How to Increase Your Home-Grown Harvest

Home vegetable gardens are great endeavors. Not only is it a productive hobby, but with patience, you also get beautiful, fresh produce that you can be proud of. If your vegetable garden isn’t quite producing the abundance you were hoping for, here are our tips to boost your yields:

  1. Feed Your Plants - An easy way to support your plants is feeding them some fertilizer, which will give them the nutrient boost they need. You can also encourage extensive root systems and strong plants with Deep, nutrient-rich soils. Make sure you’re nourishing your soil with plenty of organic matter like compost, manure or leaf mold.
  2. Strategize - It may seem obvious, but make sure you are growing plants that thrive in your soil and climate. Also consider companion planting. Some plants support each other, and grown together they increase overall productivity. For example, lofty corn can act as a support climbing beans. Or, growing lettuce between rows of carrot or onion helps smother weeds.
  3. Maximize Space - You can make the most of your space by growing in dedicated beds or growing plants in the shade. Shady spots are great for leafy vegetables like lettuce, slow growers like leeks and hardy fruits like blackcurrants. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t overcrowd. Plant too close, and your crops will fail to grow properly and be prone to disease.
  4. Extend the Growing Season - Get familiar with your first and last frost dates, then plan to push your growing season further using plant protection like cold frames, row covers and cloches. These allow sowing and planting to begin up to two weeks sooner and continue harvests a few weeks longer at the end of the season.
  5. Prevent (or attract) Pests - Take a preventative approach to pests by placing barriers over susceptible plants to protect them from flying insects, or reduce the slug population by removing hiding places like upturned pots or long grass around growing areas. Also consider getting rid of pests by attracting other ones. Flowers like alyssum and calendula will attract hoverflies and ladybugs who will help control pests like aphids, mites and mealybugs.

Visit your local Joe’s Market Basket for seeds, starts and everything your garden needs this spring.

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