Among the easiest methods of maximizing yields in a small plot is to plan and plant your crops in succession. This process not only allows you to get multiple harvests each year out of the same space in your garden, it also gives you a more continual harvest to avoid the famine-to-feast-to-famine results in gardening.
There are a few different strategies to succession planting:
- Plant a different set of vegetables before and/or after your “primary” crop. Most crops grown do not take a full season to mature, which leaves room in your garden before or after to add another planting. For example, plant radish or lettuce in April, followed by tomatoes or beans, and then followed by spinach or carrots…all within one growing season.
- Plant the same crop (such as onions or beans) in a staggered manner every week or two in order to space out the harvest and better align harvest amounts to how much you can eat.
- Plant fast-growing crops (such as lettuce, radish or carrots) immediately beside slow-growing crops (such as tomatoes or peppers) with the goal of harvesting the fast-growing crops before the larger crops fully size-up and require all nutrients and water available in the soil.
By implementing one or more of the strategies above, you can dramatically increase your total harvest and extend your growing season.