Gardening: Creating a Summer-Long Vegetable Harvest

The first year you grow a vegetable garden, it's easy to have far too much of a good thing. There'll suddenly be an enormous amount of one crop, and soon your family will be complaining about the endless carrots they're forced to eat in every meal.

But there is a way to plan things out so you can enjoy a vegetable harvest all summer-long, and into the fall.

Variety Look for varieties that produce crops at different points of the year. In one garden, you might plant both early, middle, and late tomatoes.You'll spend more on seeds, but this also ensures that if one variety doesn't do well in your soil or climate, you'll still have juicy tomatoes.

Planting Rather than planting a whole seed packet at once, try planting successive batches. Every two weeks, sow another row. This way, their harvests will be similarly spaced out.

Picking Crops like lettuces will last longer if you pick them at the right time and from the right place. Though you can start to harvest as soon as young leaves appear, you'll be better off waiting until the plant has developed a little more, and then just picking 3-4 leaves from the outside of the plant.

What are your tricks for planting a successful vegetable garden?

(Image: Carnwrite via Flickr licensed under Creative Commons.)

Related: Garden Month: The Weekend Gardener