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How much to plant?

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How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/26/2016, 9:22 pm

Did a search and looked around on the forum, surprisingly I didn't find any posts about how to determine how much of each plant to plant. I have the book and unless I missed it in there all I recall is saying to do 3 beds per person, but I need help breaking that down a bit more.

Thanks guys.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  meatburner on 1/26/2016, 10:09 pm

You need to plant what you like to eat.  No one can answer that except you.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/27/2016, 12:49 am

not what to plant but how much.  There are lists that say for one person plant 10 feet, or 5 plants, etc. Are these numbers accurate for SFG?

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  sanderson on 1/27/2016, 4:47 am

Beebase, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here We are here to help you. but, first, we need a little information.

1. Are you are beginning gardener? If yes, then this first season will be a great learning experience. I just started in 2013 and am hooked on SFG. Boy did I learn a lot my first summer! Embarassed

2. What do you like to eat? Of what you like to eat, what would you like to try growing?

3. How man beds will you have and what size?

Once you have given us an idea of what you want, we can help with your planning and planting. Thanks

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/27/2016, 7:20 am

Welcome from Ohio, beebass! As for your question, I agree about growing what you like and will eat fresh, in addition, do you intend to preserve any produce? Canning, freezing, dehydrating are ways to store your garden produce for the off-season.

I did find this guide, not sure if you saw that one:

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/family-vegetable-garden-size.htm

Welcome!

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  mschaef on 1/27/2016, 8:33 am

Hello and welcome. As those who have posted before to figure out how much to plant you have to decided what you like and what you want to try growing. But in general one carrot seed equals one carrot. But one tomato seed produces, depending on the weather, loads of tomatoes. I don't remember who but some one on the forum weight their produce that they got. It was pretty cool to see how much pounds they got from each square.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/27/2016, 10:59 am

Hi Beebass22. Welcome from Atlanta, GA.

It really does get down to if you just want ongoing fresh veggies or if you're going to be preserving them by canning or dehydrating. A lot of things, like lettuce or spinach, can be harvested a few leaves at a time. So you may only need a couple squares for them. Bush beans can be cut down after harvesting & they may begin to grow again to give you a 2nd harvest.

To give you some perspective, it's just me & hubby here.

Last night I started 12 San Marzano tomatoes (paste-type) for canning, 6 Yellow Pear tomatoes for salads/dehydrating, 6 Sugar Pie pumpkins (I like pumpkin in my smoothies & I like the seeds), 24 Walla-Walla onions (we go thru a LOT of onions), 6 Eggplants (experiment), 6 cantaloupe, 6 Glory cabbage.

I may do a couple of other types of tomatoes, but it will just be one or two plants each. They'll be for fresh eating.

And that's just the start. I've got a bunch of beans, carrots, other cabbage, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and a whole lot of other stuff that will be direct sowed or seeded later.

My garden is 25' x 35'. I currently have 180 squares and expect to fill them up. And I plant on our deck in buckets as well. But I preserve a lot!

Hope this helps!

The big thing is understand that it's all a learning process. Relax & have some fun with it! :-)

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  boffer on 1/27/2016, 11:06 am

@beebass22 wrote:not what to plant but how much.  There are lists that say for one person plant 10 feet, or 5 plants, etc. Are these numbers accurate for SFG?

You're correct that Mel mentioned 3 boxes @ 4x4 = 48 sf per person, but that comes nowhere close to meeting my needs.  For instance, I plant 64 sf per person of sweet corn.  But that's for my family; not every family wants to eat garden corn year round.

I don't recall seeing a list, by veggie, of how many squares to plant per person.  But, you can figure it out on your own.  SFG spacing is based on the 'thin to' spacing listed on the seed package.  Here's how to convert:

(12/linear spacing in inches)2 = plants per square

Example:  The seed package says to thin chard to 6 inches per linear foot (that's 2 plants per foot).

(12/6)2= 4 chard plants per square.

(Or, you can look up the number of plants per square in the ANSFG book.  I'm offering the formula in case you have a veggie that's not listed.)

If your list says to plant 5 linear feet of chard per person, then that's 5 feet @ 2 plants per foot = 10 plants.    10 plants @ 4 per square = 2.5 squares.


Keep in mind that 'how much to plant per person' is a very general value; it's  a starting place.  Eventually, through experience, you'll figure out the right amount to plant based on your families needs, interests, weather, insects, diseases, and varieties planted.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  kamigh on 1/27/2016, 1:40 pm

Here is my two cents:
1. Don't plant more than you can realistically take care of.  I started with 2 4x8 beds, expanded to a third last year, and am thinking that for 2017 I may move the whole operation to another section of my yard so I can significantly expand it.  But I started with what I considered a manageable area until I was sure I could maintain it (and that I didn't lose interest).
2. Figure out what your family will eat and plant that stuff.  My family of 5 loves tomatoes, so they get first dibs on my garden space.  My kids and I discovered that we like kale, so now that gets 2-3 squares instead of the one when we were just trying it.  Radishes are easy to grow, and my kids loved to pick them, but no one really likes eating them in our house so we quit growing them, even though we can.  
3. Save room for the plants that will produce things that are "worth it" to grow.  This will be a personal decision for you, but for me, Spaghetti squash is expensive to buy and is a long keeper, so even though it takes up lots of space in my garden, it is worth it for me to plant it.  Cabbage is fairly cheap to buy at the store, so I don't bother with it in my garden.  The difference between home grown and grocery store tomatoes is such that I will devote over half my garden space to tomatoes alone, while cutting back on the number of eggplants I plant.  
4. Keep a garden journal from year to year so you can remember what did well and what didn't.  I never would have remembered that the Cascadia sugar snap peas were amazing but the Sugar Ann Snap peas were a total bust had I not written it down when it happened.  I would have just remembered that I had a great crop of sugar snap peas without thought to which ones did better (or honestly, that I even tried two varieties last year). 
5. Don't expect to "Get it right."  Things happen.  Conditions change.  One year you might have a bumper crop, then you plant less the next year and have a total failure.  It happens.  You try again the next year and keep coming here to learn more from others' experience.  
That's probably more than 2 cents worth, but hopefully will help.  Have fun!
Karla

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/28/2016, 8:21 pm

Excellent advice, kamigh! Especially keeping notes, you will learn so much from your first year or so! Placement of things, what varieties work, stuff you think you Love, but instead, put too much in.

Trial and error with intention and a written log!




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Re: How much to plant?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/28/2016, 9:45 pm

Oh, yeah.... Just make sure to keep up with your notes!

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/28/2016, 10:53 pm

Thank  you all for your advice, I tend to do things big and like to have a solid plan. There are so many variables to keep in mind.

So update I figured out what I think I want to plant. I'm confused on what one of each plant is really going to give me.

Family or two have up to 2 acres we can use.

All these amounts are plants not squares.

Tomatoes : Cherry for snacking and salads, Roma for preserving (salsa, ketchup, etc), and homestead for slicing. Would like a lot, we were thinking 60? Can you plant these in succession. Might be worth growing some in towers or something else as well.

Lima beans - only for eating fresh, was thinking 20.

Pole beans - fresh and preserving 100?

Snap peas and regular peas - 15 each

Hot peppers (cayenne, jalapeno, and chili) - we don't really eat raw used for salsa, and other cooking. Not sure how many here.

Bell peppers we love! was thinking 30-40

Brussel sprouts and broccoli - 20 broccoli, 5-15 brussels

Carrots - eat fresh and juice, thinking 100

Cucumbers - fresh and pickles - 40 maybe more?

honey dew cantaloupe and watermelon, fresh thinking 3 plants of each

Onions - raw, red green and white around 200?

Radishes - one square, don't know if we really eat them or not

Beets- same as radishes

Garlic - 9

Zucchini and yellow squash - 8 each

cabbage - thinking 20 but that may be too much.

Salad greens - we eat a lot of salad but after reading comments maybe I went overkill here lol

16 arugula, 58 lettuce 7 different types, 4 endive, 9 mustard, 4 collards, 9 spinach, 4 basil.

mixed in id like to through in some beneficial herbs for the plants and for cooking and medicinal herbs.

basil, sage, borage, marjoram, dill, oregano, nasturtium, catnip, maybe others.

Was thinking about doing a line around three sides with marigolds about 3 feet out from the boxes. 

Was planning on doing 6 4x4 boxes and maybe some smaller 3x3 and 2x2 boxes. also thinking about potato towers.

I know there is a lot of information here so I appreciate you reading it!! excited to get this stuff going.

Please don't hesistate to tell me if I went crazy with too many of one type of veggie.

My wife doesn't work so she plans to spend a lot of time in the garden as do I even though I work.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  sanderson on 1/29/2016, 3:11 am

It's too late for me to reply tonight (busy evening) but it looks like you have a good idea of what you want. I will reply tomorrow regarding the number of square feet in beds that I see. Others will have input also, I'm sure. This is fun! Very Happy

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/29/2016, 8:03 am

Looks pretty good, Beebass. I'd increase carrots, but that's me.

I'd also make sure to succession plant cabbage, etc. You don't want all 20 cabbages ripening at the same time, unless you're doing a barrel of sour kraut, lol!

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  trolleydriver on 1/29/2016, 8:17 am

Very impressive planning BB. Makes my little veggie garden look pretty insignificant by comparison.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  boffer on 1/29/2016, 4:08 pm

beebass22, just looking at some plants that are planted one per square (tomatoes, cukes, broccoli, squash), you're already out of space!

I grow for two people, and I figure I grow about 90% of the vegetables that we eat in a year.  I picked a few veggies from your list to give you ideas to get started.

100 pole beans is a good starting place.  I grow more than that if I'm planning a lot of bean canning, and less than that if I still have canned beans on the shelf, and am only planting for fresh eating.

Peas-you're way short.  Last year I planted close to 200 and didn't have enough to preserve; we ate them all fresh.

I grow hot peppers for the novelty.  For as few as we use, 3-5 plants is more than enough for us, both for fresh and frozen.

We like green peppers, too.  15 plants is about right for us, for fresh and frozen.

5 cuke plants were enough for us to eat fresh cukes every day throughout harvest season.  I've juiced cukes to freeze for juicing, but other than that, I haven't found a preservation method for cukes that I care for.

I grow 15 squares of carrots @ 16 per sq.  That's plenty for us for the year.  If you juice frequently, that might not be enough.

Zucchinni and yellow squash:  2 plants each is more than enough for us to eat fresh.  This past year I shredded and froze excess summer squash; that's working out pretty good

I grow 50-60 broccoli plants over the course of the growing season.  That's about right for us, as not all plants grow big heads.

You're going to be real tired of lettuce before the season is over!  A couple squares of  leaf lettuce is plenty for us to eat fresh.

9 spinach plants will use 1 square.    I always have 4-5 squares of spinach growing throughout the season, at different rates of development.

Mel recommends starting small, and most of us here know from experience that that's a good idea.  The 100+ squares you're planning on starting with is plenty big enough for your first year.  

We can make all the plans we want, but there will be lots of contingencies to deal with throughout the season: weather, insects, disease, etc.  Some we can prepare for, but some we can't.  Odds are, you'll want to make changes after, or even during, the growing season.  I know from experience that modifying existing boxes is no fun, and the more boxes you have to retro-fit (adding drip irrigation, hoop houses for rain and bug protection, etc.) the less fun it is.

In retrospect, the best thing I did as a beginning gardener was to start small and let my garden evolve and expand a little each year.  I was able to deal with issues as they occurred without being overwhelmed, and it gave me time to consider and learn about ancillary activities such as preservation methods, indoor seed starting, season extension at both ends, hoop houses/green houses, and seed saving.  Just as important, it took several years for me to get an idea about what I could count on to grow in my climate.

I started with 3 boxes, and have been adding several boxes every year for 9 years now.  You can see where I left off last year by clicking on the globe under my avatar. (It's supposed to be a globe, but it looks more like an eyeball!) 

Please keep us posted on your progress; we enjoy watching new gardeners getting hooked on gardening!

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How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/30/2016, 1:24 pm

So, I've made a few changes, I want to focus more on less variety.
15 Pepper plants, 12 Bell 3 Hot
26 Cucumber Plants
11 Broccoli Plants
184 Pole Beans
45 Spinach
45 Leatuce
13 Tomatoes

Oregano
Sage
Borage
Parsley
Thyme
Rosemary
Chamomile
Basil
Chives
Marigold
Marjoram
Mint

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/30/2016, 1:26 pm


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Re: How much to plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/30/2016, 7:52 pm

Nice! Lots of veggies to come!

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/31/2016, 9:49 am

Lots of lettuce... Are you succession planting them? What type are they - heading, like iceburg, or leaf, like Romaine? Or a combination?

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  beebass22 on 1/31/2016, 12:01 pm

Yes, its a combination and will be succession planted.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  yolos on 2/1/2016, 12:07 am

@beebass22 wrote:So, I've made a few changes, I want to focus more on less variety.

26 Cucumber Plants
Wow, 26 cucumber pants.  I hope you plan to pickle some or you will have them coming out your ears.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  sanderson on 2/1/2016, 4:23 am

@beebass22 wrote:So, I've made a few changes, I want to focus more on less variety.
15 Pepper plants, 12 Bell 3 Hot
26 Cucumber Plants
11 Broccoli Plants
184 Pole Beans
45 Spinach
45 Leatuce
13 Tomatoes

Oregano
Sage
Borage
Parsley
Thyme
Rosemary
Chamomile
Basil
Chives
Marigold
Marjoram
Mint

Quickly throwing in my 2 cents. 26 cucumbers at 2/sq, well that's a lot of cucumbers unless you are going to pickle or juice. Inter-planting with marigolds is up for debate. Some folks don't find them effective for insect control. Others like color in their beds.

Plant mint and borage in pots. Mint is invasive and borage goes everywhere. In my climate, rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano are perennials. If you plan to dry herbs, plant extra. Being in CA, cilantro is a must. Also, the pollinators go crazy for it when it flowers.

In your plot plan, it looks like you have a hill row of something. Too small for these eyes, even enlarging it. Summer squash? Good idea for the first year to have them outside the beds because of their size. Any cantaloupe or winter squash? Those can be grown on tall trellises at 1 per sq.

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  countrynaturals on 5/5/2016, 11:10 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Welcome from Ohio, beebass!  As for your question, I agree about growing what you like and will eat fresh, in addition, do you intend to preserve any produce?  Canning, freezing, dehydrating are ways to store your garden produce for the off-season.  

I did find this guide, not sure if you saw that one:

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/family-vegetable-garden-size.htm

Welcome!
Great guide! I was wondering if I had planted enough beans and this cleared it up for me. Thanks for posting it.  thanks

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Re: How much to plant?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/6/2016, 9:01 pm

happy hi

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Re: How much to plant?

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