Growing enough vegetables to last a whole year
We have a goal this year for our homestead. Its a big goal and I am a little nervous about the amount of work it will require. When we set the goal to grow 50% of all the vegetables we will need for a whole year we knew it meant work. I am not afraid of work, especially working outside in the sunshine. Planning and being organized is more of a task for me than working outside weeding and picking off bugs.
I have done lots of research regarding how many plants to plant for a year worth of vegetables. I found the number of total plants needed to be all over the place and it was very confusing!
I was left scratching my head until I found Becky's post on her blog at theseasonalhomestead.com. She has been on the quest to feed her family for a whole year with the vegetables that she grew in her garden and she has some amazing posts on this. So I read all her posts and re-read them. I found another great resource (https://www.ufseeds.com/calculators.html) and between the two I calculated the numbers and figured out not only how many plants to plant but when to start seedlings, when to direct seed, when to transplant, how many row feet needed and how many plants per row.
This required some serious nerdy math but I am so glad we took the time to do this. Here is the link for download. We are a family of 4 so you will need to make the adjustments based on your own family size and your growing zone.
In zone 7A, we won't be able to grow mangoes and papayas but that doesn't mean you can't grow and enjoy other delicious fruits! I even planted a meyer lemon tree from a seed and its doing amazing inside the house.
After making the above chart we also made sure we have enough garden space prepared to grow all those plants! We have done soil tests, added lime, tilled, cover cropped and mulched. We have also built trellises and bought seeds, fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. I love this dreaming phase of gardening!
Please note that your zone, weather, pest and disease pressure and other things that are out of your control will play a huge role in the amount you harvest. You may want to adjust your numbers accordingly. This is my first time taking such a huge leap of faith and I know I will adjust my numbers based on my experience. Also, the list has the fruits and veggies our family enjoys eating.
I have already written a post about the variety of each vegetable that I am growing. We also grow lots of flowers and herbs every year!
Happy gardening and God bless!