Tips to obtain an optimum yield from your backyard garden
Randy Opoku Barimah
Gardening at home can be extremely beneficial. Take, for example, living in a city. Agriculture produce is typically very expensive and heavily chemically induced. A problem you might face with your backyard garden is your yield staying the same or reducing as your family grows.
As the saying goes, when there is a will, there’s is a way. It is possible to increase the yield of your backyard garden without expanding it or sacrificing the quality of produce harvested for the family's consumption.
Having a garden for a long time may have prompted the need for other methods to increase yields, such as making homemade compost to increase the size and nutrients of your harvested produce. There is, however, more you can do to get the most out of your backyard garden.
According to Miller, the following tips never go wrong:
- Plant a cover crop during the wet season.
- In the fall, apply 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of manure or chopped leaves to the garden.
- In the hot or dry season, use compostable mulch such as straw or grass clippings.
Beautifully pleasing designs or arrangements appeal to all of us, and plant row designs in a garden are no exception. However, you may be disappointed to learn that the yield of a garden with spaciously designed plant rows is limited, and you may have to ditch it.
Need not worry, Miller, highlights other concepts you can use to acquire higher yield without totally forgoing the aesthetically appealing part of your garden design below:
- Raised or dedicated beds. Planting in blocks rather than rows decreases aisleways and allows gardeners to focus soil amendment efforts where the plants are cultivated.
- Utilize vertical gardening. Trellising vining crops such as tomatoes, pole beans, melons, squash, and cucumbers saves space. However, it also elevates these vegetables off the ground, keeping them out of reach of hungry pests and reducing ground rot troubles for a larger garden harvest.
- Interplant. Companion planting, such as the three sisters method of growing corn, squash, and pole beans together, can help you increase your garden produce. Plant fast-maturing plants, such as leafy greens and radishes, in between slow-growing species. Short-season plants can be picked before plants like tomatoes or brussels sprouts reach maturity.
There are other techniques to maximize production from your backyard garden that has nothing to do with the garden's appearance and everything to do with the food. Take a look at them below:
- Get a head-start on some weather seasons. Some weather seasons may not supply enough sunlight for your crop's proper growth. Spread plastic over the garden right before these times to allow the soil to retain the heat offered, then plant a few weeks before seasons with little sunlight.
- According to Miller (2021), successive sowing is also very beneficial. You can do this by planting and replanting fast-growing plants such as lettuce, salad leaves, carrots, and spinach. This not only ensures a more consistent supply of these crops but also allows the same lands to be replanted numerous times per year.
- Container Gardening. At times, it might get rather cold at night. Particularly in temperate zones. Container gardening can help with this in various ways. Plant far earlier than these cold seasons for the greatest results, and bring your potted vegetables inside at night. This will ensure that your crops remain healthy and give the expected yield.
The importance of being able to grow your food cannot be overstated, and the highlight of being able to grow your food in abundance should be something we all strive for. Although not everyone has the space for a backyard garden, for those of us who do, following these tried-and-tested tips can help you obtain an optimum yield from your backyard garden.
Miller, L. (2021, August 25). Small Garden Big Yield: Maximizing Garden Yield. Retrieved from https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/increase-garden-yield.htm