5 Productive Garden Vegetables Every Homestead Should Grow

Gardening can be both costly and time-consuming, so plant these 5 productive vegetables to ensure you get back a bountiful return on investment!

by Austin Graf
PHOTO: pavelkant/Adobe Stock

There are few things worse than spending a small fortune on a garden just to grow a tomato or two. Gardening can be expensive. Gardens are a huge time commitment and, honestly, a lot of work. So, it’s important to select the right varieties of garden vegetables to make all of that worth it!

We know that you want to have mountains and mountains of produce from your garden to justify all that investment of time and money. So here are five of the most productive high-yielding vegetables every gardener should grow!


Tomatoes are one of the most productive and highest-yielding vegetables of the summer garden. One packet of tomato seeds can produce a dozen tomato plants, each of which can yield pounds and pounds of tomatoes. 

Tomatoes are typically categorized by indeterminate or determinate varieties. Indeterminate tomato varieties will continue to grow and produce tomatoes all season long. These varieties produce huge quantities of delicious tomatoes over the course of the season.

Determinate tomato varieties do not produce tomatoes as long into the season. Instead, the fruit of determinant tomato varieties ripen simultaneously, making this an ideal crop for canning and saucing!

Whether you choose determinate, indeterminate, or a mixture of both, tomatoes—when properly cared for—can produce very large crops of delicious summertime fruit.

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Salad Greens

Every good garden has a few greens planted here and there! Greens are potentially one of the most productive and high-yield crops per square foot in the garden. Lettuces, spinaches, kales—they can all be very prolific.

Just one packet of seeds can keep you eating more greens than you ever thought possible!

The most wonderful thing about growing greens is that they can be planted in small spaces and almost anyone can find the garden space to grow some greens! They also thrive in cooler weather, which can extend your growing season and therefore extend your overall season’s productivity. 


Everyone who has grown summer squash knows just how much squash one plant can produce. One day your baby zucchini is tiny, and the next it could feed 10 people—with some to spare!

Summer squash (as well as winter squash) can be very prolific in the garden and produce pounds and pounds of squash. Summer squash varieties, such as yellow squash or zucchini, are among the most productive, producing bumper crops of squash.

Planting a mixture of winter squash and summer squash can produce a longer stand of food as well. Winter squash, such as butternut squash, can be stored for months, while summer squash should be eaten or preserved promptly after harvest. Overall though, few vegetables are as high yielding as the squash family!


Beans are super producers in the garden! I remember vividly spending long, hot summer days harvesting green beans in the garden every single day, and snapping them and canning them almost every single evening. It always seemed like the beans would grow faster than I could ever possibly harvest.

Pole beans, when grown vertically, are incredibly high yielding per square foot of garden space. While bush bean varieties are less productive per square foot, they still produce countless pounds of beans that you can enjoy!


Cucumbers are fast growing and produce countless cucumbers per plant. Pickling cucumbers produce huge amounts, and as pickling varieties, are ideal for pickling, storing and enjoying for a longer term.

One packet of seed can supply you with plenty of cucumbers. By employing vertical growing techniques, the space requirements are pretty small and therefore produce a large volume of produce per square foot.

Overall, gardening is worth it no matter what you’re growing. But it doesn’t hurt to make the most of your garden with these high-yielding and productive plants for maximum vegetables!

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