Top 10 Most Prolific Vegetables for the Vegetable Garden

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There can be many definitions for what “prolific” means depending on the context you use. For most vegetable gardeners prolific means a plant that produces an abundance of vegetables in one season.

There are many prolific vegetables you can grow in a home garden that will give you the best bang for your buck. It is difficult to beat a plant that provides a continuous stream of delicious vegetables throughout the season.

Since it is the perfect time of the year to work on your garden plan, perhaps these prolific vegetables should be considered for your garden this year.

Here are the top ten most prolific vegetables you can grow in your vegetable garden.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are hands down the most popular vegetable grown in gardens today. It is estimated that about one-third of all vegetable plants sold are tomato plants.

There is a reason why – not only are tomatoes delicious and useful, but most varieties continually produce tomatoes all season long. It’s not a stretch to say that you could possibly get 40 or 50 pounds of tomatoes from just one plant in a season.

Recommendations

Hybrid

Celebrity

Better Boy

Early Girl

Big Beef

Fresh Salsa

Heirloom

Brandywine Pink

Cherokee Purple

Mortgage Lifter

Beefsteak

Eggplant

Eggplant is in the same family as tomatoes, so it would be crazy to leave them out of the top ten.

Eggplant is quite hardy, and can produce enough to last a small family from one plant. Eggplant seed need warm temperatures (about 70°F) to germinate, and performs better the hotter the temperatures get.

Recommendations

Black Beauty

Crescent Moon

Fairy Tale

Summer Squash

Most summer squash plants can produce so much fruit that you will be begging relatives and neighbors to take a few home.

Summer squash plants continually produce fruit to last well into the winter when properly preserved. They are also very easy to grow, and need little attention in order to thrive.

Recommendations

Early Prolific Straightneck

Sunburst Scalloped

Eight Ball zucchini

Cucumbers

A well-maintained cucumber vine can supply you with crisp, juicy cucumbers all season long. These are a must for any pickle or fresh salad lover!

Cucumbers grow very quickly, and can easily produce 3 or 4 cucumbers a day per vine. They do require quite a bit of water once the vine begins blooming. Once you begin finding blooms on your vine, keep a close watch – those cucumbers can become ready to pick within just a few days.

Recommendations

Marketmore 76 (Slicing)

Lemon (Specialty)

National Pickling (Pickling)

Bush Champion (Bush)

Okra

If you have never grown okra, then you are missing out on one of the most prolific vegetable plants available.

Okra plants start producing in late spring (depending on your climate), and do not slow down until the first frost in fall. Okra can grow to a height in excess of eight feet, and produces those tasty green pods very quickly.

Once you find some blooms on the plant, then you need to keep an eye on it every day. Avoid letting the pods get very large with most varieties, they taste better when small and tender. One okra plant can produce in excess of 20 pounds of okra in a season depending on the variety you grow.

Recommendations

Clemson Spineless

Burgundy

North & South

Pole Beans

Pole beans are the workhorse of the vegetable garden. These quick growing green beans can easily produce pod after pod, supplying you with a steady crop all season. Pole beans can also be grown in groups that make harvesting a breeze.

Grow pole beans up a trellis, tee pee, or pole for an easy and productive crop.

Recommendations

Kentucky Wonder, Blue Lake, Kentucky Blue

Bush Beans

Bush beans are very similar to pole beans, except they grow more as a bush than as a climbing vine. Bush beans can also be just as prolific as pole beans. Bush beans do well for someone with little gardening room, as they can help to save some space. They are also ideal for a novice gardener.

Recommendations

Early Contender, Blue Lake 274, Tenderpick

Peppers

Peppers are not only a great addition to stews, chilies, and salads, but also to the vegetable garden. There are many different pepper variations for flavor, size, shape, and heat – ranging from sweet bell peppers, to the scorching hot habanero. Most pepper plants are very prolific and supply steady crop yields. Peppers are very easy to grow and do not have many issues with disease.

Recommendations

California Wonder Bell Pepper, Bananarama Sweet Banana Pepper, Poblano Pepper, El Jefe Jalapeno

Garden Peas

Green garden peas are also extremely prolific in the home vegetable garden. Growing green peas is much the same as pole beans. Just give these guys a place to climb and they will take off!

Recommendations

Wando, Spring, Maestro

Potatoes

Many varieties of potatoes produce new potatoes all season long. Potatoes are very easy to grow, and do not need much attention other than watering and harvesting. The great thing about potatoes is they can be stored for long periods of time. It only takes a few seed potatoes to keep a small family well-fed all season, and into the deep winter months.

Recommendations

Red Pontiac, Kennebec, Yellow Finn

The best thing about the vegetables discussed here is that most of them are very easy to grow. These make great vegetables for a novice gardener as well. If you have a vegetable that you feel is a prolific producer in your garden, please feel free to mention it. I’d love to learn about it.

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Comments

  1. Those of us in the “deep” south have a hard time growing white potatoes due to the high heat and excessive humidity in July and August. If planted very early the often do well. However, sweet potatoes grown like a weed. So I would recommend that in place of white potatoes

    • Hi Kitty, recommending sweet potatoes is a great idea for those that live in the deep south. The Red Pontiac potatoes that I typically grow are very prolific in the early and late times of the season, and do slow down in the “dog days” of summer. When they are producing it is sometimes more than I can keep up with.

      Thanks for mentioning sweet potatoes….. a great addition to the top prolific vegetables for the vegetable garden.

      • Tee we planted sweet potato for the first time this year and yes it’s going crazy! Question…how do I know when it’s ready to harvest and is there any way to contain it a little more? It seems to be taking over.

        • Hi Stephanie, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest at any point during maturity for the most part. It can depend on the variety you are growing sometimes. Sweet potatoes are generally mature between 100 to 140 days from planting. Also, once you dig them up make sure to cure them for 2 – 3 weeks in a warm, humid location before using.

          Thanks for the comments :)

          Tee

  2. fran woodruff says:

    does eggplant grow on a vine or is it a bush

  3. Hi I have had a vegetable garden each summer in Pennsylvnia for the past 5 years and I’ve learned a little more each year. I have a very small garden plot. It is only about 5×10. So I am looking to maximize space but also plant highly prolific crops so that I can get the most bang for my buck. Your top ten list is very helpful. I have two questions. I have always planted red and green peppers but they never seem to produce much and don’t mature until the growing season is almost over, any advice. Also, any tips for trellising Zucchini to save space? THanks

    • Hi Jen – I’m assuming you are referring to red and green bell peppers? Bell peppers generally perform best in cooler temperatures and may slow down a bit when temperatures get really hot. You can try planting them a bit sooner in the season, and maybe supply some shade during really hot weather. Not too much shade, they still need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day, but provide some shade during the hottest times of the day.

      You can also give them a feeding of compost, or organic fertilizer when the blooms begin setting fruit. You can use the same kind of fertilizer for tomatoes, like Tomato-tone.

      It’s kind of difficult to really trellis zucchini because most varieties are a big bush. You can try to grow some compact zucchini like ‘Zucchini Select’ or ‘Long Green Striped’. These varieties don’t grow as large as most others.

      You can also do some succession planting in your garden to maximize space. For example, let’s say you want to grow lettuce and zucchini in your garden. You plant lettuce in early spring (like late February to early April), but zucchini shouldn’t be planted until late May/ early June. So plant the lettuce in a zig zag fashion. The lettuce will continue to grow until get close to harvesting size.

      Once it gets close to May / June you plant the zucchini transplants in the gaps between the lettuce. The lettuce can soon be harvested to allow room for the zucchini plants. You basically grow two vegetables in the same location.

      I hope that made sense to you. If I confused the mess out of you, zip me an email and I’ll explain it further. :)

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