Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Vegetables

How Many Vegetables per Person?

20170506A.jpegWhen the time comes to plant your vegetable garden, be it at your home or in a community garden, it’s always hard to figure just how many plants to put in. I once enthusiastically sowed 25 zucchini plants for a family of 3, two adults and one toddler: we had enough zucchini to feed a small army!

What follows is a suggestion of the number of plants you need per person. It assumes you eat a reasonable amount of vegetables, two servings per meal.

Obviously, small children eat less, so you could half their amount, and teenage boys eat more, so you might want to up it. Plus if you’re canning or otherwise storing some vegetables, or if you’re a vegetarian, you’d want to increase their number too.

Also consider your families likes and dislikes. If you all just love Swiss chard, plant more Swiss chard. If you can’t handle chili peppers (confession: I can’t!), drop it from your list.

Finally, some vegetables are real space guzzlers: do you really want to consecrate all the space necessary to growing a reasonable crop of asparagus and corn? You might want to consider buying those rather than growing your own.

  1. Asparagus 5–10 plants
  2. Bush bean 10–15 plants
  3. Pole bean 10–15 plants
  4. Beets 10–25 plants
  5. Bok Choy 3–5 plants
  6. Broccoli 3–5 plants
  7. Brussels sprouts 2–5 plants
  8. Cabbage 3–5 plants
  9. Carrot 15 plants
  10. Cauliflower 2–5 plants
  11. Celery 2–8 plants
  12. Corn 10–20 plants
  13. Cucumber 1–2 plants
  14. Eggplant 1–3 plants
  15. Garlic 3–5 plants
  16. Kale 2-7 plants
  17. Leek 5–15 plants
  18. Romaine lettuce 2–5 plants
  19. Leaf lettuce 20–30 plants
  20. Melon 1-3 plants
  21. Mesclun 2-7 plants
  22. Onion 10–25 plants
  23. Peas 15–20 plants
  24. Bell pepper 3–5 plants
  25. Chili pepper 1–3 plants
  26. Potato 5–10 plants
  27. Radish 10–25 plants
  28. Rhubarb 2 plants
  29. Spinach 5–10 plants
  30. Swiss chard 5–10 plants
  31. Summer squash 1–3 plants
  32. Winter squash 1–2 plants
  33. Tomatoes 1–4 plants
  34. Turnip 3–4 plants
  35. Zucchini 1–3 plants

Good gardening!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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