Tiny Gardens – Plant Across the Width to Maximize Yield

Many people have only a small space in which to grow, and want to plant so as to get the greatest possible yield in the least space. Here’s one idea to do that.

You can plant across the width of a box or soil-bed,m rather than the traditional lengthwise, if you’re willing to do the extra work of feeding, watering, weeding, and pruning that it requires.

Remember the first law of plant growth – direct sunlight all day long, and that applies to all of your plants, for optimum harvest.

Therefore, planting close together as I’ll suggest here requires that you prune your plants so that they do NOT shade or overlap each other.

You’ll also need to water by hand, to assure even coverage to all plants.

And if you’re in the soil weeding will not be as easy because of the close proximity of plants to each other. The two-way hoe is still the best tool for the job.

And remember to quit feeding the single-crop varieties three weeks before they reach maturity, so as not to waste fertilizers. Multiple crops are certainly an option for several of those, especially spinach, lettuce, and green onions.

Here’s what you could do in a box 4′ wide by 16′ long – from North to South (or East to West):

Tomatoes (2), cucumber (2) and vining squash (1) – close to edge
Zucchini (3) – 2.5′ from edge
Peppers (5) – 2.5′ from zucchinis
Broccoli (5) – 2′ from peppers
Cauliflower (5) – 2′ from broccoli
Spinach (9) – 1.5′ from broccoli
Spinach (9) – .5′ from spinach
Red leaf lettuce (9) – 1.5′ from spinach
Romaine lettuce (9) – .5′ from red leaf lettuce
Green onions (48) – 1.5′ from romaine lettuce
Italian parsley (16) – .5′ from green onions
Sweet potatoes (5) – 1′ from onions, at opposite end of box

Tomatoes, cucumber, squash, and zucchini all must be grown on 2″ X 2″ stakes and pruned to one stem – tomatoes right at the crotch, cucumber and squash cut sucker stems after first female blossom. Zucchini – older leaves pruned as they touch the ground or interfere with adjacent plants

Broccoli and cauliflower leaves should be pruned to keep them off the ground and away from adjacent plants (the leaves are edible!).

Sweet potatoes will only work in the space describes above if you can let them run outside the box. You’ll need to prune and train them so they don’t cover your onions and lettuce.

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