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LH 56: Tips for High Yield Vegetable Gardening

How to Grow More Food In the Space You Have

Do you ever wish you had more garden space in which to grow food?

I sure do.

So many times, I find myself thumbing through seed catalogs, bummed out that I can’t plant all that I truly want to grow. Since I live in the city and have such limited space, I always figured that I can only get so much yield from my small garden.

I rotate the crops as best I can. But I don’t do too much planning other than planting some of my high yield favorites and rotating out low producers.

And like most people, I always end up with WAY too much zucchini and NOT enough salad greens. (I know you all get this)

But then I read the new book by Colin McCrate and Ben Halm and I learned that by just following some of the same techniques farmers use (but scaled down to our backyard size), I can get a lot more out of my tiny backyard.

And so can YOU!

I asked Colin to come on the show to talk about the book. He offered up tips, tricks and the full low down on getting the most bang for our buck when it comes to growing food.

He didn’t hold back.

In this episode you learn:

  • How just a little planning can make a huge difference
  • What it means to plant in succession
  • What is relay planting
  • How to calculate exactly how much to grow
  • How to double your crop storage time by harvesting correctly

High Yield Vegetable Growing - LivingHomegrown.comColin McCrate:

I first met Colin when he and his business partner Brad Halm had an innovative display garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. (Colin is on the right, Ben is on the left)

They planted a truck with edibles.

Yes, you read that right…a truck, complete with living side walls.

It was extremely cool. It even had an attached chicken coop.

Their landscape firm, The Seattle Urban Farm Company, blends sustainable farming principles with ecological design to create unique, productive outdoor spaces — usually in people’s backyards. (The truck was just a demonstration garden to showcase the idea that food can be grown anywhere).

Colin and Brad have written two books and I highly recommend both of them (see links below).

Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard, is a beginner’s guide to growing crops at home.

And their latest book, High-Yield Vegetable Gardening, is really a continuation of that idea. It takes standard backyard food growing to the next level.

The High Yield Vegetable Gardening book is all about gardening for maximum efficiency and utilizing all your garden space so that your soil is improved and nothing goes to waste.

In other words, the book teaches you how to think like a farmer…but on a smaller scale.

I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast or you can get everything by reading the transcript below.

Colin McCrate -

Resources & Links Mentioned:

High Yield Vegetable GrowingSeattle Urban Farm Company – Colin & Brad’s company

Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard – book by Colin McCrate & Brad Halm

High Yield Vegetable Gardening – book by Colin McCrate & Brad Halm

Making a Planting Calendar

Planting of an Urban Truck – by Cooking Up A Story

Free Planting & Planning Worksheets can be found on the Seattle Urban Farm Company website HERE (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the worksheets)

AgSquared – Online Farm Record Keeping


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #56


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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.