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An Abundant Harvest

Gardening expert Melinda Myers of PBS’ Yardwork shares six simple and effective strategies for maximizing your garden’s yield this summer – leaving you extra space, time and energy to sit back and enjoy it.



Elaine St. Louis

Gardening expert Melinda Myers of PBS’ Yardwork shares six simple and effective strategies for maximizing your garden’s yield this summer – leaving you extra space, time and energy to sit back and enjoy it.

Increasing your garden’s productivity comes down to planting, maintenance and harvesting techniques, according to Myers, who has penned more than 20 gardening books.

Check out her tips and cultivate your own natural space:  

> Maximize your planting space with wide rows of four to five feet.  Cutting down on walkways means more planting space.

> Grow short-season crops like lettuce and radishes between long-season crops like cabbage, tomatoes and peppers.  Called  “interplanting,” this technique lets you double your harvest and grow more vegetables instead of weeds between your longer season plants.

> Starting the season with cool season vegetables, like lettuce and spinach, and replacing with beans and onions in the warm weather helps increase your harvest (a technique called “succession planting”).

> Train vine crops up decorative or functional trellises for a practical and attractive look. Growing cucumbers and melons increase light penetration and airflow, while pole beans are much easier to harvest and produce an additional picking.

> Opt for a beautiful above-ground container if in-ground space is limited.  Mixing flowers and herbs in with your vegetables can add beauty and variety with luscious fragrance to boot.

> Harvest often and at the proper time. Sometimes a smaller squash or cabbage will be more flavorful than the baseball-bat sized ones that gain “oohs” and “ahhs” from visitors.

Exercising your green thumb can seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but a little bit of planning and creativity can give you an outdoor space to enjoy all summer long. 

Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated "Melinda’s Garden Moment" segments, which air on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine.  hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. She has written articles for Better Homes and Gardens and Fine Gardening and was a columnist and contributing editor for Backyard Living magazine. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure.  Her web site is www.melindamyers.com   

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