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Vegetable Crop Yields, Plants per Person, and Crop Spacing

Garden bed rowsVegetable 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.

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34 Comments

  1. Like the simplicity of the tables – however I just want to clarify how long a person can survive off the vegetables recommended? For instance, if the recommendation for Arugula is 5 plants per person, how many meals can that person get out of that plant? Doesn’t have to be exact, but I’d be interested in working this out so I can plan my growing calendar more accurately.

    • The number of plants is a recommended estimate. Your own experience over the course of a season will be the most accurate. To use arugula as an example, if your harvest cut-and-come-again from five plants (that is snipping just the leaves you need for a meal and then revisiting the plant after you have harvested from the other four) you can likely get 5 or more “harvests” from each plant. Five plants would give you about 25 harvests–or about 25 meals. Of course, if you eat a lot of arugula regularly, you would want to increase the number of plants. Keep a garden-kitchen journal to fine-tune your planting and harvest program.

    • The yields are generally for the period of one harvest–which can last a few weeks to a couple of months. Some fruiting vegetables–such as indeterminate tomatoes–can have an extended harvest–several months–as long as they are happy with the growing conditions. The yields in the chart can be used as an estimation of what you might expect.

  2. Wow , I should be eating well this winter , for two of us , I planted about 400 bean plants (assorted) , 300 beets , 25 tomatoes , 25 peppers , 30 potatoes , 150 peas , 75 onions , 75 corn plants , about 1000 carrots (Ieat them very small) , 100 parsnips , and enough Swiss chard and spinach for a small army.
    I don’t grow squash as I can buy them so cheaply , I use the real estate for pricier crops.

  3. The spacing on the tomatoes and peppers seems a bit high. I’ve never given either more than 24 inches in any direction. What is the purpose of the generous spacing?

    • How to space tomatoes is best determined by the size of the plant at maturity (indeterminates will grow larger than determinate or bush varieties), and importantly pruning, sunlight, and air circulation. If you are growing large vining-indeterminates and you don’t plan to prune or control growth, allow more room between plants for sunlight and air circulation–both are essential for preventing disease and pest infestation and for fruit ripening. If you pay close attention to your plant’s growth and use stakes, cages, or trellises, then you certainly can plant closer rather than further apart.

      • Many people crowd tomatoes too closely and loose a % crop too rot etc from lack of air flow. Then again many also way over plant for thier planned use so……

        Not to mention if your growing the longer vining plants like the mortgage lifter can extend 9-10 feet and spread 6. Roots on plants can extend out 7 feet diameter and 3-4ft deep if soil is loose enough to allow.

        No doubt with heavy amended soil you can go 12″ and have healthy plants but lack of air flow crop rot less production will and do happen as well as more issues..

        Most productive planting we have ever have is using cattle panels plants 36″ apart alternate sides of panel. Tied to panel. Rows 48″ apart. Honestly cages create issues with picking air flow as well.

        If people are into sauce I strongly recommend mortgage lifter + roma or amish+ your pick of a lesser vol flavorful slicing or eat fresh tomato. The mortgage lifter alone can yield 2-3 gal of sauce per plant if its tressiled and spread out for max exposure and feed watered thru season..

        We trellis beans chukes peas tomato, zuchini etc it also gives us shade cooler areas for lettuce spinach etc to go much further into the heat of summer without bolting. Arched 15ftx4.5ft panels for chukes are ideal for this. Not to mention being able to stand up picking vs bent over and contourted on hands-n-knees.

    • There are a few factors in calculating the yield of leafy crops such as spinach. Factors include how many plants you grow in each square foot and when and how you harvest the leaves or plants. You can harvest the plants whole when they are young or later when they are near maturity. If you harvest plants young you can grow the plants closer together than if you allow them to mature (in which case each plant would need more space then a young plant.) That means you can grow more plants per square foot. You can also harvest spinach and other leafy crops cut-and-come-again, meaning you take young leaves and allow the plant to grow new leaves; this allows for an extended harvest. Weather and temperature also figures in to the time it will take to grow each plant. You should first determine when and how you plan to harvest; then you will be able to determine how many plants you can grow in each square foot; from there you can weigh leaves to determine the KG/Sft.

  4. I had to smile at 2-3 plants of rhubarb per person. I understand what you meant by “plants” but most gardeners let their rhubarb multiply into one large clump(numerous plants) and then think of it as 1 “plant”. We are a family of 7 who juice our 1 plant of rhubarb into a cordial type drink and we are not able to get through half of it in a northern Canadian summer. Thank you for your list though-very helpful.

    • Vining beans and peas will produce more pods than bush plants if the pods are harvested regularly. Bush beans and peas will come to harvest over a two to three period and then the harvest will be done. Vining beans and peas can produce over 6 to 8 weeks if the pods are picked regularly. Once pods ripen and begin to dry, the plants will stop producing.

    • When horseradish is lifted at harvest time there will be a tangle of roots. Roots that are 8 inches long or longer are commonly saved for replanting to produce a new crop the following year. The smaller roots are set aside for kitchen use. The smaller roots should equal 1 to 3 pounds per plant.

    • Southern peas will produce between 50 and 100 pods depending on the soil, temperature, and nutrients. You can use that estimate to determine how many plants you will need.

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