Looking for a high-yielding garden with the most prolific plants?
Gardening enthusiasts turn to vegetable gardening for many reasons. Growing plants is a meditative and relaxing hobby, and it gives those who garden a set of tasks and responsibilities that they know they need to complete in order to succeed. Some turn to gardening for the chance to get outside and get their hands dirty.
Some love nature and simply enjoy providing the perfect environment for the plants they choose to grow and spend time outdoors. Whether you’re getting into gardening to save money or trying to outdo your neighbors, the 10 plants on this list offer great value for your time and energy. Plus, everyone loves to give gifts and share their bountiful harvest with friends and family.
So, which crops should you plant if you want to eat a lot of local produce from your garden and have enough yield to spread the wealth?
Tomatoes grow in clusters and a good tomato garden setup could easily produce more tomatoes than you can eat yourself. Cherry tomatoes will yield the most tomatoes but not the greatest yield by weight. Black Mammoth or Beefsteak tomatoes produce a lot of fruit, but not as much fruit as some of the smaller varieties.
Medium-sized tomatoes tend to be the best producers. Varieties such as Ace, lemon, early girl, champion, and celebrity produce their fruit early in the season and continue to bloom throughout the summer, ultimately offering a higher yield than any other plant in your garden.
Expect to see between 4-8 kg of fruit per plant with these tomato cultivars each season. In particularly good seasons, you could see up to 9 kg of fruit per tomato plant. Even if you make a lot of salsa and spaghetti sauce to use year-round, just a few plants should give you more tomatoes than you can eat yourself.
Cucumbers, especially the climbing varieties, are known to produce abundant fruit. If you are canning your cucumbers or growing them in large quantities to share with family or neighbors, the climbing varieties are the way to go. If you don’t need a ton of cucumbers, you can try the creeping varieties, which produce far fewer fruits per growing season.
You can grow quite a few cucumbers in a small space, as long as you have a vertical trellis or structure for them to climb. Just three or four plants should produce 5 kg of cucumbers per season. Since cucumber plants are known to suffer from mid-season decline, it’s best to plant a second crop in mid-summer to ensure that your plants will continue to provide plenty of cucumbers into the fall. Remember to pick your cucumbers when they are immature for the best flavor.
Green beans are much more prolific than the average vegetable crop, usually producing up to 2kg per 3m row you sow. White beans only need to be sown once and will create edible pods again and again throughout October. Like green and bush beans, white beans can also yield 2kg or more from a 3m row. Whichever variety you choose, you’ll have plenty of beans on hand to trade or give away.
Sow your green beans and your white beans at the same time in the spring. Green beans will begin to sprout and develop pods in just a few weeks, while white beans will develop and grow upward. By the time the bush beans have finished harvesting, the white beans will be ready to overflow your bean supply for the rest of the growing season.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Given the right growing conditions, potatoes and sweet potatoes can be grown underground en masse. Plant potatoes after the last spring thaw, between March and April. Place the plants in 3m rows, placing the seeds or plants 30-45cm apart. Each row will yield about 12 kg of potatoes per season, depending on the variety you grow and the conditions you provide.
Position your potatoes in a loose, soft soil mixture that allows the plant’s roots to penetrate easily and form a path through the light soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and water regularly by hand once the plants have bloomed to ensure they will have what they need to produce the next round of potatoes.
There are many storage ideas for potatoes (besides leaving them directly in the ground) that could be a great solution for gardeners who have small garden areas but need large yields. Potatoes can be grown loose between layers of a pile of old pallets or even inside an old trash can.
Squash and Zucchini
Yellow summer squash and green zucchini are vegetable varieties with simple care requirements and large yields. If you have room in your garden, even winter squash crops can provide a high yield. It is much safer to plant these vegetables with a vertical support so they have something to lean on as they climb. The extra support will give them the space and security to grow a bountiful crop without taking up too much valuable garden area.
Plant zucchini three or four times during the season so that a fresh crop is ready to increase production when the old crop begins to decline.
Having lots of zucchini and squash plants will also help with the overall pollination of your garden. New zucchini plants will start to produce lots of male flowers first, but eventually the plants will start to produce both male and female flowers, both of which need to open simultaneously for the plants to produce fruit.
Onions and chives
If you are growing for your daily consumption, you probably have a fairly large space. If you have a lot of extra garden space to work with, why not devote some space to onions, especially spring onions. Cut off the green tops and use the stems as you would green onions in the kitchen, then watch how quickly the shoots grow back to be harvested. Chives require almost no effort, other than the harvesting process itself.
Plant okra in the heat of the summer months, late May through June, and you should get more okra back than you know what to do with. Harvest early and often, as this will help increase the harvest.
Okra is one of the heaviest growers you can choose to grow, which means your plants may very well require harvesting more than once a week. More testing is needed, but early studies have shown that okra production increases during long hot spells and plants grow even faster during the July monsoon rains, so you’ll want to harvest as often as possible.
It only takes 45 days to grow radishes until they are ready for harvest. After harvest, you have the option of growing more radishes again or planting something different.
These easy-to-root and easy-to-grow vegetables can be planted several times a season in a sunny location, and radishes are hardy in almost any growing area, including the regions. The only thing is that radishes will not withstand too much heat, so stop planting radish plants when summer starts to get seriously hot.
All kinds of hot peppers, including jalapeno, tabasco, serrano, etc., are many producers. Pair them with lots of tomato plants and other ingredients for a special salsa sauce garden if you plan to pot your own for gifts.
Chilies grow very well in both hot and cold climates, so as long as your chili plants receive raised beds and sun exposure, you should be bursting with spice in no time. Just keep an eye on the spiciness level of your crops.
As long as the weather is relatively mild, lettuce and other greens such as salads, especially leaf lettuce, will continue to supply your crisper until you have a supply that you can’t eat. Be sure not to cut off the crown of the plant when harvesting, but feel free to harvest individual leaves at any time, and others will grow in their place.
If you and your family eat a lot of lettuce, you may want to save all your lettuce crops for your own kitchen table. But if you eat lettuce once a week or less, lettuce plants are great for spreading the wealth a bit and giving or giving away some of your yield. One of the healthiest and most productive lettuce plants you can grow is romaine.
Some plants may be beautiful or have other assets but produce very little fruit. There are even fruit trees that will not produce anything worth eating for several years.
However, for every species that produces an unimpressive crop, there is another you can grow that will give you an abundance of fresh produce in return. You can freeze some, dry your crops for the winter. At some point, you’ll realize there’s more than enough for everyone. You’ll call your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers with baskets bursting with the healthy goodness of your garden.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.