How to Grow Vegetables in a Small Space for a High Yield

Overview

You don't need a large garden plot to have a successful, high-yield vegetable garden. A small plot garden with good soil and plenty of sunlight has the capability of producing enough fresh produce for your family. The trick is maximize your use of the space you do have with proper planning and successive planting. By mixing and matching short-season crops with longer-season crops, your garden can produce more than one crop throughout the season.

Step 1

Apply 1 lb. of complete fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden bed or 3 tsp. per square foot in the fall. Intensive gardening needs nutrient-rich soil to support the constant production required of it.

Step 2

Choose vegetables that take up little space but still produce abundantly. Choose pole beans instead of bush varieties, small-fruited cucumbers so they can be trellised, and small root crops like carrots instead of sprawling ones like potatoes.

Step 3

Divide the garden bed into square feet or square yards. Make a grid to mark the bed prior to planting by installing small stakes on either side of the bed and stretching twine between them. Each square in the grid is a planting area.

Step 4

Plan for one slow-maturing crop and one fast-maturing crop per section. For example, Sow carrots and radishes in one section as the radishes are harvested before the carrots are full grown. Find a link in References for a list of plant varieties to consider.

Step 5

Plant in succession--as soon as one crop is finished for the season, have another ready to plant. Follow cool season lettuce or spinach with tomato transplants later in the spring. Replace cool-season peas with warm season beans, as the beans can use the trellises installed for the peas.

Step 6

Fertilize plants at mid-season, as the nutrients will quickly be used up by the intensive gardening. Mulching with compost instead of plastic or bark helps add more organic matter and nutrients into the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant taller or trellised plants near the rear of the bed. Otherwise, they will shade out the shorter plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Trellises

References

  • Iowa State University Extension
Keywords: small space gardening, growing vegetables, high yield garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.