High yield gardening does not take extensive effort, it requires smart planning and a basic knowledge of agriculture. A well built 24 X 8 foot raised garden bed complete with vertical growing can yield enough produce to feed a family of three vegetarians for the year.
Building rounded, raised beds will drastically increase the nutritional quality of your crops as well as cut the chances of disease and weed growth due to close spacing of the plants. With an increased soil depth the roots of your plants can receive more nutrients and more consistent water consumption. The resulting harvest will be of a superior nutritional quality as long as the soil is healthy. Having organized raised beds make routine maintenance such as watering and sowing much easier and efficient. The purpose of having rounded beds increases the overall space to plant without sacrificing any additional space.
Growing vines and certain plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, squash and melon in a vertical direction with the help of cages, trellises, fences and stakes can dramatically increase your overall yield due to taking up much less space. Vertical growing lessens the chance of fungal disease spreading through the crop due to increased air circulation and the presence of no standing water.
Frequent harvesting the same crop will also dramatically increase yield, and utilizing the cut and grow technique for crops such as greens and lettuces will do the same. Also planting perennial plants such as berries, ginger, rhubarb, asparagus, potatoes, sorell and artichokes will constantly yield and require little to no attention besides watering and harvesting, because they will simply continue to grow year to year.
The more difficult aspect of getting a high yield crop is managing crop rotation within your plot, and implementing succession/crop rotation techniques. Planting crops with different harvesting times in the same space in order to get a variety of produce, and regulating the move of crops season to season to maintain optimum soil nutrients and complimenting affect can take some research and time to determine how you want to go about it. At this point gardening needs an almost artistic design with agricultural knowledge to maximize your yields and quality.
You can stretch your growing season by a few weeks on either side by planting temperature sensitive crops such as melons before the turn of season with the insulation of blankets, row covers and heaters much like a greenhouse. By doing this you can harvest earlier and squeeze another crop in before the season ends, maximizing your overall yield.
To save money in the long run it is good to use heirloom seeds, since they can be reharvested from the crop and used again. If you do not use heirloom seeds chances are that they may be GMO seeds which will not be fertile for subsequent crops. Checking the soil quality of your plot annually can help to regulate the rotations and techniques you have in place to optimize your growth and increase efficiency. For the best soil quality be sure to use natural fertilizers, preferably organic fish and seaweed emulsions, and be sure to maintain a healthy composting bin with regular additions to and from the garden.
Lastly it would be a shame to put all that effort in only to have your produce spoil and end up in the compost, so with each harvest save what you are not going to eat by pickling, canning and drying what you can to curb waste and spoilage. For items such as onions, garlic and potatoes it is best to keep them in a cold and dark location to maximize their longevity.
In maintaining a high yield garden there is a good chance that you will have more than you and your family may need, so there is economic opportunity in selling your fresh produce or preserved items to people within your community, giving you a chance to make some good money on the side.