Getting the Most Out of Your Harvests All Season Long

How to Optimize Your Vertical Vegetable Garden This Spring

hot peppers and tomatoes growing on top of a vertical vegetable gardenWith spring right around the corner, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your gardening knowledge to make this year’s harvests your best yet. Curious about our favorite way to get more consistent, regular yields? Two words: succession gardening. In this blog post, we’ll give you our expert insight on how to plant a healthier and easier to maintain vertical vegetable garden this spring.

What is Succession Gardening and Why is it Useful?

How the Succession Gardening Style of Planting Optimizes Your Harvests

a wide selection of nutritious greens growing in a Garden Tower®Simply put, succession gardening is the practice of not planting everything in your garden at the exact same time. By staggering when you plant, you’ll have fresh, organic produce during the entire season rather than a few large harvests within a small time frame. Not only is it the most economical way to grow your own food, but it’s also the most logical when you’re growing within a limited space. Even better? When you’re using our Garden Tower 2, this is the best way to enjoy a variety of different herbs and vegetables all spring and summer long. Plus, it makes for easy companion planting, too!

Succession gardening also allows you to replant some fast-growing veggies later on in the season. This way, you’re able to grow your favorite foods during the entire season. No matter if you’re growing vertically or in a traditional garden, succession gardening is a great method for everyone.

How to Plan For Harvests All Season Long

Implementing Succession Gardening Into Your Vertical Vegetable Garden

a variety of different herbs, vegetables, and greens growing in the top of a Garden Tower®Great news—if you’re growing with our Tower, the rows and columns allow for easy organization and labeling for succession planting. It’s also relatively simple to plan out this planting style, too! First, we recommend calculating your weekly vegetable intake. Since this part is so subjective, we’ll let you decide what to grow on your own. After this, you can begin to organize plants by how long they take to grow. Then, stagger their planting by 2-4 weeks.

This allows you to have a variety of different freshly harvested vegetables throughout the gardening season instead of all at one time. It also reduces waste, as you have more time to eat the plants you grow between harvests! And, as everyone knows, less waste equals more money saved.

Fully optimizing your successional gardening for the highest performance requires planning, and a dedicated area to get your seeds started so that your starts are vigorously growing when it's time to replace a finished crop in your tower.  Add seed-starting dates to your calendar! - Joel Grant, Co-Founder, Garden Tower Project

Because you’ll need seedlings at different times throughout the growing season, we recommend using a seedling heat mat and starting your seeds indoors for the best, most consistent results. This gives you more control over your garden compared to if you bought seedlings in a store—plus, it’ll save you money, too! Not only does this allow you to watch your seedlings grow, but you’ll also be able to closely monitor their health and ensure that they’re organic. Finally, interspersing herbs throughout the growing season can give your dishes an extra touch of flavor and help create a stronger garden through companion planting.

Planting “Cut and Come Again” Greens in Your Vertical Vegetable Garden

Keep the Greens Coming With This Simple Trick

an abundance of kale growing in multiple vertical vegetable gardensAnother one of our favorite methods to get more out of your garden is by using the “cut and come again” harvesting technique. This method is exactly how it sounds—when you harvest the older, bottom leaves of the plant, the center continues to produce more leaves, creating the “come again” part of the saying. Fun fact: this is mostly done with greens because of how they grow. 

A trick that we find helpful is harvesting the oldest leaves while they are still relatively young (around 3-4 inches tall) to ensure that the plant never has time to mature and end its growing cycle. Plus, if you’re growing something like kale, the leaves can get bitter when left in the summer heat for too long. One of the most important parts of this technique is to never cut from the center, as this will kill the new growth. Many of these plants will have harvest-ready leaves in 30-40 days, so get ready for delicious greens!

Now that you’ve learned our hottest tips and tricks on succession gardening, you’re already halfway to a bountiful, sustainable garden. All that’s left to do is implement this planting technique into your vertical vegetable garden! Want to sink your teeth into even more expert advice before you begin? Visit Garden Tower Project today for knowledge on all things gardening.

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