Grow “high Yield” Plants When Your Gardening Time Is Limited

The year I grew peas, I was momentarily proud of myself: I tended them for weeks, collected a large basket full of pods, sat down to shell them … and in the end I only had enough for a small side dish. As much as I loved peas, it was a lot of work for very little return.

If your time is limited, or if you are a budding gardener and are unsure which plants are worth the effort, there is a way to stack the deck in favor of getting more crops: plant “high yield” crops. This is advice from a book called Twenty Minutes of the Grower , and it made me a happy gardener for years to come.

For example, if you plant hot peppers, one pepper can add a ton of homemade flavor to a dish. The same goes for almost any herb, which is why there is always mint and garlic in my garden. (They’re hard to kill, too.) Lettuce is another easy crop to harvest at any time, which is why it tops our list of the best plants for beginners .

Radishes will also add a lot of flavor with a little effort. Tomatoes are more of a job, but they’re still within reach for many of us, and the first time you bite into a homegrown sun-ripened tomato is a serious wow.

Feel free to plant peas too if you have the time and space. Cautious gardeners may want to stick to only high-yielding crops, while more daring ones may want to use them for seasoning and salads, expecting more fussy plants. After all, when I ate this tiny handful of peas, I seasoned it with a few leaves of a resistant and potent mint.

Photo J. . E. McGowan .


Leave a Reply