Growing your own food can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, providing you with fresh, nutrient-rich produce and saving you money on grocery bills.
But what if you don’t have access to outdoor space or live in a climate that doesn’t allow for year-round gardening? Indoor gardening may be the answer.
However, indoor gardening does come with its own set of challenges. Limited space, lack of natural light, and temperature fluctuations can all impact the success of your indoor garden. So how do you determine how many vegetables to grow to provide enough food for the entire year?
6 questions to ask before you start planting
I remember the first time I wanted to start my first garden indoors. I was so excited about the idea of growing my own food, but at the same time, I was a bit overwhelmed and experienced some pre planting anxiety.
How many plants would I need to make sure that my family had enough food for the year?
I did some research and came up with an estimate of how many vegetables to plant per person we’d need to have enough food for the year in my new garden. But even then, it still felt like a guess – how could I be sure I was planting enough?
It wasn’t until I started talking to other indoor gardeners that I realized how much variability there can be when it comes to how many plants you should plant per person.
Everyone has different preferences, preservation plans, and garden sizes – all of which can affect how much to plant in order to feed your family for the year.
That’s why I think it’s important to have a rough starting point when it comes to how much to plant per person. From my own experience, it helps to take some of the guesswork out of things and can help ensure that your family has enough food throughout the year!
That’s why I believe that before you start, you should take a few moments to consider 6 key questions:
1. How many members are in your household?
The number of people in your household will also determine how many plants you need to grow. If you’re a single person, you will obviously need fewer plants than a household of four or more family members.
Consider how much produce each person in your household will need and how often they will eat it, then adjust your planting schedule accordingly. With some careful planning, you can easily meet the needs of your entire family with just one or two patches of vegetables!
2. How much space do you have?
This will determine how many plants you can fit in the area and how many different types you can grow. If your indoor garden space is limited to a few square feet, it’s best to stick with compact varieties that won’t outgrow their allotted space.
The size and type of container you use for your indoor vegetable garden space will determine the number of plants you can fit in the available space and how successful they will be. In a small space, it’s best to opt for smaller pots instead of large planters that may take up too much space. If you have a large patio, you can also use raised beds to maximize your growing area.
Another alternative is to use a vertical gardening system or hanging planters. This can help you to maximize your indoor vegetable garden size and also add an interesting visual element to your home decor.
3. What type of plants your family likes to eat?
You may be tempted to try all sorts of exotic fruits or vegetable crops, but some simply won’t thrive under indoor conditions.
Certain types of plants are more suitable for indoor growing than others, so it’s important to select varieties that will thrive in limited light and temperature fluctuations.
However, it’s important to choose what you and your family like to eat. What are your favorite vegetables, herbs, and fruits to plant. This will help you determine how much of each crop you need to grow in order to meet everyone’s needs for the entire season.
Another thing that is important to know is the term succession planting. You see, some plants take the entire season to fully mature and will be harvested once a season.
However, other vegetables can be planted multiple times a season so that you will harvest them multiple times throughout the season.
For example, greens like spinach or lettuce can be planted every two weeks to ensure that you have a continuous supply of fresh produce throughout the season. This is how I ensure my family has enough salads during summer and spring.
4. How much time are you willing to devote to your vegetable garden?
Indoor gardens require regular maintenance, including watering, pruning, fertilizing, and pest control. If you’re a busy person, it’s best to stay with low-maintenance varieties such as leafy greens or herbs.
5. What sort of light and temperature do you have?
The amount of natural sunlight you have will determine how successful your plants will be. If you don’t have access to sufficient natural light, consider artificial lighting such as LED grow lights or fluorescent bulbs.
Remember that there are some plants that need more light than others, so consider how much time and energy you’re willing to devote to providing adequate lighting.
Temperature is also an important factor in indoor gardening. People who live in cooler climates may want to opt for heat-loving crops such as peppers or eggplant. Alternatively, those who live in warmer climates may want to select cool-season crops such as lettuce or spinach.
Most vegetable plants require temperatures between 60-80 degrees during the day and 55-65 degrees at night to grow successfully.
6. How much produce do you need?
Finally, how many staple crops do you need for a year’s worth of food? If you’re looking to have a steady supply of fresh produce for your family all year long, it’s best to stagger your planting schedule throughout the year so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many plants at one time.
For example, if you have a space that can accommodate twelve plants and are looking to feed a family of four, consider growing three different types of vegetables such as green beans, spinach, and kale in spring; tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in summer; herbs in fall; and carrots and radishes in winter.
This will provide a steady supply of fresh eating produce throughout the year without overburdening your vegetable garden.
7. Are we consuming in-season produce or do we want to preserve food for later?
If you’re looking to save food for later, you may consider preserving your harvest by canning or freezing. This will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long.
Additionally, many vegetables can be dried and stored in a cool, dry place for months at a time. Dried herbs are also easy to save and use throughout the winter months when other fresh produce is scarce.
If you plan to preserve excess harvests, it’s best to consider adding plants you’ll need to accommodate the increased production. Preserving food is a great way to ensure you have enough produce throughout the season and can even help you save money in the long run.
By following these guidelines, you can figure out all the food you need per person to grow in order to provide enough vegetables to feed your family throughout the year.
Generally speaking, if you have an ample amount of space, the number of plants per person needed will depend on how much time and energy you’re willing to put into caring for them.
How to calculate the number of plants needed for a family?
The number of plants per person you’ll need to grow for one person will depend on how much produce each plant yields, how often it produces, and how much of a particular item the person consumes in a year.
For example, suppose you’re growing tomatoes, and the average plant yields 10 pounds of fruit per season, and one person consumes an average of 15 pounds of tomatoes throughout the year.
In that case, you’ll need two tomato plants to satisfy that individual. If you have four people in your family, you’ll need eight tomato plants to provide enough.
You can use this same formula to figure out how much to plant of each type you’ll need for your family’s yearly consumption.
To make it easier, consider creating a spreadsheet that tracks how much produce each plant yields and how much each person in the household consumes. This will help you determine how many plants are needed for your entire family.
With careful planning, though, you can have the right number of plants to provide enough fresh produce for your family throughout the year.
Generally speaking, you’ll need about three times as many plants indoors as outdoors due to space and light constraints.
How many plants per person? [Planteli’s list]
Choosing the right plants for your indoor garden space is essential. Not all plants are suitable for indoor growing, so it’s important to consider factors such as the amount of light and temperature your plants will receive.
You’ll also want to choose plants that you enjoy eating, making it easier for you to stick with your garden plan.
Don’t forget about how much maintenance your indoor garden will require. Different plants need different amounts of care and attention, so it’s important to pick plants that fit into your lifestyle.
Here is a list of vegetables, fruits, and herbs with the number of plants per person needed per year :
Vegetable plants per person:
|Vegetable plant||Plants per person||How many crops one plant produces per year||Space plants||Recommended Container size|
|Artichoke||1 to 2 plants||±12 buds after the first year||4-6 feet apart||3 feet wide X 1 feet deep|
|Asparagus||5-10 plants||±1/2 pound||12 inches apart||3-6 feet wide X 7-8 inches deep|
|Bean (Dried)||±1/2 pound||1-3 inches apart||15 inches wide X 8 inches deep|
|Bean (Fava)||4-8 plants||±15 pods per stalk (large varieties). 60 pods (small varieties)||4-5 inches apart||12-18 inches deep|
|Bean, Garbanzo, Chickpea||4-8 plants||±3 pods||3-6 inches apart||8 inches wide X 8 inches deep|
|Bean (Lima)||4-8 plants||±20 pods (5 to 6 beans per pod)||3-6 inches apart||12 inches wide X 8 inches deep|
|Beets||5-10 plants||One beet produce one beet root. One beet seed may grow many beet plants.||3 inches apart||10 inches deep|
|Bok choy||1-3 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||10 inches apart||10 inches deep|
|Broccoli||2-4 plants||1||18-24 inches apart||12 inches wide X 12-inches pot|
|Brussels sprouts||1-2 plants||±50 sprouts||18-24 inches apart||12-14 inches wide X 10-12 inches deep|
|Cabbage||4-8 plants||±6 new heads||24-30 inches apart||18 inches wide X 12 inches deep|
|Carrots||10-12 plants||1||2-3 inches apart||12 inches deep|
|Cauliflower||2-4 plants||1||18-24 inches apart||18 inches wide X 8 inches deep|
|Celery||2-6 plants||6-8 stalks per plant||6 inches apart||12-inches wide X 8-inches deep|
|Chinese Cabbage||6-8 plants||3-4 heads||4 inches apart||9 inches wide x 9 inches deep|
|Collard||2-3 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||15-18 inches apart||12 inches deep|
|Corn||6-12 plants||1-2 cobs||4-6 inches apart||2 feet wide X 1 foot deep|
|Cucumbers||3-5 plants||±5 pounds||1-3 feet apart||10 inches wide x 8 inches deep|
|Daikon||3-6 plants||1||12-18 inches apart||3 inches wide X 18 inches deep|
|Eggplants||2-3 plants||8 (Italian oval varieties). 10-15 (Asian varieties)||24-30 inches apart||12-14 inches wide and deep (compact variety). 20 inches deep (otherwise)|
|Garlic||10-15 plants||1 clove grows into 1 bulb of garlic||3-6 inches apart||12 inches wide X 18 inches deep|
|Horseradish||1-2 plants||±1 pound||30-36 inches apart||25 inches wide and deep|
|Jerusalem artichoke||5-10 plants||±3 pounds||24 inches apart||18 inches wide x 8 inches deep|
|Jicama||1-2 plants||±1-6 pound tuber||8-12 inches apart||4 inches wide and deep|
|Kale||3-5 plants||±1-6 pound tuber||12 inches apart||12 inches wide and deep|
|Kohlrabi||4-8 plants||1||4-6 inches apart||16 inches wide and deep|
|Leaf lettuce||5-8 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||4 inches apart||6-8 inches wide X 6-8 inches deep|
|Leeks||10-12 plants||1||2-4 inches apart||8-10 inches wide and deep|
|Mustard green||5-10 plants||±20-40 leaves||6-12 inches apart||12 inches wide X 6 inches deep|
|Okra||3-6 plants||±20-30 pods||12-18 inches apart||10-12 inches wide and deep|
|Onion (bulb)||10-20 plants||1||4-5 inches apart||8-10 inches wide X 10-14 inches deep|
|Onion (scallion)||15-25 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||2 inches apart||8 inches deep and wide|
|Onion (shallot)||10-20 plants||2-12 cloves||5-8 inches apart||1 foot wide X 6 inches deep|
|Parsnip||5-10 plants||1||3-4 inches apart||2 feet deep|
|Pea (shelling)||15-30 plants||2-4 oz||2-4 inches apart||12 inches wide X 6-12 inches deep|
|Pea (snap or snow)||3-5 plants||45-50 pods||1 inches apart||12 inches wide X 6-12 inches deep|
|Peppers (hot)||1-2 plants||20-50 hot peppers||18 inches apart||12 inches deep and wide|
|Peppers (sweet)||3-5 plants||5-10 large bell peppers||18-24 inches apart||12 inches deep and wide|
|Potatoes||5-10 plants||5-10 potatoes||10-14 inches apart||15 inches wide and deep|
|Pumpkin||1-2 plants||2-5 pumpkins||24 inches apart||18 inches wide and deep|
|Radicchio||5-6 plants||1||6 inches apart||8 inches wide and deep|
|Radishes||8-10 plants||1||1 inches apart||12 inches wide X 6 inches deep|
|Radicchio||2-3 plants||1-5 pounds||3-6 feet apart||8 inches wide and deep|
|Spinach||5-10 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||3-4 inches apart||8-10 inches wide and deep|
|Summer Squash||1-2 plants||5-6||2-4 feet apart||24 inches wide X 12 inches deep|
|Sweet potatoes||3-5 plants||3-5 tubers||12 inches apart||2 feet wide X 12 inches deep|
|Swiss Chard||2-3 plants||1 plant with multiple harvest||12 inches apart||15 inches wide X 8 inches deep|
|Tomatillo||1-2 plants||1-2 pounds||10 inches apart||12 inches deep and wide|
|Tomatoes||3-5 plants||18-30 tomatoes||42 inches apart||14 inches wide X 12 inches deep|
|Tomatoes (cherry)||2-3 per person||9-15 pounds of tomatoes||3 feet apart||14 inches wide X 12 inches deep|
|Turnip||5-10 plants||1||2-4 inches apart||12 inches wide and deep|
|Watermelon||2 plants||4-5 watermelons||4 feet apart||18-24 inches wide X 20-24 inches deep|
|Winter squash||1-2 plants||1-10 watermelons||24 inches apart||24 inches wide X 12 inches deep|
Note: These are just general estimates, and the actual number of plants per person you will need may vary depending on the size of your garden, the climate in which you live, and other factors. It’s a good idea to create a garden plan and use online resources to help determine the specific needs of your garden.
How to create a garden plan for indoor planting
If you are an indoor gardener wanting to grow your own food, it can be difficult to know how much to plant each year.
Some vegetables have a longer growing season than others and require more space, while other plants must be replanted multiple times throughout the season in order to keep up with the demand of one person to eat all year round.
Here are some steps to follow when creating a garden plan for indoor planting:
- Determine the size of your indoor growing space: Measure the width and length of the area where you will grow your plants. This will give you an idea of the amount of space you have to work with.
- Consider the light and temperature requirements of the plants you want to grow: Not all plants are suitable for indoor growing, so it’s important to choose plants that will thrive in your specific indoor environment. Consider the amount of light and temperature your plants will receive, and choose plants suitable for these conditions.
- Determine the number and type of plants you want to grow: Based on the size of your indoor growing space and the light and temperature conditions, determine the number and type of plants you want to grow. You may want to mix and match different types of plants or focus on growing a specific type of plant.
- Sketch out your garden plan: Using a pen and paper, sketch out your indoor growing space and mark where you plan to place each plant. Be sure to leave enough space between plants for them to grow and thrive.
- Consider the care and maintenance of your plants: In addition to determining the number and type of plants you want to grow, it’s also important to consider how you will care for your plants throughout the growing season. This includes watering, fertilizing, and pest control.
- Use online resources: Many online resources are available to help you plan your indoor garden space, including garden planning apps and websites. These tools can provide a more customized estimate of how many plants you will need and help you create a vegetable garden plan that meets your specific needs.
Tips for getting the most out of your edible indoor garden
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your edible indoor garden:
Tip #1: Choose the right plants:
Not all plants are suitable for indoor growing, so it’s important to choose plants that will thrive in your specific indoor environment. Consider the amount of light and temperature your plants will receive, and choose plants that are suitable for these conditions.
Tip #2: Provide adequate light:
Most plants need a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day to grow properly. If you don’t have access to natural light, consider using grow lights to provide your plants with the light they need.
Tip #3: Maintain consistent temperature:
Most plants prefer a consistent temperature between 60-70°F. Avoid placing your plants in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can stress the plants and reduce yield.
Tip #4: Water and fertilize properly:
Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the health and productivity of your plants. Water your plants regularly, but be sure to avoid overwatering or underwatering. Use a balanced fertilizer to give your plants the nutrients they need to thrive.
Tip #5: Control pests:
Pests such as aphids, thrips, and whiteflies can be a problem in indoor gardens. To prevent pests from becoming a problem, it’s important to keep your plants healthy and maintain a clean growing environment. Consider using natural pest control methods, such as introducing beneficial insects or neem oil.
Tip #6: Prune and train your plants:
Pruning and training your plants can help to improve yield and encourage healthy growth. Trim off any dead or diseased branches, and train climbing plants (such as tomatoes and beans) to grow vertically to save space and increase yield.
Tip #7: Use indoor garden beds, containers and pots wisely:
If you are growing your plants in pots or containers, be sure to choose containers that are the appropriate size for the plants you are growing.
Using pots that are too small can restrict the growth of your plants while using pots that are too large can lead to excess watering and nutrient leaching. If you are using garden beds or planters, be sure to use a soil mixture suitable for the type of plants you are growing.
So go ahead and start planning your edible garden today!
In conclusion, there is no single answer to how much to plant per person should be planted for annual food needs as it depends on various factors such as the type of plant, its growth rate, how much it yields, and how often it produces.
However, creating a detailed garden plan that considers these various factors can help you figure out the number of plants per person that should be planted to meet your desired yield.
With the proper planning, you can create an indoor garden space that will provide plenty of produce for one person throughout the year.