High yield vegetables are great for gardeners with small spaces. Gracing your dinner table with the produce from your own garden definitely enhances the flavor of food. It gives you a sense of pride, contentment, and joy.
To enjoy fresh fruits and veggies you do not need a large backyard. A small space will also suffice. I have compiled a whole list of fast-growing, high-yield vegetables to meet your gardening goals.
Believe me when I say that space is not an issue; all you need is passion and patience. Don’t let your small garden keep you from growing lots of healthy vegetables. To top it all, growing your own veggies gives a better alternative to rapidly growing costs of food. It also makes you more conscious regarding healthier food choices.
A lot of the plants in this list can be easily grown in containers as well (smart pots are excellent for this). So if you have a small patio or a deck, you are good to go. An added perk of starting small is that you won’t give up half way since you won’t be taking on too much at once.
Shallots, a member of the onion family, give a nice taste and texture to dishes and a fresh crunch when added to salads. It is fairly easy to plant; a single immature bulb can yield as many as five or six shallots. You can also easily store it during winters.
Purple shallots our the best variety to grow. They are sweet and higher in nutrients than the white variety. I’ve always found David’s Garden Seeds to have the best quality starter bulbs.
A sunny spot and a container are all you need. Grape or cherry tomatoes are easy to plant and yield a cluster of fruits within few days. Cherry tomatoes are especially easy to grow since you can grow them in hanging baskets, beds or borders.
Sweet Million is by far the most productive tomato we’ve grown. It’s great for small yards to as it produces heaps of cherry tomatoes all season long.
Grow carrots in 2 or 3 small rows in the ground or use a rectangular tub. Make ½ inch depressions which are 3-4 inches apart, now sow 2 seeds in each. Water your plant and wait patiently; carrot plants do not like to be disturbed. You will see true leaves appear after a while.
Snip off weaker ones with the help of sharp scissors. Do not try pulling out the leaves as it can disturb newly formed seedlings. When carrot tops become visible just layer up with more soil. You can enjoy sweet tender carrots in about 2-3 months.
Nantes carrots are an old and reliable favorite for backyard gardeners.
All cucumbers need is a little support, lots of water and some sunshine. Rich compost will also aid in high yield and fast growth. In a few weeks, you will have amazing cukes at your disposal.
You can train vine varieties along the roof trims or stretch them in between two poles with the help of a string. Harvest it regularly to avoid weighing down the vines. Compact or bush varieties thrive in containers.
David’s Garden Slicing Diva cukes are very productive and grow small and compact.
Potatoes are an excellent choice for a small space garden. They can grow perfectly well even in a container. You will need a flexible container with good drainage, like plastic, grow bags or potatoes bags. Fill the container half way up with some good quality, loose potting mixture. As you see small potatoes forming on the roots near the surface, just cover them with more soil.
As a rule of thumb, you can grow up to 5 plants in a 5-gallon pot. At harvest time, just overturn the bag and shake it to get out the potatoes.
Kennebec potatoes are one of the best varieties for pest resistance and hyper productivity. Just one tuber can yield 15 or more spuds at the end of the season (that’s 50% more than most varieties).
Potatoes are great for container gardens. For more high yield container garden plants click here.
Zucchini is healthy, nutritious and matures very quickly. Depending upon the amount of sunlight that your garden receives, a single plant of zucchini can easily feed a family for weeks. You can grow the plant even in a container.
Due to zucchini having the habit of growing everywhere, some gardeners tend to grow them vertically on trellis or supports so that they can conserve as much garden space as possible. Add multipurpose compost to your soil and put the container on a sunny spot. You will enjoy fresh zucchinis in no time!
I grow Black Beauty Zucchini almost every year and they never disappoint!
Beets are another useful vegetable that you can grow in small space. Even the green leaves of beets are edible, so nothing goes in vain. Sow the seeds 3-4 inches apart and water regularly. Since beets are considered a root crop, they can be grown in partial shade or full sun. It grows to maturity in approximately 55 days so the garden space is vacated relatively fast.
Detroit Dark Red is a fast growing, juicy and tender beet. If you haven’t grown it before then I certainly recommend it!
Swiss or Rainbow Chard
One can never put enough emphasis on the benefits of leafy, green vegetables. Plus planting them is a productive use of small space and they give leaves for a long time during the season. It’s also an ornamental plant thus growing it at the edges of your garden will provide you with a beautiful and harvestable landscape.
If you want high yield then forgo the bright and colorful chard varieties and grow Fordhook Giant. It’s massive, with leaves reaching up to 3 feet across!
Salad leaves or Lettuce
If you love greens, just like me, you will definitely want to grow lettuce. As long as you don’t damage the crown, you can continue to pluck leaves all season long. Some varieties that can easily be grown include mesclun, oak leaf, and red sails.
Plant the seeds 6 inches apart. You can also use a container or a pot. Remember to harvest leaves regularly on the leafy-ones. On the other hand, cabbage head types should be harvested as a whole.
Lettuce lovers collection has some great continuous picking varieties that you can harvest again and again over the season. There’s a few heading lettuces too, but they are slow to bolt and can be harvested weeks after they head up.
Instead of stripping the whole plant bare, just remove few leaves from each plant and you will be able to enjoy kale all summer till early spring. As kale is a perennial plant it has a policy of plant once and harvests repeatedly. Kale does not take a lot of space and requires minimum effort to grow. From Tuscany to curly greens and Russian to scarlet, the diverse varieties of kale always keep you entertained!
Dinosaur kale is my all time favorite. It’s almost impossible to kill and has the most nutrients of all the different kale varieties. You can practically sow and forget this tough but tender green leafy plant.
What makes peppers an ideal plant for a meager garden plot? For one, they grow up, rather than out. Second, different colors and sizes make them a perfect ornamental plant. If you plan to grow them in a pot, keep the pot outside for maximum sun exposure and bring them in when the night time temperature becomes low.
If you plan to grow them in open space than choose a spot where the colors of pepper will brighten the mood of your miniature garden and provide you with a bit of beautiful scenery.
Peppers come in all sizes and shapes. The most productive among them is California Wonder Bell which has great pest resistance and grows big juicy peppers quickly.
While planting radishes, use a rich compost mixture, sow seeds 2-3 inches apart. Little sprouts will begin to appear in about 3 to 4 days. You can enjoy tangy, bright and delicious radishes in about 30-35 days. Radishes are really quick to grow, so you can replant their spot with some other plant after you are finished harvesting them.
All radishes are fast growing, but my favorite is early scarlet. It has bright red bulbs and a delicate peppery taste.
Radishes are great for beginner gardeners. For more easy to grow beginner gardener crops click here.
Herbs add flavor and taste to the blandest of dishes. Plus they can easily be fitted around different plants because they don’t have trouble sharing spaces with other plants. Grow an array of herbs to savor different tastes.
- Oregano: One or two plants of oregano are enough to fill your kitchen needs. Oregano enjoys sun, so choose a sunny spot for them. If you grow them in a pot, make sure that you put the container under the sun every now and then.
- Mint: Mint plant is an essential for every kitchen. It loves plenty of water and rich soil. Mint has a tendency to spread like wildfire, so it is best to either grow it in a pot or keep a close eye if you sow it in the ground.
- Parsley: Parsley does well in partial shade, so you can easily grow it in a spot that does not get too much sunlight. In a pot, it can be grown all year round. Curly-leaved variety is mild flavored while the flat-leaved parsley has very strong flavor and fragrance.
- Chives: As compared to other herbs, chives do not spread out everywhere so they are relatively neat plants. Purple-pinkish flowers contrast beautifully with thin deep-green leaves, presenting a remarkably enticing picture. Container grown plant can be kept on going all year. Garden variety dies off as the season ends, but regenerates during next season.
Squash are known to have messy vines that can take up valuable garden space. Luckily with the vertical growing method, this is no longer an issue. The easiest option is to build a trellis and when your squash is sufficiently big, gently weave it around the trellis. Though do remember to place the trellis in a sunny place. Now you can have both squash and space.
If you’re tight on space then try growing this space saving Honey Butternut Squash.
Peas are supposed to be planted 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart if you’re directly planting in the ground. However it is best to use containers or if you prefer, use supports to vertically grow them. This not only has the advantage of controlling the growth of the peas but also preserving space in your garden. Since they grow best in the cool season, you can plant and harvest them before summer comes, by which point you can recycle the space by planting something new.
Sugar Snap green peas are easily the most productive and reliable growers here in the US. The pods can get as big as 4 inches in length too! Just make sure you pick them when they are still tender.
The best part of pole beans is that they are grown vertically and tend to sprout much more quantity then planted so you can have a good yield in a small space. The perfect way is to wound them up a trellis. When properly grown they make a great addition to a healthy meal. With regular harvesting pole beans should bear all summer.
Try the Kentucky Blue Pole Bean for a fast growing, high yield crop with excellent flavor.
Runner beans are most easy to grow on supports as they tend to grow quite big. It’s actually best to plant them in small pots and when they reach a proper size, transfer them to your garden with tall firm supports.
The red leaves of the runner bean provide your garden with some beauty and color as well. Plus they are quite expensive in stores. When harvesting, make sure that the beans are harvested before they reach a length of 25 cm to ensure they are tender.
Scarlet Runner is one of my all time favorite crops to grow. From one tiny little seed you can grow a huge, productive vine with an endless supply of tender beans!
Tips for Growing Vegetables
- Grow vegetables that you like. There is no sense in putting efforts to grow veggies that you don’t like. Why plant kale when you can’t stand its taste?
- Choose plants that will continue bearing vegetables all season long. For example, plant leafy vegetables from which you can harvest a few leaves continuously. Moreover, peas and beans are also an excellent choice as they will keep on producing the more you pick them.
- Experiment with growing different varieties. Try growing vegetables that you commonly do not find on the supermarket shelves.
- Most importantly, be patient. You may not get bucket loads of veggies on your first try, but don’t be discouraged. You’ll get a hang of it soon enough.
- You can also grow some edible flowers in your small garden. They enhance the beauty of your garden and can be used as flavor enhancers in dishes. Companion plants such as Calendula, Borage etc would be a nice addition. They attract the pollinators and also act as sacrificial plants that pests eat first thus leaving your veggies alone.
The high yield vegetables listed above will ensure you make the most of your small garden space. By growing crops that produce big harvests from little effort, you’ll have more time to focus on your other more demanding crops. The quality and quantity of your harvests will greatly benefit.
To really boost the production of your crops, apply liquid fish emulsion every 2-3 weeks. Not only does it feed the plants but it also improves the flavor and helps protect against pests!
If you’re short on space, try growing your crops in containers! Check out the 15 Best Container Gardening Fruit To Grow For Huge Harvests