The "Mini" Market Vegetable Gardener

Defined as:   +/- 5000 square feet under cultivation


Some vegetable gardeners get a little carried away.  You may have known of one.  This guide is for them.  A garden this size will produce a lot more than one family can consume.  Probably more than your extended family and friends can keep up with when it really gets going!  Now, you might not be able to sell enough off of it at the local farmer’s market to make a living, but a gardener can dream, can’t they?  Dreams can take you a long way, but successful big gardens also take a lot of planning, inputs, and tools. Read on for an example of an organic program that is comprehensive, yet doable for the almost market gardener.

Organic Vegetable Plan

5000 Square Feet

This program was developed using materials mainly available through our Earthwise Website – similar materials may be substituted as you think appropriate.  See Comments/Notes to right for expanded product descriptions – then follow links for more detailed information and buying opportunities.  This is only a guide – local conditions (soil, water, sunshine, temperature zone, etc.) will dictate the exact amounts and timings of any inputs to the garden.  Additional products may be needed for insects and diseases that are especially hard to control in any given year.  But in our experience, this program will get you a long ways toward your goal of safe, healthy, and nutritious produce.


Drip or Sprinkler Irrigation – 5000 sq ft

Before planting – broadcast application, incorporate in soil


20           1 cu ft bags of well matured Compost (source locally, if possible)

100 lbs   Chicken Manure Pellets (see note)

50   lbs   *Azomite or other natural trace mineral product (see note)

(additional mineral nutrients may be added according to *Soil Test (see note) and/or plant need)



Before or at planting – incorporate products in soil or drench in or near rows

1  gal       Liquid Fish – *Brown’s, Aqua Power, or Dramm (see note)



At planting – apply to seed or drench transplants

1/10  dry oz   *AgriEnergy Myco Seed Treat (see note)


At planting – apply through drip system or drench in or near plant rows

1/2   dry oz    *PMSLA with WakeUp Organo [apply every 3 weeks] (see note)

1       liq oz    *Mycotrol ESO [liquid, apply every 2 months] (see note)



Apply through drip or sprinkler system – every 2 weeks – start at 2nd week

1/2   gallon      Liquid Fish [Brown’s, Aqua Power, or Dramm]

1       pint         *JH Biotech Humax (see note)

1   lbs               *Potassium Sulfate (see note)

4       lbs          *Chilean Nitrate (15-0-2) (see note)



Foliar Applications (alternate treatments weekly)

Use plenty of water with foliar formulations – most commercial vegetable farmers use between 30 and 50 gallons water per acre when foliar spraying

Treatment 1 – Foliar, start at 4rth week

1   pint          Nature’s Source 3-1-1 [oilseed extract]

1       pint          *TriTek (see note)

2      liq oz        *Ecotrol Plus (see note)

4       liq oz      *Biomin Cal/Boro Light (see note)

4      liq oz        *Biomin Booster (see note)


(see below)

Soil Tests – it is a good idea to take a soil test at least every three years.  Interpretations can vary, so ask around and use a reputable lab.  Taking an expensive soil test that actually tells you something every 3 or 4 years is cheaper than getting a questionable test and being led astray by the results and/or interpretation.


Chicken Manure Pellets provide long lasting nutrition and many brands are considered safe for vegetable crops by US Organic Certification agencies.

Azomite is a natural, mined material that is rich in essential trace elements such as cobalt, selenium, nickel, and more.

Fish Hydrolysate (cold processed, with natural oils intact) is the most desirable type of liquid fish for plant health.  It serves as a fertility agent, soil microbe food source, and general soil and root tonic when drenched on the soil surface or injected through the irrigation system.

Myco Seed Treat is a biological seed treatment that promotes early emergence and healthier seedlings.

PMSLA is a bacterial suite (5 species) that make the soil more fertile and less hospitable for disease organisms by recycling organic matter, freeing up trace minerals, and competing with disease organisms.

Mycotrol ESO is a naturally occurring parasitic fungus that can interrupt the life cycle of many insect species who spend a portion of their life cycle in the soil.

Humic Acid buffers harmful soil chemical reactions, absorbs excess water and nutrients for later release, and is food for soil microbes.

Potassium Sulfate and Chilean Nitrate contain major nutrients that often run short late in the growing season, especially on cucurbits and other multiple fruiting crops.

Nature’s Source is a fermented oilseed extract which contains major nutrients and other compounds associated with seed vitality.

TriTek – a light reverse emulsion oil that spreads evenly and easily across the leaf surface.

Ecotrol Plus – essential oil blend for pest control

Calcium and Boron are extremely important to the structural integrity of the plant, blossoms and fruit.  They are also important to the proper functioning of the plant’s natural immune system.  They are often in short supply from flowering to harvest.

Biomin Booster – an amino acid chelated multi trace mineral package