Gardening at home is a rewarding activity that offers many benefits such as a way to connect with nature and find peace of mind. Access to the freshest vegetables picked at their nutritional peak keeps you and your family healthy and even saves money. It doesn’t matter how much space you have, a garden is always worth it.
Many people with a gardener don’t realize they could be getting better yields, however. It’s possible to grow more vegetables, over a longer period, and without needing to expand the space the garden takes up. In this article, we will go over several ways you can increase the vegetable production of your garden.
When you have a grasp on the space of your garden and the climate where you will be growing, you can plan accordingly. Having a plan based on the reality of the situation where you live will allow you to maximize how you use the space.
Start by assessing the size and condition of your garden area. Take note of how much space you have and think about how it can be best used. Some of the area should be dedicated to raised beds while having some space set aside for a greenhouse or cold frame is also helpful.
This extra space will allow you to do things like seed starting so you can get a jump on the growing season and do succession planting. A greenhouse can be costly but worth it in the savings you get from having a higher yield of vegetables. You can build your own cheaply with readily available materials. One of the best uses for polycarbonate sheets is in fact for building a greenhouse.
Consider the climate where you live so you can make modifications to the garden area accordingly. Protection from strong winds is an example, as winds can damage plants and dry out the soil. If your garden is exposed, build a windbreak or use structures like fences to provide shelter.
How you plant your garden has a direct effect on how many vegetables you will be able to grow. One of the best and easiest strategies to put into place is to use the space well where your garden is.
One way to efficiently use space is through vertical gardening. This technique involves growing plants upwards rather than outwards, which is especially useful in smaller gardens. You can use trellises, wall planters, or even hanging baskets to grow climbing plants like tomatoes, peas, and certain types of beans.
To supercharge your production, the best planting strategy is to use the succession planting method. Succession planting is a method where you plant new crops as soon as one crop is harvested. This keeps your garden productive throughout the growing season. For instance, after harvesting spring radishes, you can plant a summer crop like green beans in the same space.
This is why having a greenhouse or cold frame is so important. You can start some seeds while your crop is growing. As soon as you harvest the plants, you have seedlings ready to plant in their place.
A part of your harvest is going to be lost to pests. It’s a sad reality but inevitable. You can control how much of the harvest is lost to pests and disease, however. There are several strategies to put into place to minimize how much is lost.
One approach to pest control is to encourage beneficial insects that prey on harmful pests. Ladybugs, for instance, feed on aphids. You can attract these beneficial insects by planting flowers like marigolds, sunflowers, and daisies. The best part is that this is a completely organic and sustainable way to control pests.
Another sustainable method is to use barriers and traps. Floating row covers can protect your plants from a variety of insects. Handpicking larger pests, such as caterpillars or Japanese beetles, is also an effective and quick way to reduce damage.
Plant disease is also something that will occur at some point. Many plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Early detection is key, so regularly inspect your plants for signs of disease. If you see spots, wilting, or slow growth you need to take action and try to identify the disease so you can treat the plants effectively.
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