- Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide
- Step 2 – Plan Your Garden Layout
- The all-in-one Plant Spacing Chart and Planting Guide
- So what do we mean ‘plant by area’?
- Let’s get started: First you need to make planting sections
- Next, let’s figure out how many seeds to plant:
- The Garden In Minutes Plant Spacing Chart
- Video: See How to Set Up Your Square-Foot Garden
- 1. Square-Foot Garden for an Apartment
- 2. Square-Foot Garden for a Home Garden
- 3. Large-Scale SFG Garden
- 4. Square-Foot Garden Plan for Home Garden
- 5. Square-Foot Garden for a Front Yard
- 6. Square-Foot Garden for a Front Yard
- Discover the Almanac Garden Planner
- How to grow herbs
- Annual or Perennial?
- Growing herbs outside
- When to plant outdoor herbs
- Where to plant outdoor herbs
- Growing herbs in pots and containers
- Repotting herbs
- Growing herbs indoors
- Harvesting herbs
- Top tips for looking after herbs
- Keep garden rows wide enough to cultivate, narrow enough to shadow out weeds
Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide
Step 2 – Plan Your Garden Layout
After choosing a garden site, the next step is to plan the arrangement of crops in the garden. First consider each of the points listed below. Then sketch a map of your garden area showing the location of each vegetable, the spacing between rows, and the approximate dates for each planting. Two sample garden plans are shown on the following pages.
Size of garden. The size of your garden depends on the space available, the quantity of vegetables you will need, and the amount of work and time you desire to spend. Make the garden just large enough so that it will be interesting and fun for the whole family. Don’t make it become a burden.
Kinds of vegetables. Choose vegetables that you and your family enjoy. Make sure, though, that they can be grown successfully in your area.
Some crops utilize space better than others. These vegetables can be produced efficiently in a small garden:
|Snap beans||Leaf lettuce||Spinach|
|Broccoli||Peas (followed by other crops)||Tomatoes|
Another consideration in selecting crops is whether they taste noticeably better when they are fresh from the garden. Sweet corn is an outstanding example of this. Although it requires more space than the vegetables listed above, it is often chosen because of its high quality when fresh from the garden. Other highly perishable crops that taste best immediately after harvest are peas and asparagus.
Growing seasons and growth characteristics. Group the various vegetables according to their growing seasons and growth characteristics. Perennial crops, such as asparagus, rhubarb, and berries, which will be in one location for more than one season, should be planted along one side of your garden. Arrange early plantings on one side, probably near the perennials. Group early- or quick-maturing vegetables together so that after harvesting the space may be used for later plantings. To avoid shading, plant tall crops to the north or west of shorter crops.
Spacing between rows. Proper spacing between rows is important to allow for growth of plants, ease of cultivation, and efficient use of space. Recommended spacings are given in Table 1. If you have farm equipment and plenty of space, make your rows long and wide enough apart so that you can use your farm tractor and cultivator, thus avoiding much hand-weeding.
Table 1 : Planting Chart – Spacing
Successive plantings are desirable if you wish to have a continuous fresh supply of certain vegetables. Don’t plant too much of a crop at anyone time. Two or three small plantings of leaf lettuce and radishes may be made a week to 10 days apart in early spring, with an additional one made in the fall. Onion sets for green onions may be planted every two weeks until you have used up all your sets. At least two plantings of carrots, beets, and cabbage should be made – one early in the spring for summer use, another later on for fall storage. Several plantings of sweet corn and snap beans should be made throughout the season.
Certain later crops can be planted in the same spot in the garden from which earlier ones have been harvested. Any of the early-harvested crops, such as leaf lettuce, spinach, radishes, green onions, and peas, can be followed by beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, sweet corn, late spinach, late leaf lettuce, and turnips.
Interplanting. To intensify production in a small garden, early maturing crops can be planted between rows of later or long-season crops Peas, radishes, green onions, spinach, or lettuce may be planted between rows where tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, or corn is to be grown.
Rotating crops from year to year is necessary to prevent diseases that overwinter in the soil. Do not grow the same vegetable or related vegetables in or near the same location more often than once in three years. Rotate crops from one side of the garden to the other.
Erosion. If your garden is on a hill, plant the rows across the slope rather than up and down.
The all-in-one Plant Spacing Chart and Planting Guide
It’s a win, win … win!
So what do we mean ‘plant by area’?
Planting by area means taking a square section of garden, and dividing the length and width of that section by the plant spacing needs.
If you look on the back of a seed packet you’ll see two types of measurement:
- 1. Seed/Plant Spacing
- 2. Row Spacing
Now, we normally do not condone being wasteful, but we want you to take that row spacing number, and throw it away! You won’t need it. What you will need is the seed spacing/plant spacing number. You will use the seed spacing/plant spacing number to divide up planting sections to know how many seeds to sow.
Let’s get started: First you need to make planting sections
Typically about 1 square foot sections are preferred. We say “about 1 square foot” because the thickness of a garden bed board will make the growing area of your garden just under an increment of 1 foot; but not to worry, your plants will never know the difference.
To make plant spacing easier, many gardeners will make a plant spacing grid.
- 1st they’ll measure their garden bed.
- Then go out and buy materials such as wood or string and screws.
- Then cut everything to length.
- Then attach the pieces to the frame of their garden bed to make a grid.
If you don’t want to go through all of that hassle, we were nice enough to create a pre-assembled, tool-free plant spacing guide for you, and it just so happens to also be a garden irrigation system. It’s called The Garden Grid.
Next, let’s figure out how many seeds to plant:
We have our simple plant spacing chart below if you want to jump ahead and begin planting now, but if you want to know how we got the plant spacing measurements, stick right here!
We’re going to do a little math. Don’t panic! We promise it’s really, really easy.
- Step 1: Locate the seed spacing number from the back of your seed packet. (We’ll use 3 inch seed spacing for this example)
- Step 2: Divide the width of your planting section (about 12 inches) by the 3 inch seed spacing.
- Answer: 12 inches across / 3 inch seed spacing = 4 plants across
- Step 3: Repeat step two but for the length of your planting section. (Also about 12 inches).
- Answer: 12 inches across / 3 inch seed spacing = 4 plants across
- Step 4: Multiply your two answers together
- Answer: 4 plants across X 4 plants across = 16 plants!
- Step 5: Start planting! With 3 inch seed/plant spacing needs, you can grow 16 plants in a 1 square foot area.
- Step 6: Keep planting! You now have the plant spacing formula for the rest of your garden!
For a little planting inspiration, try out this sample plant spacing layout we made for our 4×4 Garden Grid watering system. We also have salsa garden and salad garden planting layouts!
Now… what you have all been waiting for!
The Garden In Minutes Plant Spacing Chart
Find what you can grow the most of or find your favorite plants, but most importantly – get out and start growing!
|Vegetable Type||Plant Spacing Per Square||Vegetable Type||Plant Spacing Per Square|
|Bok Choy (baby)||9||Peppers (Bell)||1|
|Cantaloupe||2 squares per plant||Radicchio||2|
|Lettuce (head)||2||Watermelon||2 squares per plant|
|Melons||2 squares per plant||Yams||4|
|Mint||1-4||Yellow Parma Onion (large)||1|
So there you have it! Our all-in-one, everything your need to know, plant spacing chart and planting guide. Planting by area was inspired and made popular by the concept of square foot gardening, if you want to learn more about square foot gardening, check out our other article on just that! Also, if you’re still curious about setting up a planting guide with an integrated irrigation system, where you won’t need any tools, check out The Garden Grid on our How it Works page!
Our plant spacing chart is always growing. Have something you want added? Let us know in the comments below!
Square-foot gardening (SFG) is an easy-to-follow method of planting vegetables which makes efficient use of small spaces. It’s especially ideal for beginner gardeners. Here are six complementary SFG garden layouts created by our Almanac readers!
If you don’t have a lot of time available to weed, water, and maintain your vegetable garden, then square-foot gardening could be the answer. It’s especially great for beginner gardeners .
Square Foot Gardening (commonly referred to as SFG) is a planting method that was developed by American author and TV presenter Mel Bartholomew in the 1970’s. It’s a simple way to create easy-to-manage gardens with raised beds that need a minimum of time spent maintaining them.
With the square-foot gardening method, you plant in 4×4-foot blocks instead of traditional rows. Different crops are planted in different blocks according to their size; for example, 16 radishes in one square foot, or just one cabbage per square foot. A lattice is laid across the top to clearly separate each square foot.
While the benefits of SFG are ease and simplicity, note that the specific soil mix and raised beds can be more expensive to set up than alternative methods.
A water-retentive, nutrient-rich soil mix is used to fill the beds, consisting of one third each of compost, peat moss and vermiculite. This provides a weed-free start as well as being water retentive and full of nutrients. The rich soil enables plants to be grown much more closely than normal, which in turn crowds out weeds.
Video: See How to Set Up Your Square-Foot Garden
With simple and well-defined instructions, SFG is a great way to start growing your own food quickly, and with excellent results.
In this video, we introduce the thinking behind Square-Foot Gardening and explain everything you need to know to setup your own SFG garden beds including the best soil mix, plant spacing, positioning, companion planting and supporting structures to use.
Watch our video demonstrating the square-foot gardening technique.
See garden photos and free SFG garden layouts below!
All of the below SFG garden plans were created by Almanac readers with the Almanac Garden Planner!
1. Square-Foot Garden for an Apartment
“I live in a small apartment in the city but have a nice sized patio and wanted to take advantage of my space. This application helped me do it! My patio is outlined because it’s a little bit funny-shaped but everything with in the brown lines fits! The small red area is my back door and the larger red area is a shrub that I cant do much with.”
Garden Size: 18’ 7” x 15’ 11”
Garden Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
Sun or Shade: Partial Shade
Garden Soil Type: Poor Soil
See full plant list!
2. Square-Foot Garden for a Home Garden
“This is a my “chef’s garden” with lots of different veggies and fruit that we like to eat.”
Garden Size: 19’ 11” x 19’ 11”
Garden Location: Denver, Colorado
Sun or Shade: Partial Shade
Garden Soil Type: Good Soil
See full plant list!
3. Large-Scale SFG Garden
“Raised bed gardens with an emphasis on companion planting with the new tool. Soil is so-so but manure and compost and lime helped and will add more this year. Wondering about the problem of rotating crops next year but I hope the benefit of attracting beneficials will override that. I’ve got a three sisters garden (corn, beans and squash) and onions planted everywhere to help ward off pests. There are all the flowers that attract beneficials that I could fit in. I think it will take a lot of time to plant – but I am looking forward to it! Using the plant list now to organize my seed starts – Onions and leeks and shallots are up and waving! I have notes on seed starting on my plant list page. NOTE: Since I wrote this I have made changes due to the groundhog, primarily putting all the onion family and many herbs/flowers where he came in last year.”
Garden Size: 27’ 11” x 33’ 11”
Garden Location: Georgetown, MA 30×30 Town Garden Plot
Sun or Shade: Sunny
Garden Soil Type: So-So Soil
See full plant list!
4. Square-Foot Garden Plan for Home Garden
“Organic garden planted in raised beds made using 4’ fence wire (bent w/1’ sides and 2’ bottom), lined with landscape cloth, then filled with soil made up of Black Gold (a special mix from a Nashville Nursery), worm compost, peat moss, coir, several different composts, mushroom compost and rock dust.”
Garden Size: 29’ 11” x 39’ 11”
Garden Location: Jamestown, TN
Sun or Shade: Partial Shade
Garden Soil Type: Good soil
See plant list!
5. Square-Foot Garden for a Front Yard
“Our front focal point garden will have a ring of strawberries and is planned to grow in a “cone” shape to tall sunflowers at the center.”
Garden Size: 19’ 11” x 19’ 11”
Garden Location: Indianapolis, IN
Sun or Shade: Partial Shade
Garden Soil Type: Good soil
See plant list!
6. Square-Foot Garden for a Front Yard
“Organic Vegetable Garden – Some traditional left but moving toward all square foot garden. Heavy clay soil amended for 3 years with horse manure, leaf humus, household compost, sand, wood chips, fish and organic fertilizer (includes chicken manure and minerals). Soil in square foot gardens according to Mel’s mix.”
Garden Size: 30’ 11” x 34’ 9”
Garden Location: Cleveland, Ohio near Lake Erie
Sun or Shade: Sunny
Garden Soil Type: Good soil, organic
See full plant list and more details about this garden here.
Looking for more garden plans? See layouts for other types of gardens.
Discover the Almanac Garden Planner
Ready to start planning your own garden? Learn more about the online Garden Planner today!
How Far Apart to Plant Herbs to Keep Their Flavours from Changing
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Sherry McAlister
Posted on: March 28, 2008
Can you please tell me how far apart I need to plant varieties of basil so that they can keep their individual fragrances and tastes? Same question regarding mints and scented geraniums. Thank you for helping me out with this.
This is a good question because people do get confused about the effects of herbs on each other when planted close together. The short answer is that you don’t have to worry about basils and scented geraniums, but you do need to worry about the mints. But there are several important points here that are worth delving into.
The first point that needs to be made is that herbs planted close together do not alter the fragrance or flavour of other herbs — at least not directly. But it is possible that a tall herb will crowd out a smaller herb so that the shading effect reduces the intensity of the smaller herb’s fragrance and flavour. Or a more aggressive herb will outcompete a neighbouring herb for nutrients and water causing changes in the latter herb that affect scent and taste. These scenarios are possible — but in truth they probably happen only rarely. For my money the only universal concern that applies to all herbs is: do the herbs have enough space to grow without overcrowding each other; and I do not worry about changes to taste and flavour.
Now it is true that some plants can affect neighbouring plants by exuding chemicals from the roots to the soil or from the foliage to the soil and onto the leaves of neighbouring plants. But these cases are very rare. For basil, mints and scented geraniums, there is no such effect.
Some plants require cross pollination to get fruits or seeds and they are dependent on their neighbours. You do see this with certain fruit trees and vegetables. It is possible that the pollination process causes some changes to the essential oils (which are responsible for the scents and flavours) but we never see that in basil, mints, scented geraniums, or any other of the common herbs. But it is sometimes true that the scent and flavour can change when herbs form seeds. This is why we recommend harvesting herbs just as the flowers begin to appear, well before the essential oils degrade as the seeds are developing.
There is one scenario where planting too close is a real concern. When mints are planted close together you can get cross-pollination and seeds to form. These seeds can fall to the ground and produce new plants. Almost always the child plants will have flavours and scents that are inferior to those of their parents. The child plants may look just like the parents but the essential oils can be totally different, and the flavours will likely disappoint you. This does not happen with all mints because they don’t always cross-pollinate, and some do not produce seeds at all (e.g. peppermint); but it happens enough of the time that you probably should keep your mints as far apart as possible. And besides, mints spread so quickly that different varieties can easily get mixed up making a mess of your mints.
How to grow herbs
Growing your own herbs is an easy and rewarding project
Herbs are easy to grow in beds, borders, containers, or on windowsills. And with our full range of seeds and plants, it’s quite possible to have a year-round harvest, saving you money you might otherwise spend on expensive supermarket produce. Here’s our easy guide to growing your own herbs.
Annual or Perennial?
Herbs are simple to grow and there are varieties to suit any type of garden
Image: GoodMood Photo
Annual and biennial herbs like basil, coriander, parsley, dill, and chervil are fast growing and best sown at intervals throughout the spring and summer so you’re guaranteed a continuous fresh supply. Perennial herbs like oregano, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary and chives are slower growing and need a more permanent home.
Check out the table below to give you an idea of what’s available.
|Annual and Biennial Herbs||Perennial Herbs|
|Mexican Marigold (Sweet Mace)||Meadowsweet|
Growing herbs outside
Many herbs, like chives, look as good as they taste
Try growing herbs outside in a dedicated herb garden, a raised bed, a vegetable plot or even among the flowers in your borders – the array of different foliage and flower colours available means many herbs are as decorative as they are delicious and medicinal.
Ideally herbs like a sunny, sheltered location with well-drained soil. If you have heavy clay soil then incorporate some coarse grit and organic matter like well-rotted manure or compost to improve drainage. You may also benefit from growing your herbs in a raised bed to ensure sharp drainage.
Many herbs will tolerate a slightly acid soil, but the best pH-level for growing herbs is neutral to alkaline. If you have very acid soil, add some lime when preparing the planting area. Many herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender grow particularly well in coastal gardens.
Shady garden? Herbs that grow in moist, shady conditions include chervil, parsley, meadowsweet, mint, lemon balm, and chives.
When to plant outdoor herbs
Start herbs off under cover to protect them until the weather is warmer
Image: Elena Elisseeva
Sow hardy annual or biennial herbs like parsley, coriander, dill, and chamomile from March until August, directly into their final positions. This is especially important for chervil and dill because they’re difficult to transplant. Sow at intervals of three to four weeks to ensure a continuous supply of fresh leaves.
Alternatively, sow most of your herbs under cover in seed trays or modules and plant them out at a later date, according to the instructions on individual seed packets. You can prick out seedlings and grow them on before hardening them off. Plant them out only when all risk of frost has passed. You may find half-hardy basil performs well indoors on a sunny windowsill if the summer is particularly wet or cold.
Sow perennial herbs like sage, rosemary, chives and fennel in the spring, under cover in the warmth, and then pot them on when they’re big enough to handle. Harden off plants in a cold frame before planting into their final positions.
Where to plant outdoor herbs
If you have the space, a dedicated herb garden looks and smells great
Growing herbs outdoors in a dedicated herb garden makes harvesting easier and creates a heady scent on hot sunny days. And combining the silver-grey foliage of sage with the blue flowers of borage or the orange flowers of calendula (pot marigold) creates a fragrant ornamental feature made entirely from edible flowers.
If you don’t have the space for a dedicated herb garden, they also make a great addition to flower beds and borders. Go for herbs that contrast with your flowers, and those, like thyme and basil, whose leaves add extra depth and texture to your planting.
For an informal edge to your garden path, try low-growing herbs like chives and thyme. You can also plant thyme and creeping savory in the gaps between paving stones – these tough plants will withstand light foot traffic, releasing their delicious scent whenever someone steps on them.
The tall, feathery foliage of fennel looks great in a herbaceous border, and its yellow flowers are sure to attract to bees and butterflies to your garden.
Sow the herbs you use most directly into the soil between rows of veggies, or as edging to beds. Sown in late summer, herbs like coriander, parsley and chervil will continue to grow throughout the winter as long as you protect them with a cloche.
Growing herbs in pots and containers
Growing herbs in pots and containers can be just as productive as planting them in beds
Image: Thompson & Morgan
Growing herbs in pots and containers is a great way to grow fresh produce in smaller spaces. Go for a purpose-made vegetable trug which you can position right outside your back door, on your patio, or even on your balcony. Alternatively, choose relatively deep pots, especially for large shrubby herbs like bay trees and rosemary.
The best compost to grow herbs in is loam-based, like John Innes. Feed your pot-grown herbs regularly with a balanced fertiliser throughout the growing season, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Over-feeding can cause the leaves to lose their pungent flavour so don’t be too generous.
Make sure your containers have adequate drainage holes and are raised on bricks or ‘pot feet’ to prevent water logging in the winter. It’s also worth protecting pots in severe icy weather by placing them against a house wall and/or wrapping the pot in bubble wrap.
Some herbs like mint and Sweet Woodruff can be invasive making it a good idea to grow them in sunken containers like old buckets or plastic pots, to restrict root growth. Make sure the container has drainage holes or water logging will kill the plant, and bury it so the top is hidden under a thin layer of soil. When growing mint in a container, lift and divide the plant yearly to maintain health and vigour.
Repotting pot-bound herbs will mean you’ll get a fresh supply for longer
Image: Natalia Bulatova
Should your container-grown herbs start to look weak and begin to dry out quickly, it’s a sure sign the plant is pot-bound and needs a new home. Lift the plant and tease apart the roots, removing as much of the old compost as possible before replanting in fresh compost in a bigger pot.
If repotting isn’t an option, replace the top inch (2.5cm) of soil with fresh compost and a slow-release fertiliser. Well-rotted manure also makes a good top-dressing.
Growing herbs indoors
It’s easy to grow herbs indoors if you haven’t got an outside growing space
Image: Christine Bird
Growing herbs indoors makes harvesting easy and is a great idea if you don’t have a garden or balcony. It also extends the season for annual herbs so you’ll have fresh produce all year round.
Suitable herbs to grow indoors on the windowsill include chives, parsley, basil, coriander, marjoram, dill and mint. You can treat windowsill herbs as cut-and-come-again crops, harvesting regularly to encourage new growth.
To grow mint indoors in a pot, sow the seeds onto the surface of damp, free-draining seed compost and sprinkle lightly with vermiculite. Cover the container with a clear plastic bag or piece of glass and place somewhere bright and warm for the seeds to germinate (about 18-20C). Once germinated remove the cover and grow on.
Some herbs growing outside can be lifted, divided and brought indoors for the winter. Chives and mint are ideal for this technique. Simply lift the plants in autumn and divide the clumps into smaller pieces. Plant up the divided pieces into pots of ordinary multipurpose compost, water well and cut back the top growth to leave about 10 cm to regrow.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour
Image: Alexander Raths
When harvesting herbs, remove foliage from the outside of the plant, allowing new leaves to develop in the centre, and don’t pick more than a third of the foliage at a time to enable the plant to recover.
Herbs are excellent for freezing, enabling you to enjoy their flavours all year round. This is especially useful for fast-growing herbs like coriander, parsley and dill, and can help you resolve a glut. Either freeze whole sprigs in freezer bags or freeze chopped herbs with water in ice cube trays.
Herbs are best harvested in the morning before any essential oils evaporate. You can harvest outdoor evergreen herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme sparingly all year round, but be aware that no new growth will occur until spring.
Top tips for looking after herbs
Herbs grown in pots and containers require more care
Herbs are relatively low maintenance unless you’re growing them in containers, in which case they require routine watering and feeding. Trimming herbs in the spring encourages a flush of new healthy leaves, and it’s also best to deadhead your herbs as the flowers start to fade to channel their energy into leaf growth.
In the autumn it’s best to leave any dead foliage on the plant to help protect it during the winter, but do make sure you clear any debris and fallen leaves off low-growing herbs like thyme and lavender to prevent fungal diseases. It isn’t necessary to mulch your herbs, with the exception of mint which prefers moist growing conditions.
Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow and transform your efforts in the kitchen. If you grow from seed, you can choose unusual and interesting flavours that aren’t readily available on supermarket shelves. Why not give them a go this year?
Keep garden rows wide enough to cultivate, narrow enough to shadow out weeds
As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent, I answer hundreds of gardening question. This week, a gardener wanted to know how far apart to space her garden rows. The short answer is: it depends.
Row spacing in raised bed gardens is often closer than in traditional plowed gardens. For a raised bed garden, you probably don’t want boxes and/or rows wider than 5 feet, so you can easily reach into the garden and pull weeds or harvest vegetables without having to walk into the raised bed. Because raised bed gardens are usually maintained without machinery, rows can be closer.
For plowed garden plots, row spacing is often determined by the width of your rotary tiller. For most tillers, rows should be at least 36 inches wide. This way you can go back between the rows and lightly cultivate for weed control until the crop starts to fill in between the rows.
For most crops such as beans, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, okra, peas and squash, 36-inch row spacing would be the minimum. Some gardeners prefer slightly wider rows for certain crops like okra because it’s just a pain, literally, to have to harvest without some headroom.
When using cages for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, add a little extra space for convenience. For vine crops such as sweet potatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons and pumpkins, leave at least 60 to 72 inches between the rows. Rows spaced 72 inches are perfect for making two passes with most rotary tillers for weed control until the vines begin to run.
So what about planting crops even further apart? You can plant most crops at a greater distance with the exception of corn. Corn does best when planted in at least two rows within a few feet of each other for good pollination. Keep in mind that the wider your row spacing becomes, the more weeds you will have to deal with.
When spacing your rows, the goal is to maximize crop growth and yield while out-competing weeds. Closer spaced crops tend to shade out competing weeds once the crop leaves begin to form a canopy over the middle of the rows. You still need to control the weeds with tilling and hoeing early in the season. If you do a good job managing those weeds early on, then you should have fewer weeds as the season progresses.
For more information on row spacing, check out UGA Extension’s free publication on “Home Gardening” at http://t.uga.edu/ex.
Vegetable crop yields and the number of vegetable plants to grow for each person in your household will help you estimate the space needed for a home vegetable garden.
Crop yield estimates and consumption predictions are largely base on experience. Keeping a food log and garden record can help you hone your vegetable garden needs and make for smarter planning.
Vegetable crop yields will vary according to garden conditions and variety planted. Weather and growing conditions can change from year to year, and these changes can affect yield.
Here are crop yield estimates, plants-per-person suggestions, and crop spacing requirements to help you estimate your garden space requirements and growing requirements. Use these estimates with your own experience.
Vegetable Crop Yields, Plants per Person, and Crop Spacing:
Artichoke. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 12 buds per plant after the first year. Space plants 4 to 6 feet apart.
Arugula. Grow 5 plants per person. Space plants 6 inches apart.
Asparagus. Grow 30 to 50 roots for a household of 2 to 4 people. Yield 3 to 4 pounds of spears per 10-foot row. Space plants 12 inches apart.
Bean, Dried. Grow 4 to 8 plants per person. Yield in pounds varies per variety. Space plants 1 to 3 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
Bean, Fava. Grow 4 to 8 plants per person. Space plants 4 to 5 inches apart in rows 18 to 30 inches apart.
Bean, Garbanzo, Chickpea. Grow 4 to 8 plants per person. Yield 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 3 to 6 inches apart in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
Bean, Lima. Grow 4 to 8 per person. Yield 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space bush lima beans 3 to 6 inches apart in rows 24 to 30 inches apart; increase distance for pole limas.
Beans, Snap. Grow 4 to 8 plants total of each variety or several varieties per person. Yield 3 to 5 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 1 to 3 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
Beans, Soy. Grow 4 to 8 plants per person. Yield 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 2 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
Beets. Grow 5 to 10 mature plants per person. Yield 8 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 3 inches apart for roots–1 inch apart for greens.
Broccoli. Grow 2 to 4 plants per person. Yield 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Brussels sprouts. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 3 to 5 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart.
Cabbage. Grow 4 to 8 plants per person. Yield 10 to 25 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 24 to 30 inches apart.
Carrots. Grow 30 plants per person. Yield 7 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Thin plants to 1½ to 2 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.
Cauliflower. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 8 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Celery. Grow 5 plants per person. Yield 6 to 8 stalks per plant. Space plants 6 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart.
Chayote. Grow 1 vine for 1 to 4 people. Set vining plants 10 feet apart and train to a sturdy trellis or wire support.
Chicory. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Space plants 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
Chinese Cabbage. Grow 6 to 8 heads per person. Space plants 4 inches apart in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
Collards. Grow 2 to 3 plants per person. Yield 4 to 8 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 15 to 18 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Corn. Grow 12 to 20 plants per person. Yield 1 to 2 ears per plants, 10 to 12 ears per 10-foot row. Space plant 4 to 6 inches apart in rows2 to 3 feet apart.
Cucumber. Grow 6 plants per person. Grow 3 to 4 plants per quart for pickling. Yield 8 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 1 to 3 feet apart in rows 3 to 6 feet apart.
Eggplant. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 8 fruits per Italian oval varieties; yield 10 to 15 fruits per Asian varieties. Space plants 24 to 30 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Endive and Escarole. Grow 2 to 3 plants per person. Yield 3 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.
Garlic. Grow 12 to 16 plants per person. Yield 10 to 30 bulbs per 10-foot row. Space cloves 3 to 6 inches apart in rows 15 inches apart.
Horseradish. Grow 1 plant per person. Space plants 30 to 36 inches apart.
Jicama. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 1 to 6 pound tuber per plant. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart.
Kale. Grow 4 to 5 plants per person. Yield 4 to 8 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart.
Kohlrabi. Grow 4 to 5 plants per person. Yield 4 to 8 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart.
Leeks. Grow 12 to 15 plants per person. Yield 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 2 to 4 inches apart in rows 6 to 10 inches apart.
Lettuce. Grow 6 to 10 plants per person; plant succession crops with each harvest. Yield 4 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space looseleaf lettuce 4 inches apart and all other types 12 inches apart in rows 16 to 24 inches apart.
Melon. Grow 2 to plants per person. Yield 2 to 3 melons per vine. Space plants 3 to 4 feet apart in rows 3 feet wide.
Mustard. Grow 6 to 10 plants per person. Yield 3 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plant 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 15 to 30 inches apart.
Okra. Grow 6 plants per person. Yield 5 to 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in rows 2½ to 4 feet apart.
Onion, Bulb. Yield 7 to 10 pounds of bulbs per 10-foot row. Space onion sets or transplants 4 to 5 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart.
Parsnip. Grow 10 plants per person. Yield 10 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 24 inches apart.
Peas. Grow 30 plants per person. Yield 2 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 2 to 4 inches apart in rows2 feet apart for bush peas, 5 feet apart for vining peas.
Pepper. Grow 2 to 3 plants per person. Yield 5 to 18 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 28 to 36 inches apart.
Potato. Grow 1 plant to yield 5 to 10 potatoes. Yield 10 to 20 pounds per 10-foot row. Space seed potatoes 10 to 14 inches apart in trenches 24 to 34 inches apart.
Pumpkin. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 10 to 20 pounds per 10-foot row. Space bush pumpkins 24 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart. Set 2 to 3 vining pumpkins on hills spaced 6 to 8 feet apart.
Radicchio. Grow 5 to 6 plants per person. Space plants 6 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart.
Radish. Grow 15 plants per person. Yield 2 to 5 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 1 inch apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
Rhubarb. Grow 2 to 3 plants per person. Yield 1 to 5 pounds per plant. Set plants 3 to 6 feet apart.
Rutabaga. Grow 5 to 10 plants per person. Yield 8 to 30 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 15 to 36 inches apart.
Salsify. Grow 10 plants per person. Space plants 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 20 to 30 inches apart.
Scallions. Yield 1½ pounds per 10-foot row. Spaces onion sets or plants 2 inches apart for scallions or green onions.
Shallot. Yield 2 to 12 cloves per plant. Space plants 5 to 8 inches apart in rows 2 to 4 feet apart.
Sorrel. Grow 3 plants per person. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart.
Spinach. Grow 15 plants per person. Yield 4 to 7 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 1 to 2 feet apart.
Squash, Summer. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 10 to 80 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 2 to 4 feet apart in rows 5 feet apart.
Squash, Winter. Grow 1 plant per person. Space plants feet apart.
Sunchokes. Grow 5 to 10 plants per person. Space plants 24 inches apart in rows 36 to 40 inches apart.
Sunflower. Grow 1 plant per person. Yield 1 to 2½ pounds of seed per flower. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart in rows 30to 36 inches apart.
Sweet Potato. Grow 5 plants per person. Yield 8 to 12 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart.
Swiss Chard. Grow 2 to 3 plants per person. Yield 8 to 12 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 12 inches apart in rows 18 to 30 inches apart.
Tomatillo. Grow 1 to 2 plants per person. Yield 1 to 2 pounds per plant. Space plants 10 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart.
Tomato, Cherry. Grow 1 to 4 plants per person. Space plants 3 feet apart in rows 35 to 45 inches apart.
Tomato, Cooking. Grow 3 to 6 plants of each variety; this will yield 8 to 10 quarts. Space plants 42 inches apart in rows 40 to 50 inches apart.
Tomato, Slicing. Grow 1 to 4 plants per person. Space plants 42 inches apart in rows 40 to 50 inches apart.
Turnip. Grow 5 to 10 plants per person. Yield 8 to 12 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 5 to 8 inches apart in rows in rows 15 to 24 inches apart.
Watermelon. Grow 2 plants per person. Yield 8 to 40 pounds per 10-foot row. Space plants 4 feet apart in rows 4 feet wide and 8 feet apart.