Productive Crops to Grow in the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis goes over the go-to crops that are the most productive in the vegetable garden. His go-to most productive crops that can be grown for 10 months out of the year is Lacinato Kale and Tiger Collards. The Lacinato kale is an heirloom variety that produces long and slender leaves year-round. Typically we plant this kale variety in the early fall and it will grow throughout the entire winter and spring. However, if we plant it in the spring it will grow well in the warmer months as well. Although you can direct seed the Lacinato kale we recommend transplanting this variety. Transplanting allows for more consistent plant spacing and reduces weed pressures from taking over when the seedlings are in the early stages in the vegetable garden. To harvest, you simply pull the bottom leaves off and leave a few at the top so the plant can continue to grow during the growing season. This variety continues to produce well and should be harvested at least every other week. Much like the Lacinato Kale, the Tiger Collards can be grown throughout 10 months out of the year. The Tiger Collards can be planted during the fall and spring growing seasons. They are extremely bolt resistant so they grow well in the warmer and colder weather conditions. The Tiger collard variety can be either direct-seeded or transplanted. You can use our walk-behind garden seeder to direct seed dense plants rows in the garden. If you prefer to transplant you can use our seed starting trays leaving plants ready to go in the ground with weather conditions are just right. Much like kale, when harvesting the Tiger collards we pluck the bottom leaves and leave a few at the top to get continuous growth. These two different varieties of plants are the most productive crops to grow in the vegetable garden due to getting high yields and can be grown 10 months out of the year, unlike other crops.
Why is Crop Rotation Important?
Growing different types of vegetables in the same garden spot over several growing seasons will help improve the productivity of crops. Planting the same crop in the same spot year after year can cause several problems in the garden. The first problem it can cause is the decrease of soil nutrients. When planting in the same spot you are draining the soil from the same nutrients needed for plant growth. Another problem is the increase in pest pressures. Having the same crop in the same spot can leave the area as a comfortable habitat for pest because they get used to the crop being in that area. By incorporating a better crop rotation you can eliminate those problems in the vegetable garden. With better crop rotation, this allows for a variety of different plants to be grown in the garden allowing for different nutrients for plants to be taken up in the soil. Another benefit of leaving the garden fallow between seasons allows for the replenish of nutrients in the vegetable garden. We like to incorporate cover crops during the warmer months when it’s harder to grow vegetables. Some cover crops such as Sorghum Sudangrass, Diakon Radish, and Winter Rye will help build the soil nutrients. While the Sunn Hemp, Brown Top Millet, and Buckwheat all help with suppressing weed pressures in the vegetable garden. So instead of having one large garden spot, it is best to break up the garden area into subplots to enforce an easier and manageable crop rotation in the vegetable garden.