There are two types of gardeners. Those who aim towards planting and harvesting quickly so that they could start growing new crops quickly. Then there’s the second type, those who prefer to adapt methods that can help them get more out of their garden.
Sadly, not everyone pays attention to the yield as many garden only as a hobby, and don’t really care for the outcome. This is a big mistake as it is important to get something out of your garden.
While both methods are great in their own ways, taking measures to increase the yield is a better option for the following reasons:
The first benefit of having an enhanced yield is getting more on your plate. You can stockpile the extra produce for the winter, for darker days, give it to your family and neighbors and so on.
In fact, you can produce crops for selling purposes too. This way you can not only provide for your family but also earn some money by selling the crops that are extra.
Increasing your yield means that you don’t have to buy extra space to produce more. This can save you a lot of time and money. Also, you won’t have to find extra hands (labor) because you won’t be maintaining a large garden area.
Keeping all these things in mind, there’s no doubt about the fact that it is of vital importance to have your yield increased. So make sure that you leave no stone unturned while doing so.
Now that you know the importance of increasing your garden’s yield, let’s have a look at how you can do it
Building Healthy Soil
First, you need to determine the quality and kind of your soil. It is important because soil quality largely affects the growth of plants.
Here’s a video that will help you determine what kind of soil you have and how to improve the soil condition of your garden so that you can have a good produce:
Both these videos have a good amount of knowledge and steps to set your soil conditions right. Implementing these solutions will help balance the ingredients that lack in your soil such as nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen and potassium.
You can also check this article to understand the process.
The next step involves adding mulch. Gather fallen leaves or any mulch material and make a layer of about 3 to 4 inches to limit water evaporation from the soil.
Weed is another big problem for plants and the entire garden, and mulching can help.
Weeds are known to grow in the presence of sunlight and adding a layer of mulch will block the sunlight from hitting the ground and thus, weed won’t show up.
Mulch will also help regulate temperature and provide a suitable temperature to the plants so that they can grow well.
Also, make sure that the Ph of your soil is in range. Suitable Ph range to get a good yield out of a garden is 6-7.4. To increase the Ph level, add limestone. To decrease it, use sulphur.
Here’s a video to help you build quality soil:
Use Cow Manure
Cow manure is something that can help in increasing your garden’s yield. You need to prepare a well-watered cow manure for the raised beds that should be 4 inches thick (10 cm).
Preparing the soil in winter is a good choice because that’s when earthworms and other microbes decompose and break down the manure. Using cow manure has several advantages when you want to enhance your yield. It is rich in nitrogen and can help plants grow.
Most of the plants that you’d be planting would be leafy greens and these require a lot of nitrogen.
Create A Succession Plan
Succession planting is when you plant crops that will fully grow at different times. This means that you don’t get to harvest everything from a single bed and begin planting another crop. Instead, you keep harvesting crops throughout the season.
Many gardeners, both beginners and experienced ones neglect the importance of creating a succession plan. It is important because can help you maximize your space and enhance the productivity of your garden. You’d be able to know how to utilize every inch of the space you have got.
This is a great tip to follow when you have a smaller space where you intend to grow a garden full of productive plants. However, this doesn’t mean that it is only confined to smaller spaces, succession plan works for both big and small spaces.
A succession planting plan is easy to execute even for beginners. It will help you sow all your lettuce and radishes seeds in a single go without having to use a lot of energy.
Now, your plan should have a schedule of execution. We recommend that you space out your place every week or two. Doing this will result in having a continuous harvest which is going to last for more time than a typical growing season.
A succession plan is like drawing a map or a blueprint of where you will sow the seeds according to measurements. Of course, this is a time consuming process and requires a lot of math to be done, but it will help you prevent food waste and enhance productivity.
More on succession planning:
Determining And Eliminating Pest Problems
Pests can ruin a garden and ill plants. There are many types of pests that attack different types of crops and plants and kill your garden before it even produces anything:
- Cynipid Wasps/Psyllids
- …and more.
They are often hidden in gaps and crevices and are very hard to find. Also, make sure that you reduce grass if there are any patches of long grass in your garden so that you give no place for slugs to hide and be a reason to destroy your crops.
Here’s a video that talks about 10 common pests and how to counter them:
Increase The Intensity Of Light
For plants, light is their food source. While some require less amount of sunlight to grow well but mostly, all plants need intense light to grow healthy.
When the intensity of light falling onto the plants is high, the energy received by these plants is higher too. By intensity we do not mean direct sunlight because that can destroy some plants. You’ll need to make a shelter and add some indoor lights to give adequate warmth to the garden so that the crops can get all the light they want.
The fact of the matter is that light intensity helps the flower buds to grow bigger in size and bigger buds mean more yield.
After you germinate the seeds, you’ll notice that some of the plants such as cannabis will stretch. This is a sign of not receiving enough light. This causes them to grow too tall and even fall afterwards.
Spacing The Right Way
The way you place and keep the space between plants plays a crucial role in the amount of yield you’ll produce. Some people think that keeping too much space in between plants is beneficial, while some think that keeping them close to one another will have a good effect on the yield. Both considerations are wrong!
If plants are too close, it’ll be hard for them to grow to the right size due to less space. If they’re too far, then they’ll waste a lot of water and most probably will give a green signal to weeds. Therefore, it is important that you keep a balance among them.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Use Raised Beds: Having raised beds to grow plants is a good thing when you’re looking to produce more. Raised beds are flat grounds made up of soil which are higher than the original ground. They provide ease when it comes to controlling water, pest etc. Raised beds also help in improving the root growth of plants which in return gives enhanced production.
- Use Vertical Space: Using vertical space can be a plus point. Even if you have a smaller space, vertical gardening will take you a long way in having an increased yield at the time of harvesting. In a vertical space, you can grow a variety of plants of your choice that have good yields. They also help in reducing smog and urban heat effect.
Other than that, vertical gardening requires less effort compared to a wider area to maintain the garden.
You can plant a variety of different plants in a vertical space. These include Lily of the Nile, Clivia, Mandevilla, Hydrangeas, Lily of the Valley, Common Ivy, Boxwood, Mondo Grass, Lavender, Geranium, onion, garlic, spinach, lettuce and many more etc.
Lastly, vertical beds are easy to make. Here’s a video that will walk you throw a step by step process and help you use vertical space for gardening:
Watering The Garden Wisely
Watering is one of the most important factors when it comes to gardening. The more the merrier is the wrong formulae here. There are different types of plants that require different amount of water to grow healthy.
Firstly, the water needs to be of room temperature. If the water is too hot or too cold then it can shock the plants and cause problems in the upbringing of the plants. In cold weather, the water from a hose can be cold enough to cause damage to the plants.
Learning what’s underwatering and overwatering is also essential. Underwatering is when you water plants lower than their requirement. This can stop their growth or slow it. While overwatering is giving more water than the required amount. This can soak the roots in water for a long period of time and cause their foundations to go weak. As a result of which, the plants may bend or even die.
Therefore, it is important to find the amount of water required for a specific plant to grow.
Collect And Utilize Rainwater
While most of the gardeners prefer using tap water or water from other sources, a very few make efforts to collect rainwater. Now, to Brooklyn Botanic Garden, accumulating and using rainwater for gardening purpose has many benefits.
Rainwater is better than tap water because it is chlorine free and has almost no contaminants in it, unlike tap water. After collecting enough rainwater, one can simply make it lukewarm and use it to water the plants. Doing this won’t shock the plant’s roots and will help them grow strong and healthy due to fresh watering.
On the other hand, tap water may contain chemicals such as chlorine that could damage the foundations of the plants and make it harder for them to grow. However, rainwater might not be available all the time, so, that’s when you’ll have to use tap water but make sure you’re not using hard water.
In case if it rains lightly, then letting the plants soak in it is good for them, however, if it rains heavily then make sure the plants are under a shelter.
Rainwater can drastically increase the yield of a garden because the water is fresh and it makes the roots of the plants stronger. Also, rainwater is good for the soil and aids in improving its condition.
Pollinators are insects that aid in moving a male pollen to the female and help in reproduction. You can increase your garden’s yield by up to 70% by encouraging pollinators to enter your garden.
One of the most useful pollinators are bees. To make it happen, make a habitat for bees in your garden.
You can do this by placing dead wood around, however, this requires a lot of care. You need to keep checking that no plant damaging insects or species make it to your garden.
It can be difficult to stop other insects from attacking your garden, as it may also prevent pollinators from making a habitat in your garden.
The only way to do it is to keep checking regularly and handpicking non-pollinators that may try to make home in the wood.
According to a study conducted by Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi and his colleagues at Instituto de Investigaciones en Recursos Naturales, pollinators make a great difference when it comes to increasing garden yields. Here’s what the study said:
The researchers led by Lucas found that smaller farms that have lower densities had a great effect on the yields. Higher the number of pollinators in a small farm, the greater the yield. However, same was not the case with farms that were dense. Instead, here’s where pollinator diversity came in handy.
In a journal called Science published in 2016, this team described their five year study which they led in 344 farms of Asia, Africa and South America. All the farms were of different sizes and crops (33 types).
It was about studying the increase in yield in the presence of pollinators. The team examined the movements of pollinators on the fruit bearing plants and found out that an increased number of pollinators in smaller farms led to enhanced yields.
On the other hand, when larger farms didn’t have an increased yields after increasing the pollinator numbers, the team made a few changes and invited a diversity of pollinators in these large farms. It worked.
Pollinator diversity (bees, beetles, wasps, butterflies etc) in larger farms led to more production.
Hence, pollinators are an important factor in gardening if you wish to have an increased yield.
It’s a process of planting in such a way that less space is used to plant more of the same species.
Interplanting is when two or more plants having same crop producing abilities are planted in close proximity during a season. This promotes interaction between them and aids in producing a greater yield than normal.
This process makes the plants of same species non-competitive. Instead, they provide mutual support to one another in terms of using natural resources such as water, light, soil etc.
For example, interplanting beans, corn and squash can provide better results than growing them separately. The corn plant gives the stalks to the bean plants and also acts as a shield from winds for the squash. On the other hand, the bean plant helps to suppress weeds and keeps the soil in good condition for all the three plants.
There are more benefits of interplanting such as preventing pests from damaging any neighboring plant species. For example if you plant tomatoes and cabbage together then the diamondback moth larvae which attacks cabbage crops can be prevented.
You can interplant radish and carrots, spinach and tomatoes, cabbage and onions etc.
Dig As Less As You Can
Digging up the ground can have many disadvantages. It can eliminate the earthworms, microbes and other resources from the ground and affect your yield. Instead, using raised beds is a better option than digging.
Doing so will keep the soil in a good condition. Plus, less digging means time saving and less waste of energy.
Sustaining organic matter beneath the soil is of vital importance because it serves many benefits to garden plants and helps them grow healthy and fast.
While many gardeners still wonder if raised beds are better than dug up floors or not, but still, a majority of gardeners believe that digging degrades the soil quality and causes other issues too. Therefore, it is better to make your garden on raised beds.
Buy Disease Resistant Seeds
Nothing can hurt your garden’s yield more than a disease. When a plant falls sick, its production is wasted. To avoid this, you can buy seeds which are disease resistant. These seeds are less prone to falling, as a result the plant is healthy and grows well without any trouble.
This is the best way to ensure healthy growth of plants as disease resistant seeds means healthy plants, which means no need to resort to insecticides and pesticides, hence healthy plants and improved yield.
There are various kinds of diseases resistant seeds available online and in the market but they are costly. Still, planting these seeds will help you protect your yield in the long run.
Some of the disease that can be reduced by using such seeds include fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, pythium root rot etc.
Our Product Picks To Increase Your Garden’s Yield
Humboldts Secret Golden Tree: This food is one of the most recommended ones because they help in increasing yield. When you feed your plants Humboldt’s golden tree, they tend to grow faster and healthier. Apart from that, plants which are stunted and showing no improvement can also be treated with this food supplement for plants.
The best thing about this product is that it decreases growing time by up to 50% and increases yield by up to 20%.
SUPERthrive 1 Quart: Another great product that can help you enhance your garden’s yield by providing all the necessary soil nourishment ingredients to your soil. It keeps the earthworms inside well and alive and also makes them healthier so that the soil conditions can be top touch.
Besides boosting the growth of plants, this solution also promotes greenery. It is a non-toxic liquid that contains good vitamins. Also, it strengthens the roots of plants underground so that the plant or tree can stand solid in its position and even bear harshest weather conditions without any trouble.
Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix, 8-Quart: This soil is one of the best you can get for your potting plants. They are safe to use for both indoor and outdoor places. The soil has water retention capabilities and it also protects the plants from over and under watering. Adding this soil in pots can help strengthen and promote root growth.
The soil can absorb up to 33% more water than a typical potting soil does. Also, this soil is reusable so it’s worth it to invest in this soil.
Non GMO Heirloom Vegetable Seeds by Open Seed Vault: This pack contains 32 various kinds of vegetable seeds to grow in your garden. The seeds have a higher germination rate as all the seeds are grown naturally.
These seeds can last up to 20 years if kept well. The pack contains diverse range of seeds that you can add to your garden. These include corn, radish, onion, cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, bean, brussels, cucumber, spinach, turnip and many more.
Each of the seeds are kept in different pouches and the pack also comes with instructions on how to sow them. So, buying this pack is a win-win for garden lovers who are looking to expand their range.
The above mentioned tips are for both beginners and experts who are looking to increase the yield of their garden. In a nutshell, you will have to improve certain things to boost your fruit/vegetable production. They include:
- Making sure your soil is suitable for planting and keep making adjustments to it so that it can stay in a good shape.
- Using the type of manure that contains nitrogen in excess such as cow manure.
- Proceeding with succession planning when it comes to gardening. This way you can enhance the crop availability and grow more fruits and vegetables in much lesser time within a growing season.
- Keeping tabs on the pest problems by using pesticides and other options.
- Gardening requires lots of light. Both sunlight and indoor light. So make sure you fix some light bulbs for the plants that require a lot of light. The bulbs can give mild warmth to the plants and help them stay warm.
- Know how to water the plants. The technique to water plants differs. So, make sure that you do some research and find out how much water your plants need and make sure you don’t over or under water them.
- Use rainwater to water the garden and also encourage pollinators.
- Interplanting is also a smart way to grow your yield and boost it.
- Making sure that you avoid the common mistakes that gardeners usually make.
Do you have any more tips and trips that’ve helped you get more produce out of your garden? Share them in a comment below.
Michael is in love with nature and loves to spend his weekends with his pet dog at his farm where he grows organic fruits and vegetables. He’s a single parent who loves the idea of simple living.