YouTube star Kevin Espiritu shares how to increase your garden’s yield.

Kevin Espiritu with citrus tree

Courtesy of Kevin Espiritu

Kevin Espiritu’s YouTube channel, Epic Gardening, is a sensation with over 1.5 million followers who flock to him for his breezy style and easy-to-understand gardening tips. His mission, he says, is to “teach the world to grow.”

To that end, we asked for his recommendations on how to coax more veggies out of the garden this summer. Here’s what he says:

Tip 1

Put the plants in the right place. “Most vegetables that grow in the summer want full sun, six to eight hours a day, so you want southern exposure because that will give you the most sun,” Espiritu says.

Epic Gardening's Kevin Espiritu in his garden

Courtesy of Kevin Espiritu

Tip 2

More Videos From Sunset

Make sure you’re watering the right amount. “If your plant isn’t doing well, you’re either under- or over-watering,” he says. If you want to know if your soil is too wet or too dry, he recommends the “finger test.” “Take a finger, dig about 6 inches down, and take a look at how wet that soil feels,” says Espiritu. “If it’s moist, you’re fine. If it’s soaking wet, your roots can drown and die. If it’s dry, you’re not watering enough.”

Tip 3

“Mulch is underrated,” Espiritu says. He prefers preventing evaporation with shredded straw, which is light in color so it reflects heat. He also recommends grass clippings or leaves.

Tip 4

Stagger your plantings. “If you love beans, and they’re a 45- to 60-day crop, don’t plant them all in May or you’ll get everything in July,” he says. Instead, succession-plant beans every two weeks so you get regular crops.

Tip 5

Go easy on yourself. “All I do is make mistakes,” Espiritu says. “It’s a great opportunity to say, ‘Why did that one die?’ Then you can learn from it.”