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Mary Smith |

We're often asked WHAT to plant and HOW MUCH to plant.  It is a common question so we thought we'd do a little "digging" to find the answers.

First, determine what you like to eat.  There's no sense in growing butternut squash (for example) if no one in your family will eat it.  Unless you plan to barter or trade that squash, try planting something different.

Common veggies include Beans Lettuce, Chard, Beets, Radish, Peppers, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Crookneck Squash, Pumpkins and Peppers.

Peas, Onions, HERBS and Eggplant shouldn't be left out.

Next, decide if you want to preserve some of the harvest by canning and/or freezing.  This would mean planting more seeds and harvesting more veggies.  But is also means less dependence on store-bought veggies.

We found a great chart at Well Fed Homestead.  This is a suggestion to feed your family for an entire year
1-4 plants per person

10-12 plants per person

Beans, Bush
10-20 plants per person

Beans, Lima
10-20 plants per person

Beans, Pole
10-20 plants per person

10-20 plants per person

5-10 plants per person

Brussels Sprouts
2-8 plants per person

3-10 plants per person

10-40 plants per person

3-5 plants per person
3-8 plants per person

12-40 plants per person

3-5 plants per person

1 plant per person, plus 2-3 extra per family

1 - 5’ row per person

10-12 plants per person

2-6 plants per person

40-80 plants per person

25-60 plants per person

5-6 plants per person

10-30 plants per person

1 plant per person

2-3 crowns per person

10-20 plants per person

Summer Squash
2-4 plants per person

Winter Squash
2 plants per person

Sweet Potatoes
5 plants per person

2-5 plants per person

From The Prepper Project,
"We may think of pumpkins and squash as nice decorations in fall – but for Indians, and the pioneers that followed them – squash meant survival. Many of the old winter squash varieties are large and can store for six months or longer. If you’ve got the climate and the space for these powerhouses, growing storable squash should be a priority. Likewise, beans are a good source of storable protein. Nab old-school shell beans and try a variety on your land. Though their yield isn’t as good as some survival plants, beans will repair your land by adding nitrogen. Crop them between other species and count the beans as an extra bonus. A particularly good plant to mix with beans and squash is the old stand-by: corn. Sweet corn isn’t what you want for survival – you want old grain varieties like Hickory King, Bloody Butcher, or Hopi Blue. Think scrappy, tough and uncorrupted by genetic modification. Grits, corn meal, polenta corn. Unlike other grains, corn is easy to harvest. Intercrop it with squash and beans in the “Three Sisters” method and you’ll get much more use of your space – plus confuse pests."

We understand that not everyone has a "farm" or vast amounts of land to grow 100% of their food.  Knowledge is power.  If your goal is to become more self-reliant and live more sustainably, now you have a food goal!

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We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you have additional questions please ask!


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very interesting. If only I was younger, LOL

Theresa Sutherland,

Thanks so much. This is eye opening!

Debbie Scribner,

I have much to learn about growing and preserving. I hope this site can help me learn


many thanks for all your helpful information always learning something new

Lena strumas,

How do I grow rhubarb on the South end of the Big Island. We are 1300 feet above the ocean shore. We get strong Trade Winds. The typical summer day is 78f and winter day temp is 72f but can get lower. Summer is fairly dry and the months with frequent rain are October through March. The temp can drop to as low as 60f.


Great list! I’m starting much smaller for my garden this year, but hope to get to these quantities!
Any chance you have a feed your keto family for a year list??!

Leslie Monroe,

What a great guideline list!!! Thank you. Pinning. :)

Gentle Joy Homemaker,

Thank you for posting this. I have also found the square foot method lends itself to this very well for those with a small space, especially for short term crops. Radishes and lettuces can fit in almost anywhere and can be picked within 30 to 45 day. The same with beets and spinach. Planting a square foot of each short term crop every few months works great. Each square is planted as it is harvested for the last time. In colder climates a cold frame will add at least a month on both sides of winter. It also allows for several varieties of each short term crop for added nutrition and flavors.
Butternut is an excellent keeper and I still have half a dozen from last years harvest from 2]1 hill with vines allowed to grow in the paths. Another good keeper is Tahitian Squash, which can get to 30 pounds or more. You can cut the end and cover with seran and rubber band. Cut pieces as desired. If the end is bad cut it off and continue using the rest. Pies are as good as pumpkin imho.

Robert Hill,

Thank you so much for linking up to the Homesteader’s Hop. We will be live again this Wednesday and every Wednesday!

Loved your article. :)

Floyd Family Homestead,

This is a wonderful reference! We’re only a couple of years into starting a homestead and still in the trial and error stages of how much to plant, so this is very welcomed advice. <3 #TuesdaysWithATwist

Lara @MommyKazam,

Although I can’t have an outdoor garden, it gives me pleasure to read about others’ gardens, and helps me better visualize the day I might live where I can grow more of our food again. Thank you for continuing to educate through this medium.

Kathryn Grace,

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