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Planting For Maximum Yield

When planning your garden, set up the space so it can all be used for planting. I don’t plant in rows or leave room to walk; all available space is well utilized.

To do this, you want to make sure you can reach into the garden without stepping into it. For me that means a width of only 5 feet. That way, while sitting on either side of the garden, I can reach clear through to the center. That completely eliminates the need for walking space.

I also don’t plant in rows, I don’t see a need for it. I plant seeds close enough together so that the leaves of the mature plant will almost touch. This does a few things. It allows more to be planted within a given area. The growing plants choke out unwanted plants (i.e. weeds) eliminating the need to weed once the plants are strong enough. It also provides more ground cover which keeps more moisture in the ground. Once the plants are established, I almost never water. There are rare instances where it will get dry enough to need watering, but you will not need regular watering.

I put a lot of thought into where each plant will go. I am cognizant of which plants will need shade and which will provide it. Tender greens burn easily in the summer sun and they benefit greatly from the shade of a sun-loving plant such as a bell pepper.

Tomatoes take a while to grow, so I plant radishes around them. The radishes are ready to harvest in about 30 days, just in time to get out of the way of the growing tomato plants.

Beets are done in about 50 days and broccoli thrives when planted later in the season. So as soon as the beets come out, in go the broccoli seeds.

I plant a small area with carrots every two inches in each direction. I pull every other one when they reach the size of baby carrots and allow the others to mature to full size. This way I don’t have to wait very long for carrots and no space is wasted. The same strategy works for turnips and beets planted every three inches. Both are delicious as baby vegetables and full sized.

I use companion plantings to discourage insects and utilize all available space. For more on this, see NATURAL PEST CONTROL.

I have a chain link fence on one side of the yard and I use it as a trellis. Snap peas are best planted in early spring and they don’t stick around long. I plant cucumber seeds in between the snap peas, and the cukes take over just as the peas are finishing up for the year.

I let bean vines grow on my corn stalks (I really meant it when I said I don’t leave any space unused!) The roots of the beans actually produce natural nitrates that the corn loves. It’s a win-win situation for both crops.

I hope I have inspired you to try to get more out of your garden. It’s the best thing you can do for your health and the health of the planet. Happy gardening!

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.