How to improve fruit yields in a small home vegetable garden?

Asked August 19, 2018, 4:54 PM EDT

The past couple of years the plants (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, etc.) in our little (10x12) garden plot have been looking kind of puny. Early this Spring I applied and tilled under chicken manure fertilizer. This season the all the plants looked healthy and robust, but except for the cucumbers, have produced very low, or in the case of the squash, no yields. I was thinking that I might also need to add more organic matter to the soil. There are large oak and sycamore trees, and we get a ton of leaves every year. Are those okay to use in garden soil? If so, what would be the best method of preparing/applying them? Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Clark County Kentucky

1 Response


I would highly recommend pulling a soil sample from the garden and bringing it to the Extension Office for us to send of for proper analysis. This will let us know accurately what types of nutrients the garden soil need instead of guessing. The leaves can work if properly composted but I am guessing they are probably doing more harm than good at this point. They can lower the soil pH and make the soil too acidic for these types of vegetable crops. Again, we would need to run a soil sample to be sure of this, the samples are free. Feel free to call the office at 859-744-4682 with any questions about this. Ask for David.