Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

How to Make Your Garden Productive All Year Long


Earlier this month, Jeanne Nolan of The Organic Gardener ventured into the WTTW organic garden for the first round of spring planting – and even a little harvesting.

Now, Nolan explains how she ensures our two raised beds give us fresh vegetables throughout the year.

The beds aren’t big – they measure 8 feet by 4 feet – but as regular viewers know, they have proven to be incredibly productive year after year.

So what’s the secret to our success? Nolan says it’s essential to start with good soil, and then continue to enrich it. But the other key to getting the most out of your vegetable patch is to plant and harvest continuously throughout the season. (Check out our guide to choosing seasonal crops.)

The technique is called “succession planting,” and each month Nolan will show us how to make the most of our home gaden spaces, be they big or small, so we can all enjoy the taste of homegrown fruit and vegetables.

“It’s about maximizing a small space,” says Nolan. “We are planting things very close together and being smart about the rotation … We are going to show an ongoing, harvesting, planting, maximizing production example.”


Related stories:

First Planting of Spring in the Chicago Tonight Garden

Spring Planting Starts with Soil Preparation

Spring Gardening Tips: Thrill, Fill and Spill