While this may seem like a topic that needs to be in the gardening section, some people might disagree.
However, a question I am often asked is how much to plant in my garden this year?
After all, if you are growing your own food and preserving it, you do need to know how much to grow in order to have enough food to eat in season and be able to put up.
How Much To Grow To Be Self Sufficient?
Now there is a different in how much you might want to grow if you only plan to eat the food fresh out of the garden during the growing season instead of growing a garden to be self sufficient.
The numbers below are based on both eating the produce you grow in season and being able to have excess for stocking up.
Here is a simple chart that hopefully will help you plan your garden and stock your pantry!
- Beans: 1/4 pound of seed plants one 25 foot row. Each 1/4 pound of seed yields somewhere between 12 to 15 pounds of beans.
- Broccoli: Plant five plants per person.
- Cabbage: Plant five plants per person.
- Carrots: Each 25 foot row will produce 1 pound of carrots.
- Celery: Each 25 foot row will produce 30 pounds of celery.
- Corn: Plant a total of six 25 foot rows per family of 4.
- Cucumbers: Plant 22 plants for a family of 4.
- Lettuce: Plant five rows of lettuce that are 5 feet in length per family member. Plant one row per week for five weeks, then begin again as the first row is cleared away. Remember to keep lettuce cool by planting in a partially shaded location or using shade cloth in the heat of the summer.
- Melons: Plant 2 to 4 hills per family member depending on how much you eat.
- Onions: Each 25 foot row will produce 20 pounds of onions. One row per family member should be sufficient.
- Peas: Plant 3 rows that are 25 feet long per family member. Each row should contain peas that mature at different times.
- Peppers: Plant a total of 12 plants per family member. Remember to plant sweet peppers in one area of the garden and hot or mild peppers in different areas so they do not cross pollinate.
- Potatoes: Plant seven 25 foot rows for a family of four. If you use more than twenty pounds of potatoes in a month, you will need to plant more than this.
- Radish: Four ten foot rows for a family of four. Plant each row a week apart and re-plant each row as it is harvested.
- Spinach: One 25 foot row per family member. Plant additional rows every 10 days as weather permits. Spinach is a cool weather crop so it does best in early spring or fall.
- Squash: Plant 1 hill per family member.
- Tomatoes: Plant at least 4 plants for canning. Plant 3 plants per family member for fresh eating.
- Turnips: Plant 10 feet of turnips per family member.
Other Things To Consider When Deciding How Much To Plant
Keep in mind that this is just a guide to give you a place to start.
If you can a lot of tomato products such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, pizza or spaghetti sauce, etc. you may find you need more plants.
In a single year, I typically plant 150 tomato plants which is way more than I need for our family of two.
However I can donate the excess to food pantries, share it with friends, family or neighbors as well as have a little extra to sell.
It is always a good idea to plant a little extra to donate to food pantries or to share with your friends, family or neighbors.
Sharing is caring and in times of crisis people who rely on getting extra food from food pantries certainly do appreciate fresh produce.
For even more information including charts to help you plan your harvest, please check out The Family Garden Plan from Melissa K. Norris.