I’ve been reading How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, and I highly recommend it. We have a long way to go in our garden to institute many of the principles discussed in the book, but that is one of the things I enjoy most about gardening – the constant learning and experimenting.
I came across this article over at Organic Gardening magazine’s website, and it used many of the same points and examples that are in the How to Grow… book. Read the whole article, but I especially liked the following tid-bits:
…Raised beds save you time, too. One researcher tracked the time it took to plant and maintain a 30-by-30-foot garden planted in beds, and found that he needed to spend just 27 hours in the garden from mid-May to mid-October. Yet he was able to harvest 1,900 pounds of fresh vegetables—that’s a year’s supply of food for three people from about 3 total days of work!
…To get the maximum yields from each bed, pay attention to how you arrange your plants. Avoid planting in square patterns or rows. Instead, stagger the plants by planting in triangles (as shown here). By doing so, you can fit 10 to 14 percent more plants in each bed.
…Interplanting compatible crops saves space, too. Consider the classic Native American combination, the “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash. Sturdy cornstalks support the pole beans, while squash grows freely on the ground below, shading out competing weeds. This combination works because the crops are compatible. Other compatible combinations include tomatoes, basil, and onions; leaf lettuce and peas or brassicas; carrots, onions, and radishes; and beets and celery.