People that have acres and acres of vegetables don’t worry too much about a few straggly stalks here and there. But for those of use with much smaller gardens must use that space wisely. Many factors – from spacing to weeding have a profound effect on your garden yields. Here are a few tips to maximize your returns on your sweat equity!
Space Out. Vegetables such as melons, cucumbers and pumpkins need space to grow. Other plants are less sensitive to close spacing. Leaf crops such as spinach and lettuce can grow closely together. Upright fruit bearing plants like tomatoes have highest yields when their foliage is almost overlapping. Though increasing their spacing increases fruit size.
Light or Dark. Fruits such as melons and tubers like potatoes are reservoirs that hold accumulated energy gathered from sunlight by the plants’ leaves. These plants should be placed in a spot where sunlight falls on the entire plant. Leaf crops such as lettuce and Swiss chard, do not need as much light as they aren’t feeding any fruit.
Water. To produce the best crops, plants should have uninterrupted growth. This means an even, constant supply of water. Under most conditions that means about an inch per week; however the amount a plant requires may depend on the stage of growth. A little less water while fruits are ripening. Potatoes and onions will last longer post harvest if the water supply is decreased just before harvest.
Weeds Out. Studies show that regularly weeded fields produce six times as many tomatoes as do unweeded ones; onions, more than tenfold; carrots, more than fifteen fold! Vegetables are most vulnerable to weeds from the seedling stage up until they start to bear fruit. Weed after a heavy rain; it’s easier to pull weeds out of soil that is soft and damp.
Follow these simple tips and you will enjoy an abundant harvest this year!
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