Start Small – 100 square feet of garden can yield up to 200-400 pounds of vegetables, using sustainable organic methods.
Go To Beds – eliminate unproductive path space and create growing areas that stay untrampled for healthiest plant growth.
Compost – leaves, weeds, grass clippings and kitchen waste can promote fertility. The rules are simple: keep it moist, allow for air circulation, and cover “juicy” layers with soil to keep flies out. Compost in an old garbage can if space is limited.
Careful Soil Preparation – is the single most important step. To make the job easy, water deeply several days before digging, then let the soil dry just to the point where it does not stick to the spade. Take your time. Rototillers break down the soil structure I the top six inches and within a month or two, the soil settles down tighter around tender plant roots.
Keep Soil Moist – Water before, during and after preparation and planting. Plants that get to the “wilting” stage will recover but never will be quite as healthy.
An agricultural adage says the tiny animals that live below the surface of a healthy pasture weigh more than the cows grazing above it.
In a catalogue selling composting equipment I read that two handfuls of healthy soil contain more living organisms than there are people on the earth.
What these beings are and what they can be doing is difficult to even begin to comprehend, but it helps to realize that even though they are many, they work as one.
– Carol Williams, Bringing a Garden to Life, 1998
Close Spacing – why grow weeds? Prepare the area well and plant closer. The mini-greenhouse effect of close plants shades the soil, and reduces evaporation and weed growth.
Start With Salad Vegetables – for the highest yields. In one square foot you can grow 25 carrots, 13 garlic, 25 scallions or 50 radishes. Tow of the best space savers are Torpedo onions and Cylindra beets, the elongated shape gives you five times the yield.
Use Seedlings – for faster growth and to maximize yield. Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower and cucumbers will do better when set out as young starts.
Easiest Crops for Beginners – are green beans, squash, lettuce, chard, tomatoes, sunflowers, kale, collards, cucumbers, radishes and sugar snap peas.
Beautify With Flowers – nasturtiums surround a salad bed prettily and the flowers are quite tasty. Sprinkle cosmos and zinnias in the spring/summer garden, stocks and calendula in the fall/winter garden.