Garden & Greenhouse July 2017 Issue - Page 53

The quickest way to achieve deep and fertile soil is making raised beds; they can yield more than three times the amount of produce harvested from open space gardens. They also save time and help ensure crops attract fewer weeds. Round Out the Beds Raised beds are ideal for getting high organic garden yields but their shape does matter. Rounded raised beds that are 5 feet wide at the base and long increase the available planting area. They offer 20 percent more planting space when compared to rectangular or square shaped raised beds. Space the Crops Ensure the crops are properly spaced and try to avoid organized rows or square patterns. Instead, plant in triangles or simply scatter the plants. This allows you to plant more plants while still ensuring they are adequately spaced. Lack of spacing stresses plants and makes them more susceptible to diseases. Grow Vegetables Vertically You can grow more vegetables by embracing vertical gardening. Vining crops like pole beans, melons, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers can be supported with trellises, stakes, cages or fences to grow straight up. Vertical gardening also saves you maintenance and harvesting. Try growing vin- ing crops along the side of the raised beds using a nylon mesh or post. Grow Different Crops This is known as inter-planting and offers nu- merous benefi ts. Corn, beans and squash are good companion plants because they support each other. For instance, corn stalks can support pole beans while squash grows freely helping eliminate poten- tially competitive weeds. Practice Succession Planting Succession planting allows you to plant and har- vest as many as 3 crops from a si ngle area during one growing season. For example, an early lettuce crop can be followed by a quick maturing corn crop and greens or garlic after that. Stretch the Season Extending the growing season a few weeks gives you time to plant and harvest a succession crop or to harvest more p roduce of existing crops. GG Background information for this article was provided by MCGBio- CONTAINMENT CAGES Prevent cross contamination ■ Keep bugs in ■ Keep bugs out ■ All systems custom made ■ Mesh covers ■ Colors Available: Natural and Green Mesh Size: 18x18, 20x20, 52x52 Metal frame tube/fi tting style Waterproof rain jackets available Protect yourself from late season rain. Leader of Safe and Organic Products Redwood Empire Awning ■ PHONE: 707.588.9900 ■ July 2017 • • (805) 650-8918 53