Garden Planning: Guidelines for Growing Vegetables

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Tonya Olson

Once you know how many servings your family needs per year of vegetables, 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 yield numbers below are from Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers.

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 Vegetables


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

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

Half-Cup Servings
Per Pound

Beans, snap 30-72 14-23 4.4
Beets 55-110 32-46 2.8
Broccoli 26-39 33-46 3.1
Cabbage 96-191 73-103 2.8
Carrots 100-150 80-183 2.8
Corn, sweet (kernels only) 17-34 25-46 1.7
Cucumbers 158-316 42-69 4.4
Garlic 60-120 38-46 133
(1-clove servings)
Lettuce, leaf 135-202 46-75 6.6
(1-cup servings)
Okra 30-60 14-34 5
Onions 100-200 96-149 20.6
(2-tbsp servings)
Peas, shelled 25-53 7-10 1.7
Peppers, green 68-136 66-86 5.8
Potatoes, Irish 100-200 72-91 2.8
Potatoes, sweet 82-164 33-69 3.1
Spinach 50-100 37-52 11.7 (fresh)
3.6 (cooked)
Squash, crookneck 35-75 37-69 3.4
Squash, winter 50-100 50-91 2.5
Tomatoes, fresh 100-194 66-91 2.3

More Charts for Crop-Specific Garden Planning