Number of Plants Needed to Feed a Family of Six 6

03/13/2017 | Ken Lain, mountain gardener Fruit Trees, Herbs, Sprouts, Vegetable Gardening

As we start the vegetable planting season this April, the top question asked here at Watters Garden Center is how many plants are needed to feed a family. It does vary by family and garden, but here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

This is only the most popular vegetables and the number of plants recommended by variety. Some can be started by seed, others are best started by plants, while others are best started by roots as with potato and onions. I wrote and magazine article of the“15 Vegetables Best Started by Seed”, or ask for a copy the next time you visit the garden center. For more information on how to grow individual vegetables go to the embedded links within the name of that vegetable, or visit our online garden resources at

  • Asparagus: about 10-15 plants per person
  • Beans (Bush): about 15 plants per person
  • Beans (Pole): 2-4 poles of beans per person (each pole with the four strongest seedlings growing)
  • Beets: about 36 plants per person.
  • Broccoli: 3-5 plants per person
  • Cabbage: 2-3 plants per person
  • Cantaloupe: figure on about 4 fruits per plant (estimate how much your family would eat)
  • Carrots: about 100 seeds per person (1/4 oz would be plenty for a family of six)
  • Cauliflower: 2-3 plants per person
  • Collards: about 5 plants per person
  • Corn: start out with 1/2 lb. seeds for the family and adjust as needed
  • Cucumbers: 3-6 plants per family
  • Eggplant: 3-6 plants per family
  • Lettuce: 4-5 plants per person
  • Okra: 3-4 plants per person
  • Onions: 12-15 plants per person
  • Parsnips: 12-15 plants per person
  • Peas: about 120 plants per person
  • Peppers: 3-5 plants per person
  • Spinach: about 15 plants per person
  • Squash (including Zucchini): about 10 per family
  • Sweet Potatoes: about 75 plants per family
  • Tomatoes: about 20 plants per family
  • Turnips: about 1/4 lb seeds per family
  • Watermelon: about 1/2 oz. seeds per family

If you are an experienced gardener, and have a good suggestion for planting amounts, or

want to share what works for your family, I’d love to hear from you!