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Estimating Yields

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

One of the biggest gardening mistakes you can make is planting too much or not enough, especially when you're depending on your vegetable garden as a source of food for your family. When planning this year's garden, take time to plan out how much food you'll need to harvest and plant enough to get the yields you want.


One of the biggest gardening mistakes you can make is planting too much or not enough, especially when you're depending on your vegetable garden as a source of food for your family. When planning this year's garden, take time to plan out how much food you'll need to harvest and plant enough to get the yields you want.

You can use the results of previous year's gardens to estimate yields for the future. Since everyone's garden performance is different, based on the soil make-up and weather conditions, it's best to use your own experience as a guide instead of planning solely based on generalized yield performance.

To estimate future yields, measure out a section of your garden or use a single row as your "test" area. Calculate the harvest from just that section and you'll be able to determine both how many plants you can grow in a section that size and the average yield per plant.

If you're just starting a garden this year, use these guidelines to plant enough to feed the family. Keep in mind that different plant varieties may vary in yields.

  • Tomatoes. Grow two plants for each person in the family.

  • Bush beans. Plant five feet of row for each person.

  • Beets. Plant two feet or row for each person and make several succession sowings.

  • Carrots. Plant two feet of row for each person; make several sowings.

  • Lettuce. Plant three feet of row for each person; make three sowings.

  • Swiss chard. Plant three feet of row for each person.

  • Spinach. Plant two feet of row for each person.

  • Radishes. Succession plant one foot of row three or four times for each person.



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