How many seeds should I plant? Tips for estimating garden yield

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How many seeds should you plant in your garden this year? That depends on the size of the harvest you want or need.

Factors such as your location, the weather, pests, soils and the cultivars planted can affect yield. In addition, what you plant in the spring may not yield the size harvest you were planning for at the end of the summer.

Estimating amount of seed and number of plants

beet seedsThe University of Tennessee Extension offers a guide for the amount of seed or the number of plants to plant for 100-foot rows in it’s “Growing Vegetables in Home Gardens” publication. Also included in the document are yield estimates. If your garden rows are shorter or longer than 100 feet, you can divide or multiply the amount of seed appropriately. For instance, if your garden rows are 25-feet long, they are one-fourth of the length of a 100-foot row.

Multiply the amount of recommended seed or number of plants for a 100-foot row by .25 and you will know how much seed or how many plants to plant for a 25-foot row. Seed packets typically are measured by pounds or ounces. 1 lb. equals 16 ounces, so 1 oz. equals 1/16 lb.

Examples:

  • green beans
    Pexels.com photo; CC0 license

    ¼ lb. of snap bush bean seed is recommended for a 100-foot row. For a 25-foot row, 1/16 lb. (1 oz.) would be needed. This would yield about 20-30 lbs.

  • 60 sweet pepper plants are recommended for a 100-foot row, so 15 sweet pepper plants would be needed for a 25-foot row (60 x .25 = 15). This would yield about 12.5 to 18.75 lbs.

Each seed packet has information about planting times, proper planting depth, spacing between seeds and days to maturity.

The University of Tennessee Extension’s publication includes this information, but certain cultivars may have different requirements. Pay attention to these details for each seed you plant.

Louisiana State University College of Agriculture shares expected vegetable garden yields based on the amount of seeds planted. The list also includes expected yields for some berries and melons. These estimates are good for gardeners living in the Deep South, but gardeners in other regions may not experience the same yields.

Number of plants per family

Harvest to Table offers advice for how much to plant, depending on the number of individuals in your family. Here are a few popular home garden vegetables and the number of plants to grow per person:

  • Tomatoes: two plants per person
  • Bush beans: one 5-foot row per person
  • Carrots: one 3-foot row per person
  • Lettuce: one 3-foot row per person; sow three times per season

Harvest to Table also describes a method for estimating crop yields in your current year’s garden by measuring a 10-foot section of your garden.

Farm and Dairy’s gardening resources:

Ordering and starting seeds

Planning your garden and keeping records

Pest management

Plant, soil and tool care

Garden types

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Definitely the best planning tips I’ve read this season. I’m almost done with planning my garden, but I usually make my calculations according to the planting area I have available for different plants. Your tips seem to work great for me I’m surely trying some of the suggestions, and also recommending to my friends. Thank you for all this great information!

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