11 Ways to Extend Your Garden and Grow More Veggies

If you want to grow more vegetables in the garden, there are many ways to extend the growing season. You may not be able to grow tomatoes in the dead of winter, but you can grow salad greens and root veggies. You can also extend your summer garden by planting vegetables that mature at different times and harvesting them as they ripen. Here are 11 ways to extend your garden and grow more veggies.

1. Know Your Garden’s Micro-climate

Your micro-climate must be right for some of your plants to grow well. Vegetable gardens are almost always surrounded by obstructions and this must be considered in the planning stages. In many cases, a west-facing garden will have fewer vegetables growing there than the east or south-facing garden. The difference may not only be the number of hours of sunlight received but also the type of soil and vitamins absorbed by plant roots. To find out what is on your property investigate aerial photographs or maps.

2. Plant Often

Plant your crops often. This is especially true for fruiting vegetables that produce their fruit over a longer period such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. With these crops, their fruits take a lot of time to grow so you should plant more often so you don’t miss the window to harvest them when they are ready.

3. Hit Weeds Early and Hard

There are several effective organic ways to deal with weeds.  The nice thing about controlling weeds is that most of us only need to do it in one spot in our garden.  Watering the outside perimeter of your garden will soften the ground for easy weed control in other parts of the garden or yard while adding more mulch effectively smothers unwanted plants. A little extra wedding here and there throughout your growing season will have you work smarter, not harder, and produce healthier fruits and vegetables!

4. Interplant Crops

Extending your gardening season is one of the best ways to get more vegetables! Interplanting crops means growing different plants close to each other. This allows you to take advantage of the plant’s natural defenses, growth, and fruiting periods. It also gives you the benefit of time which is precious for gardeners!

5. Use Trellises

Trellises are a great way to get an extra harvest. Some produce grows vertically and need support to grow on our walls or fences. Bean poles, climbing peas, cucumber trellis, and cherry tomato cages can be used for many different kinds of veggies.

6. Utilize Your Greenhouse

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse or some sort of outdoor covering, you might be able to extend your growing season a lot longer. Provided your greenhouse kits are in good condition, it will allow you to heat the inside of the structure, so you can plant during any season. You will typically be able to grow crops at least 2-3 months longer than you can outdoors. If you don’t have one and you want to grow a lot of food, it is something to consider getting.


7. Water Only When Necessary

When plants have already been well-watered, don’t water them again until the soil has dried out. Overwatering is most often the cause of blossom-end rot in tomatoes and other garden vegetables; it results when soil stays too moist for too long.

8. Watch for Early Frost

An early frost can kill off your garden before it’s had a chance to get going. The key to avoiding this problem is by locating your garden in the warmest area of the yard and making sure it’s well protected.

9. Build a Cold Frame

The arrival of spring signals to many of us a time of renewal and growth. Sprouting leaves, bursting buds, and warmth in the air all signal that it is time to get out there and start planting our gardens. Whether you are planting up a plot in your backyard for personal use or commercial production, there are several different ways you can extend the growing season to get more out of your garden. 

One way to extend the growing season outside is by using cold frames. Cold frames are made from wood or plastic and can be placed over plants during the colder months to help extend their growing season into the fall and beyond. With a little time, you can build your cold frame using materials you probably have lying around your yard.

10. Plant Early

There are several ways to extend your gardening season and grow more veggies, but the best way is to plant early. By starting your seeds and plants indoors you can get a head start on the growing season and have vegetables ready to harvest before most crops have even started. Plus, it will save you money as early planting means taller, more established veggie plants which mean bigger yields for you and less spent on grocery store produce.

11. Plan Ahead 

You may think that all you need to grow your garden is a little elbow grease and some seeds, but you’re wrong. If you are going to succeed in growing a healthier garden then you need to plan. The most important thing that you can do is know what is coming next. Many plants like tomatoes and peppers do well if they are planted alongside others like peppers while other crops can be sown with successions of other vegetables from one single harvest.

Extending your vegetable garden can work for all members of the plant kingdom, and will give you a more productive yield in the process. Extend your gardening season by using these tips to gain a longer gardening period.