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How many plants do you need to feed your family?

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Now that I have a few seasons under my belt, I’m starting to learn how many plants I need to plant in order to feed my family, fresh eating and beyond.

That first garden in 2020 was the beginning of a journey. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing! And that’s ok. If you are feeling like that now, it’s totally fine! What is important is that you start.

photo of small harvest

Anyway, 2020’s garden was small and not that productive but I wanted food security so I stuck with it.

Picture of beginner garden

The harvests were small that year but the feeling when I picked vegetables that I grew were HUGE.

I simply didn’t have the brain capacity to understand how many plants I actually needed to have enough food for my entire family. You might be able to process that in your first year but I just couldn’t even go there.

How the heck do you figure all this out?

Ask yourself some questions first.

Do you want to grow for just fresh eating?

Do you want to grow enough to preserve your harvest?

Will you use a canner?

Do you have freezer space?

If you want to grow more than fresh eating you need to have a little bit of a plan. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. While I don’t always have a concrete plan, I need to at least have an idea of what I’m going to do.

How many plants per person?

Part of the way I teach is to learn and grow along with you. I haven’t figured this all out yet. 2022 will be the season that I start to implement some of these ideas. We will see how that goes.

You can start using these guides on your first year if you want. Do whatever makes you feel strong and smart!

Now to talk about some actual numbers. This is based on some research I’ve done this year so it’s not science or set in stone. This lists the veggies that we love to eat so you can do some research if I didn’t cover your favorite. I also want to share the wonderful planner I am using that will help you figure all this out.

It’s called The Family Garden Planner by Melissa K Norris. Here is a link to check it out here

Listed is plants per person.

  • Bush beans – 15 plants
  • Cucumber – 2-4 plants
  • Tomato – 5 plants
  • Peppers – 3-4 plants
  • Squash (winter) – 1-2 plants
  • Squash (summer) – 1-2 plants
  • Carrots – 25-30 plants
  • Onions – 15 bulbs
  • Corn – 15 plants
  • Spinach – 15 plants
  • Lettuce – 5-10 plants

Isn’t that fascinating? I don’t see corn in my near future. As much as I LOVE corn, I know I don’t have room to grow enough for fresh eating and preserving. Corn doesn’t continue to produce once picked so I can understand why I would need so many plants to feed the six of us. Beans and cucumbers keep giving you more fruit as you pick it so that’s why we don’t need as many.

Once you understand how many plants you’ll need to plant, you can determine how much room you have. Spend some time looking into how much space your plants will need so you can determine what will work for you!

Check out this post about planning your garden and buying seeds! Click here for that. There is a link for my favorite free graph.

how many plants do you need to feed your family?

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