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Celery
Southern Fan
Cornball
Member since Nov 2010
7767 posts

New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
Feeding a family of 3.

Thinking tomatoes, squash, bell peppers and eggplant to start in 2 3x6 raised beds. Not sure how many I’m gonna need. Don’t want to have tomato overkill.

Any other tips on raised beds appreciated
This post was edited on 4/15 at 2:08 pm


LSUBRO
LSU Fan
Thorsby, Alabama
Member since Aug 2007
204 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
Easy answer baw, just take tree-fiddy and divide it by fiddy to get the correct answer.


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34
Centinel
Alabama Fan
South Carolina
Member since Sep 2016
16760 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
First, you can never have too many maters. That's what canning is for. It's more about growing what varieties you want. I grow one specifically to can (San Marzano), one for salads that puts out a ton early summer and late fall (indigo cherry drop), one for slicing (cherokee purple), and usually one experiment. Last year was a German yellow heirloom that didn't give me a single fruit. This year I'm trying tomatillos. That plus the anaheim and jalapenos i'm growing hopefully will end up with lots of canned salsa verde.

Otherwise, for the wife and I even more than one squash and one zuch was overkill. Had to give a ton away. Can't comment on egglplant.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
3302 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
I'll do my best to assist. That is just 36 sq. ft. of garden space between the two beds, so you'll be a bit limited as far as how many plants you can put in them.

I'd not opt for squash since they are so cheap in the markets during the summer and the plants get absolutely huge in the garden, often 4 ft. across and 2+ ft. tall.

Stuff like eggplant, bell peppers and tomatoes do better when staked---especially tomatoes and eggplants when they start bearing fruit.

I like to give tomatoes space since they often have mildew, fungal and bacterial issues if planted too close. I plant mine no less than 2 ft. apart, often up to 3 ft. Mine are already in the ground and about 2 ft. tall and my experience in S.E. La. is they are done by late June/early July due to the heat and humidity.

You can plant bell peppers between them to utilize space if you plant the tomatoes 3 ft. apart.

Other things to consider around plants are some bush beans that can be planted pretty densely and they produce a lot of beans per plant.

This is not the time of year for lettuce, spinach and most salad type greens, but Swiss Chard does well in the heat and is an excellent spinach substitute. Those can be planted between larger plants to utilize space.


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10
lsuson
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Oct 2013
5595 posts
 Online 

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
Lesson I learned with my tomatillos. I didn’t see many bees and my plants produced tons of flowers. I had to pollinate them by hand with a q-tip going from flower to flower. After I did that I had a ton of tomatillos. That fresh green salsa was so damn good!


Geauxld Finger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
27803 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
It’s a hobby. Don’t expect to legit feed your family Off your garden. Most first year specimens will be small
tomatoes
Squash
Peppers
Beans
Broccoli


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gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
3302 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
quote:

Broccoli


Broccoli is better suited for the fall as the cooler air temperatures enhance the flavor. Same with collards, cauliflower, cabbages, etc.



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Celery
Southern Fan
Cornball
Member since Nov 2010
7767 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
Yes it’s a try at a hobby, and my expectations will be low for the first year.


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
3302 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
quote:

Yes it’s a try at a hobby, and my expectations will be low for the first year.


I've been having a fairly large backyard vegetable garden for many years. Mine has five rows, each 50 ft. long and I have 3 large trellises for climbing plants like pole beans, Japanese Yard Long Beans, cucumbers--both slicing and pickling and a 48 sq. ft. raised bed that I grow root crops in.

Right now in my raised bed I have a couple hundred onions and about 100 garlic plants.

Over the years I've learned to not expect the same results from year to year out of the garden. Sometimes things go great and almost everything grows and produces very well, then all it takes is a hail storm, too much rain, an invasion of certain pests, etc. and it can all go to hell in a hurry.

Find out what plants work for you and were successful and hope they do the same the next time you plant them.

I plant squash every year, but really don't get to harvest many since I always get invaded by Squash Vine Borers and they destroy the plants in no time, but I do manage to get a few pickings before they show up. So that is not a crop I depend on to make it into summer.


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Centinel
Alabama Fan
South Carolina
Member since Sep 2016
16760 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
quote:

Lesson I learned with my tomatillos. I didn’t see many bees and my plants produced tons of flowers. I had to pollinate them by hand with a q-tip going from flower to flower. After I did that I had a ton of tomatillos. That fresh green salsa was so damn good!



Did you have one or two tomatillo plants? I've had several people tell me that if you have two plants, you shouldn't have to hand pollinate. I have two, so I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the tip though...at least I'll know what to do if the two plant solution doesn't work.


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
8980 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
(no message)
This post was edited on 4/15 at 5:27 pm


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
8980 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
start with a dozen tomato plants, thats what my dad does and you run out fast so your not going to have to give up store boughts

the one exception is shallots, those things grow like grass and my dad fills bags of them for the whole extended family and still has extra to give away.

his cucumbers do ok and bell peppers too but they are smaller then store boughts


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
3302 posts

re: New veggie gardener: how many plants do I need?
quote:

his cucumbers do ok and bell peppers too but they are smaller then store boughts


I planted about 200 onion sets in red and yellow onions and the tops (green stems) will give me all the green onions I need, and then some.

Cucumbers go crazy and when in peak production, I'm picking 8-10 a day. I too have found my bell peppers do grow a bit smaller than what is in the stores, but there's nothing like walking outside and picking one fresh off the plant to use in your food.


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