest and disease proliferation, plus we prune any leaf growth touching the ground, also reducing bug and disease access to the plants.
4) We allow no weeds – nor do we encourage putting mulch, etc. on the ground – since both of these harbor pests and diseases.
5) Since our plants grow very fast and reach maturity quicker than typical gardens, diseases and pests have less chance to become a problem.
6) Then we harvest and remove a crop immediately at maturity, to avoid the buildup of pests and diseases that occurs when people leave their crop too long in the garden, which is all too common in home gardens.
So you see, with the above preventative cultural practices, plus fast healthy growth, Mittleider Method gardens have much less need to use pesticides or herbicides anyway.