DIY







40 Gardening Tips to Maximize Your Harvest

Save time and money while growing even more great-tasting organic food.

| April/May 2011

  • Chard and Trellis
    This garden maximizes yields by growing cut-and-come-again crops, such as chard, and by growing vertically on a trellis. 
    LYNN KARLIN
  • Harvest Basket
    Harvesting often, growing high-yielding varieties, watering efficiently and sowing in succession are all simple ways to maximize returns from your garden. 
    PHOTO: SAXON HOLT
  • Rhubarb
    Minimize work by planting perennial crops, such as rhubarb. 
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • Asparagus
    When you add asparagus to your garden, you can plant once and harvest for years! 
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • Sorrel
    Sorrel, an easy-to-grow, lemony salad green, will make a great addition to your perennial garden. 
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • Cucumbers
    C’mon, gardeners: It’s time to grow up! Let crops, such as cucumbers, climb to fully utilize your space. 
    LYNN KARLIN
  • Chard
    Part of maximizing yields is smart harvesting. Cut chard stalks often to enjoy multiple harvests from the same plant. 
    SAXON HOLT
  • Baby Squash
    Be picky about when you pick: Harvest squash fruits when they’re young for higher overall yields. 
    LYNN KARLIN
  • seed saving
    Saving your own seeds can save you lots of money each gardening season — plus, you’ll enjoy the convenience of always having seeds on hand. 
    DAVID CAVAGNARO
  • root cellar
    Stock that cellar! Preserving your harvest is one of the best ways to maximize returns from your garden. 
    JERRY PAVIA
  • Dried Fruit
    Drying is an excellent food preservation method, and small batches of dried fruits or veggies take up little space in the pantry. 
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • small garden
    Even growers tending small-space gardens can yield respectable returns by harvesting often and utilizing space strategically. 
    B&C ALEXANDER/ARCTICPHOTO

  • Chard and Trellis
  • Harvest Basket
  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Sorrel
  • Cucumbers
  • Chard
  • Baby Squash
  • seed saving
  • root cellar
  • Dried Fruit
  • small garden

The best way to keep top-quality, organically grown produce on your table year-round is to grow as much as you can, and preserve plenty to eat for when your garden isn’t producing. This is a worthy goal, as organic, homegrown produce is more nutritious, delicious and sustainable than the typical store-bought fare. To help your garden reach its potential, you can implement many creative growing and preserving strategies. As you attempt to grow more organic food, be realistic about the time you have to maintain your garden and manage its harvest, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. 

To create a roundup of the best gardening tips on maximizing returns, I brainstormed ideas with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors. Then I talked with readers who left wise comments on our online gardening surveys (sign up for our surveys). The result is a checklist of 40 ways to make your garden more productive. Choose the ones that work for you, and enjoy maximizing your return on the time, work and money you invest in your homegrown food supply. 

Plan for Good Garden Production

Whether you draw your garden plans with pencil and paper or use a software tool such as the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner, you’ll need to think ahead to incorporate the following yield-maximizing strategies. 

1. Grow High-Value Crops. “Value” is subjective, though growing things that would be costly to buy makes good sense, provided the crops are well-suited to your climate. But value can also be about flavor, which may mean earmarking space for your favorite tomato varieties and fresh herbs first, and then considering how much money you could save by growing other crops at home. 



2. Start Early, End Late. Use cloches, cold frames, tunnels and other season-stretching devices to move your spring salad season up by a month or more. In fall, use row covers to protect fall crops from frost and deer while extending the harvest season for a wide assortment of cold-tolerant greens and root crops. 

3. Grow the “Shoulder Season” Fruits. You can usually pick and stash June-bearing strawberries and early raspberries in the freezer before your garden’s vegetables take over your kitchen. Raspberries that bear in the fall and late-ripening apples are also less likely to compete with summer-ripening vegetables for your food preservation time. 

veronicahudson101
7/19/2017 3:36:13 AM

Being a good gardener is a tough task but with your tips and some other tips anyone can be a good gardener https://goo.gl/DH4SqF


veronicahudson101
7/19/2017 3:35:28 AM

Being a good gardener is a tough task but with your tips and some other tips anyone can be a good gardener https://goo.gl/DH4SqF


Gareth
6/15/2016 5:36:04 AM

When I pick my potatoes (soon) can I plant any other crop where they grew ?? Ie. Kale ,chard etc? Thanks Gareth UK.







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