We’ve compiled 10 tips for getting maximum crops for minimum effort.
If you’d like to be able to pop outside every day and find a delicious offering in your veg patch then these tips are for you!
There are lots of simple techniques that you can use to get more crops from your vegetable garden…and thankfully they require less effort! Post may contain affiliate links.
Multi-sowing is basically sowing multiple seeds next to each other in the ground or in a module or pot.
Instead of thinning seedlings to the spacing indicated on your seed packet you allow them to grow next to each other in a clump.
The key to multi sowing is harvesting just one plant from each clump at a time, leaving the others to grow bigger.
Multi-sowing vegetables will give you smaller crops but you’ll get more over-all.
Many roots and bulbs can be multi sown but it also works well with leafy vegetables like Swiss Chard as you’ll get lovely salad sized leaves.
The suggested number of plants above is how many we would leave to grow in each cluster. You’ll want to sow an extra seed or two in each module to ensure enough germinate.
You can always multi-sow some of your plants and space others out fully so that you have the best of both!
Crops that continue to regrow after being harvested are my favourite kind!
Lettuces and other salad greens are ideal because if you cut them properly (from the outside and not too close to the base) they’ll continue offering up leaves until they become exhausted.
Sow new seeds every few weeks and you’ll have a steady supply of salads.
For example, raddish, beetroot and carrot leaves and roots are delicious when small and can be added to salads or sandwiches.
This post lists our favourite edible thinnings!
Succession sowing is when you spread out the sowing of some plants rather than sowing the whole lot at once.
Succession sowing works particularly well with crops that grow quickly (like radishes) and plants that produce crops for short periods (like dwarf beans).
Succession sowing won’t work for slow growing crops like tomatoes and brassicas as they need time in the ground before harvesting.
However, for quick crops it is ideal and the best way of ensuring that you don’t end up with 10 lettuces in June but nothing in July!
Try succession sowing leafy greens, spring onions and even small brassicas like kohl rabi.
Catch cropping is about making use of bare ground, even if only for a short time.
For example, planting a quick-growing crop in a space that will later hold a another crop.
Like sowing radishes in a bed that will hold your more tender courgettes as they can’t be planted out until the risk of frost has past. By the time your courgettes are ready to go in, your radishes will have been harvested.
Intercropping is similar to catch cropping only the plants are in the ground together for a while.
To intercrop you need plants that will work well together. For example, a young courgette can be planted with quick growing salad leaves or radishes nearby.
The courgette will need around 3ft in your bed when fully grown but intercropping will ensure that the space is put to good use while it grows.
Other examples of intercropping:
Pests can be a nuisance to gardeners and while we expect to share some of our harvest as organic gardeners we make full use of preventative strategies when it comes to dealing with unwelcome visitors.
We have netting fashioned over branches to prevent birds from taking our peas.
The image above was taken during a regular evening slug patrol!
We also have a collection of around 25 slugs collars that are used to protect young seedlings and multi sown lettuce.
Growing vertically is particularly helpful if you have a smaller space but it also looks great in bigger gardens and can help you to shade plants that don’t do as well in full sun (like leafy greens).
A simple arch or wall made from sticks can support climbers like beans, courgettes and peas which will hugely increase your harvest.
Hanging baskets work well for tomatoes and strawberries too.
Swiss Chard has to be one of my favourite vegetables to grow.
Mostly because we harvest from just a few plants all year long!
If the temperatures don’t get too cold then it will happily stay unprotected in your garden without complaint.
If you have a little space in your veg patch you could also try some perennial vegetables (perennial means that they come back year after year unlike annuals).
Try Jerusalem Artichokes, Sorrel, Walking Onions and Good King Henry.
You don’t need a huge polytunnel to extend your growing season.
A simple cloche or plastic tunnel will mean that you can get things in the ground slightly earlier and harvest later too.
We hope these tips will help you to get more from your growing space.
Would you add any other tips for getting more crops from your garden?