April 22, 2015 Phil Maunder

As a gardener you are probably proud of your produce and would do anything to maximise your harvest so that you can enjoy fresh tomatoes in mid-autumn. This is not an easy task, especially if the climate in your region does not permit it. However, there are a few tricks you can do to protect your produce from bad weather conditions and move your harvest time up by a couple of months. If you want to know what they are, scroll down to read this article.

Plant perennials

Not only are perennials easy to maintain, they save planting time as they return year after year. Not to mention you save seeds. Most of the time these plants only need mulching, feeding and weeding. In order to create a low-maintenance garden, you can go for planting perennials. Besides, you will enjoy crops all year long. There are a variety of perennials, some of which thrive in cold weather and others in warmer climates. Choose the type of plants that grow in your area. Some of your options include: onions, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, etc.

Protect your crops from the elements

One way to maximise your harvest is to use low tunnels, cold frames and cloches in order to keep your produce from the elements. These devices can also help keep deer away. In summer you may have to protect your crops against storms, whereas in autumn it is frost you need to worry about.

Grow your favourite varieties

Whatever plants you choose to grow, don't forget to make space for the ones you love the most. There is no need to grow plants you don't eat or sell. By opting for the produce you like, you can focus on it heart and soul without wasting time on other less important crops. You will be able to spend more time taking care of your veggies and herbs.

Don't overplant

If you are a novice gardener, this one is especially for you. Thrilled by the idea of growing your own garden, you may make a big mistake – planting more crops you could eat or use. As big as a tomato lover you may be, there is really no need to plant 40 tomato plants if your family consists of your spouse, your Golden Retriever that doesn't eat tomatoes and you. About 10 to 15 tomato plants will suffice if you tend to freeze, dry or can food. The only reason to grow more plants is that you want to sell them. Otherwise it is just a waste of food, money and time.

Choose crops that grow well in your climate and garden

Gardeners in Clapham are advising you to take your time to recap what crops thrive in your climate and what crops you are better at growing. If there are plants you fail to grow, you had better steer clear of them. Generally, you want to choose produce that is easy to grow so that you maximise your harvest in the long run. If you are looking to achieve food self-sufficiency, grow as many of the plants you are good at as possible. But don't go to extremes. You don't want to overplant. Celebrity Tomato

More tips:

Instead of waiting, harvest early and often to maximise reproduction. The more you pick, the more to pick.
Remove weeds occasionally
Use chemical-free fertilisers and compost to stimulate plant growth
Water as often as necessary
If your garden is shady, choose plants that thrive in the shade, and vice versa
Use your garden space efficiently; your options include vertical gardening, planting in blocks, planting in rows, etc.

So basically, you need to be mindful of the plants you grow. Consider whether they suit your climate, whether they grow well in your garden and whether you really need them. Of course, don't grow more of what you would really need. Last but not least, use different tools to protect your crops from frost, storms and other bad weather conditions. These are the most important things to consider when putting in a garden. Keep it simple and clean.