How Many Vegetables to Plant Per Person In A Vegetable Garden

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How Many Vegetables to Plant Per Person

If you’re new to gardening then it is difficult to know how many vegetables to plant per person in your vegetable garden. Here’s your answer!

We have written and read many articles about how to start a garden, starting seeds, types of gardens, and so on. But no one ever talks about how much to plant. When I found a deal on Indigo Rose tomatoes last year at my favorite nursery, I bought 18 of them. I didn’t take into account the number of tomatoes I would get and the fact that it was just my sister and me in the house. This year, I’ll be more prepared.

Planning Your Garden

Going back to the garden guides now is a great time to figure out when and what to plant. Once you have that figured out, it’s time to see how many of each plant you need. While 18 of one kind of tomato was too much for us, we canned and dehydrated a lot. We don’t sell our tomatoes, although someday that may happen. For now, though, we do trade with the neighbors to get things we don’t have. Some people have more shade while we have an abundance of sun. But we live in a cove, so the sun tends to set quickly in the spring, but later in the summer and fall. Take everything into account when you plan things out.

How Many Vegetables to Plant Per Person

Here is a list of the most common plants that are found in gardens. The numbers listed are per person, on average.

  • Asparagus: 10 plants
  • Beans (bush or pole): 15 plants (I usually place 3-4 plants per pole)
  • Beans (dried): 10-20 plants, depending on the type. We use more pintos than limas, so more of the first
  • Beets: 15-20 plants (Unless you love pickled beets as I do! Then double that.)
  • Broccoli: 5-7 plants
  • Brussels Sprouts: 3-5 plants
  • Cabbage: 3-5 plants, unless you plan on making sauerkraut. Then double or triple this.
  • Cantaloupe: 2 plants (figuring 3-4 fruit per plant)
  • Carrots: 100 per person (we use carrots in soups, stews, roasted and raw)
  • Cauliflower: 2-3 per person
  • Collards: 3-5 plants
  • Corn: 10 plants (Figuring 3 ears per plant)
  • Cucumbers: 3-6 plants
  • Eggplant: 2-3 plants
  • Lettuce: 3-5 plants, and this can vary from head type to leaf lettuce
  • Okra: 3-5 plants
  • Onions, Garlic: 15-20 plants
  • Peas: 100 plants (more for me because they’re my favorite!)
  • Peppers: 3-5 plants, depending on the variety
  • Potatoes (Irish or Sweet): this gets tricky. You want 100 pounds per person, and each plant can produce 15 pounds or so. Maybe 8 pounds of seed potatoes?
  • Pumpkins: 1 plant
  • Radishes: 20-30 plants
  • Rhubarb: 2-3 crowns
  • Spinach: 15-20 plants
  • Squash (summer or zucchini): 3 plants
  • Sunchokes: 1 plant
  • Tomatoes: 5-6 plants
  • Watermelon: 1 plant
  • Winter Squash: 2 plants

This list is not all-inclusive. There are a great many other plants out there, I’m just listing the most common ones.

Continual Harvest

Another thing to think of when deciding how many vegetables to plant per person is how the plants ripen. You’ll want to take into account that 5 tomato plants per person may not seem like much, but they will continue to produce all summer, often until frost. This goes for a lot of the plants listed here. Many of the lettuces can be harvested for just the outer leaves, allowing you to come back and harvest more later in the week.

Some plants, like blueberries, don’t ripen all at once, so you can keep harvesting for a long period of time.

Succession Plant Vegetables

And some, like potatoes, radishes, and many others can be succession planted. Plant one batch, then 2-3 weeks later, plant another. You’ll get many more per year than with just one planting.

Some, like sunchokes, will take all season to ripen, but when they do, they produce 20 pounds per plant or more! And you can store some tubers in a cool place, in the fridge if nothing else, so you’ll have starts for next year.

Plant Vegetables That You Love

One more thing to consider when deciding how many vegetables to plant per person is individual taste. If you’re like me and love peas, plant way more than average. But if you don’t like collards or Brussels sprouts, you might want to skip them or plant just one or two.

Planning a garden can be fun, but you need to have all the information at hand before you start. Are you ready? I am!

Now you know how many vegetables to plant per person, so what are you waiting for? Get planting!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Detlef Herbst says

    This is a great article! Although I have one question. How much acreage is needed to plant the quantities suggested?