TOP 7 TIPS FOR A HIGH-YIELD VEGETABLE GARDEN

If you are planning to grow some vegetables for the first time you want to know that what you are doing will produce good results. There is nothing more discouraging than putting in a great deal of effort only to find several weeks later that the eventual harvest is so small as to make the it not worth the trouble. So take some good advice to ensure your best chance of success.
One website that knows all about growing vegetables is Rodale’s Organic Life and that is where I found this article on the seven secrets for a high-yield vegetable garden.

Imagine harvesting nearly half a ton of tasty, beautiful, organically grown vegetables from a 15-by-20-foot plot, 100 pounds of tomatoes from just 100 square feet (a 4-by-25-foot bed), or 20 pounds of carrots from just 24 square feet. Yields like these are easier to achieve than you may think. The secret to superproductive gardening is taking the time now to plan strategies that will work for your garden. Here are seven high-yield strategies gleaned from gardeners who have learned to make the most of their garden space.
1. Build Up Your Soil
Expert gardeners agree that building up the soil is the single most important factor in pumping up yields. A deep, organically rich soil encourages the growth of healthy, extensive roots that are able to reach more nutrients and water. The result: extra-lush, extra-productive growth above ground.
2. Round Out Your Beds
The shape of your beds can make a difference, too. Raised beds are more space-efficient if the tops are gently rounded to form an arc. A rounded bed that is 5 feet wide across its base, for instance, will give you a 6-foot-wide arc above it?creating a planting surface that?s a foot wider than that of a flat bed. That foot might not seem like much, but multiply it by the length of your bed and you?ll see that it can make a big difference in total planting area.
In a 20-foot-long bed, for example, rounding the top increases your total planting area from 100 to 120 square feet. That?s a 20 percent gain in planting space in a bed that takes up the same amount of ground space. Lettuce, spinach, and other greens are perfect crops for planting on the edges of a rounded bed.

3. Space Smartly
To get the maximum yields from each bed, pay attention to how you arrange your plants. Avoid planting in square patterns or rows. Instead, stagger the plants by planting in triangles. By doing so, you can fit 10 to 14 percent more plants in each bed.
Just be careful not to space your plants too tightly. Some plants won?t reach their full size?or yield?when crowded. For instance, when one researcher increased the spacing between romaine lettuces from 8 to 10 inches, the harvest weight per plant doubled. (Remember that weight yield per square foot is more important than the number of plants per square foot.)
Overly tight spacing can also stress plants, making them more susceptible to diseases and insect attack.

You can find the other four secrets at Rodale’s Organic Life