A successful farmer’s market outing means not only providing tasty crops for your customers but also ensuring that you have a large amount of produce to offer. Implementing a few simple tips and tricks can help to maximize the yield of a garden, whether that garden is large or small, which means more to offer at the market.
Plan Space Saving Gardens
Even small gardens can produce a large amount of fruits and vegetables when space is maximized. Climbing plants, for example, can be trained to grow along vertical supports. Beans are the obvious choice for climbing plants, but tomatoes and even small melons can also be trained to climb a trellis. Vegetables can also be planted in triangles instead of rows. This staggered planting can actually increase the number of plants you can fit by about 14 percent.
Utilize Companion Planting
Companion planting is when you pant several plants that support each other together in order to save space and maximize yield. Typically, companion plants are planted in sets of threes. A low plant, such as squash or onions, grows along the ground, preventing weeds from sprouting. A middle plant, such as peas or beans, grows up along the stalk of a third plant, such as corn or tomatoes. The middle plant supports the tall plant while using the stalk as a trellis.
Use Fertilizer or Compost for Healthy Soil
Healthy soil is essential not only to grow higher amount of produce but also for fruits and vegetables that taste delicious. Compost can be added to the soil before planting in order to boost the natural nutrient levels. After planting and throughout the growing season, a commercial fertilizer can be used to ensure that plants receive the nutrients and minerals they need to produce a high yield.
Even when a garden does yield a large amount, that produce can be quickly ruined by pests. Pests can also damage the plants themselves, and unhealthy plants produce fewer fruits and vegetables. Pesticides can often solve this problem, but using row covers or natural insect deterrents can also help.
Gently and carefully pruning away flowers or excess foliage means that the plant’s energy goes into growing its fruit instead. Pinching away unnecessary foliage can also encourage the plant to grow exactly where you want it to, which can save space.
Crafting a garden that produces a high amount of quality fruits and vegetables may seem like a challenge. However, when the correct initial steps are taken, a high yield for the farmer’s market is quite achievable.