a High Yield Vegetable Garden This Season
By Melinda Myers
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[March 15, 2017]
less time and money while growing a bounty of flavorful vegetables
this growing season. Increase your harvest, even in small garden
spaces, with proper planning and easy care, high yielding
A productive garden starts with a plan, but choosing the best
vegetables to grow and where to plant them can be overwhelming.
You can break out the graph paper and pencils to design your garden
or turn to technology for help. Many websites and apps provide
ready-to-use garden plans or planning guidelines. Gardener’s Supply
(gardeners.com) offers free pre-planned gardens that do the planning
for you. Reduce maintenance by growing easy care vegetables featured
in the Plant-it & Forget-it garden. Or grow more than 50 pounds of
produce in just 18 square feet of space with the High Yield
Vegetable Garden Plan and High Yield Vegetable Seeds.
These and other intensively planted gardens require proper soil
preparation to maximize productivity. Invest time up front to reduce
ongoing maintenance and increase your harvest. Dig several inches of
compost or other organic matter into the top 8 to 12 inches of the
soil. This improves drainage in heavy soil and increases the water
holding ability in fast draining soils. Incorporate a slow release
organic fertilizer at the same time. This provides needed nutrients
throughout the growing season. Check the label and your plants to
determine if a mid-season application is needed.
Maximize your planting budget by starting your plants from seeds.
Many gardeners like to start long season plants like tomatoes and
broccoli from seeds indoors. This keeps their green thumb warmed up
for the season and provides the greatest selection of vegetable
varieties. Others buy these plants from their local garden center.
Start seeds of shorter season crops like greens, radishes, and
squash directly in the garden when the growing season begins. Check
the seed packet for specific directions on when and how to plant
these seeds indoors and out.
When shopping for seeds, select varieties suited to your climate and
known for their disease resistance and high yield. Most vegetables
produce best when grown in full sun. Greens and root crops are a bit
more shade tolerant.
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Once planted, cover the soil surrounding the seeded rows and
transplants with a thin layer of shredded leaves, herbicide-free
grass clippings or evergreen needles. This mulch helps conserve
moisture and suppress weeds. Plus, it improves the soil as it breaks
down. You’ll save time and improve your plants’ health and
productivity with this one task.
After it’s planted and mulched, you’ll spend minimal time
maintaining your garden. But be sure to plan a bit of time to enjoy
the big, flavorful harvest your high yield garden is sure to
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including
Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow
Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally
syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a
columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and
was commissioned by Gardener’s Supply Company for her expertise to
write this article. Myers’ web site is
[Melinda Myers with image provided by
Gardener's Supply Company]