The idea of producing crops with a high yield is similar to that of arable farmers who aerate their fields through crop rotation but we are talking about small gardens or areas with small amounts of crop such as vegetables, but the strategy is similar.
There is no magic wand that you can wave to get great yielding crops but a general understanding of what can be achieved with a little effort will help and having a small garden should not deter you from growing great tasting produce.
Growing vegetables the organic way will give you a strong and healthy product that will save you a great deal of money if you had to buy them at your local market. After all, Organic vegetables are not cheap are they?
Vertical Vegetable planting!
By using a trellis or split cane interweaved with string, to aid your climbing plants along one side of your small area, will work wonders for you. Plants that can grow vertical up these with ease can be; Tomatoes, sweet peas, runner beans, cucumbers, melons to name a few.
Vertical plants also get more air around them, which in itself can help prevent some of the fungal diseases that our gardens do suffer from and of course, as they are growing ‘upwards’, they are saving what for some people is invaluable space! It is also a real pleasure to see the size and shape of your produce growing from a nearby window.
When and Where to Plant
Maybe for some this is obvious but to give your vegetables the best chance to grow they need to be planted in either a sunny place or a part of your garden that gets the most sunshine. If you plant in the early Spring you get the chance to pick your produce when it is ripe and then re-plant to get even more produce before the Summer turns to Fall and it does not even have to be the same product.
You can also by planting in early Spring and picking the ‘right’ item, virtually double your yearly crop without too much effort. For instance, instead of planting seeds that take 10-12 weeks to mature try a transplant. These are seedlings that have been allowed to grow in there own pot in a nursery. After you have collected your mature vegetables you are ready to transplant seedlings that have already been growing elsewhere for a month. They should have well developed roots and good green leaves and they should be the fast-maturing varieties.This means instead of waiting 10-12 weeks, you shorten the growing time to 6-8 weeks. (Do ensure that the nursery you buy these from have not used chemical fertilizers on them)
If planting in late Summer, a good idea is to place straw between your garden row or rows as this will help the soil to retain moisture. It also helps to keep out or eliminate any weeds and help you to achieve a high yielding product.
Mix your crops up
Strange maybe, but certain vegetables go hand in hand with each other. Rather like a strong partnership (think Laurel & Hardy or Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers) that really works well together.
Vegetable combinations seem to thrive off one another and are well worth considering if you have the time and space to do so. Vegetables that work well together are:
Tomatoes with basil and onions. Or Carrots, Onions and Radishes. Lettuce with Peas. Beets with Celery and Beans or Corn and Squash. Many of these will also add an additional pleasant smell to your garden as well.