My grandpa was a Midwest farm boy and even after he grew up and made a life for himself in southern California, the farm boy never left him. He always had a garden and much to the annoyance of his neighbors… and the county, he had bees and chickens too. It was in his blood, much like it’s in mine.
Snow still covers the ground and I am truly enjoying it, but there is a place in my heart that is beginning to warm and is longing for spring. It doesn’t help that my mailbox has been filled with seed catalogs. I’m already beginning to draw out plans for the new garden space and thinking of sweet treats I can make to bribe…err…reward Mr. Misty for his hard work and help with tilling and building garden boxes.
I’m also trying to calculate how much produce my family consumes during the year and how much of that I can potentially grow myself. This year will be my 6th year gardening and for the first time, I am gardening with the goal of providing at least 50-75% our needs.
How many seeds will need to be sewn and how many plants planted and what will those efforts yield? Based on what I have already learned from my previous gardening experiences and from fellow gardeners, I have a general idea.
When planning a garden, there are several things to take into consideration, like how much room do you have for a garden, what crops grow well in your area and really important, which veggies will your family actually eat?
The following is a rough estimate of how many plants you will need in order to provide for the needs of each person in your family. If you plan on preserving your harvest by canning or freezing, you’ll need to add a few more plants to the total.
Artichoke: about 1-2 plants per person
Asparagus: about 10-15 plants per person
Beans (Bush): about 15 plants per person
Beans (Pole): 2-4 poles of beans per person, each pole having 3-4 plants
Beets: about 36 plants per person
Broccoli: 3-5 plants per person
Brussels sprouts: 1 to 2 plants per person
Cabbage: 2-3 plants per person
Carrots: 30 plants per person
Cauliflower: 2-3 plants per person
Celery: 5 plants per person
Collards: about 5 plants per person
Corn: 12-24 plants per person
Cucumbers: 3-6 plants per family
Eggplant: 2-3 plants per family
Garlic: 12-14 plants per person
Horseradish: 1 plant per person
Kale: 4-5 plants per person
Kohlrabi: 4-5 plants per person
Leeks: 12-15 per person
Lettuce (Head): 4-5 plants per person
Lettuce (Leaf): 6-10 plants per person, plant succession crops
Melon (all types): 2 plants per person
Okra: 3-4 plants per person
Onions: 12-15 plants per person
Parsnips: 12-15 plants per person
Peas: about 15-20 plants per person
Peppers (Bell): 3-5 plants per person
Peppers (Chili): 2-3 plants per person
Potatoes: 10-30 plants per person
Pumpkin: 1-2 plants per person
Radishes: 15 plants per person, plant succession crops
Rhubarb: 1-2 plants per person
Spinach: about 15 plants per person
Squash (Summer): 1-2 plants per person
Squash (Winter): 1-2 plants per person
Sweet Potatoes: 5 plants per person
Tomatoes: about 15 plants per family
Turnips: 5-10 plants per person
Zucchini: 1-2 plants per person
Territorial Seed Company and Ed Hume Seeds have detailed charts you might find helpful:
Now you know many plants you need, do you know how much space you need? If you use a technique called square foot gardening, you’ll need less space than with a traditional garden. A book, Square Foot Gardening, written by
Are you an experienced gardener? We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to share your suggestions and tips in the comments below.
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