Farming Tips

How much do I need to plant to feed my family?

How much do I need to plant to feed my family?

Growing your own food is a great idea. I helps to boost your daily intake of nutrients, reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides and it can be a kind of insurance against difficult times. Even if you can’t get to the grocery store for whatever reason, you’ll still have something to eat. Not to mention, gardening is therapeutic, it calms the nerves, and eating your own produce is a deeply satisfying experience. However, when we first get into growing our own food, it’s hard to estimate how much we’ll need to plant to sustain ourselves or our families.

Planning our garden is important, especially when we have limited space or a tight budget. Each different crop has a different “expected yield” and appropriate “spacing” requirements. This means that it is possible to estimate how many plants we need to feed a certain number of people and how much space it will require to do so, assuming that other issues like soil health and pest control are well managed.

Here are some examples for sweet corn, okra, eggplant and sweet potato:

  • For sweet corn, you will need about twenty plants per person. The plants should be spaced six inches apart in rows that are two to three feet apart.
  • Okra: about six plants per person. Space plants twelve inches apart in rows two and a half to four feet apart.
  • Eggplant: one or two plants per person. Space plants thirty inches apart in rows three feet apart.
  • Sweet Potato: about five plants per person. Space plants twelve inches apart in rows three feet apart.

The information given above is based on estimates of consumption for the average household or person… but maybe you’re not average. Maybe you like sweet corn more than most people, or maybe you don’t like eggplant at all! The good news is that the calculation can be modified to suit your taste. The necessary “spacing” and “expected yield” information can be found for any crop with a quick internet search, but for your convenience, here’s an easy tool to help with the planting calculation of some common vegetables: inches apart in rows three feet apart.

Save space and increase your yield with the Bayan Greentech vertical dripping system! By growing small veggies and herbs in vertical space, anyone can grow food at home, even without access to land. Try parsley culanto, basil, mint, green onion, sawi, bok choy, bayam and more!

What are you planning to grow next? Let’s get growing!