Garden Planning: Guidelines for Growing Legumes

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Once you know how many servings your family needs per year of legumes, use this chart to estimate how much space to dedicate to them in your garden. We’ve provided a range of yield estimates because yields will vary widely based on the climate, soil quality and other factors of your garden. For step-by-step instructions on how to apply the numbers in this chart, see “Plan How Much to Grow” in A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency.

Biointensive Yield: Using biointensive gardening methods, most gardeners can come close to the low end of the ranges below, and more experienced gardeners can expect the high end yields. These ranges are from How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits, Nuts, Berries and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine by John Jeavons.

Average Yield: The average yields below are from Jeavons’ book and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Servings Per Pound: The number of servings were calculated using data from So Easy to Preserve, Bowes & Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, and The Book of Yields: Accuracy in Food Costing and Purchasing.

More information about garden planning can be found in A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency.

Homegrown Legumes


Biointensive Yield
(lbs./100 sq. ft.)

Average Yield
(lbs./100 sq. ft.)

Half-Cup Servings
Per Pound

Beans, black 4-10 4 15.2
Beans, white 4-10 4 11.7
Chickpeas 4-10 4* 11.8
Cowpeas 2-5 3* 13.7
Fava, broadbean 5-9 5** 16.9
Kidney 4-10 4 12.9
Lentils 4-6 3 13.6
Pinto 4-10 4 14.3
Soybeans 4-8 5 12.7
 *Number from Purdue University
**Number from Cooperative Extension, University of California

More Charts for Crop-Specific Garden Planning

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