How much should i plant and how big should my garden be?

Yessabub(5A)April 10, 2013

I already have 10 tomato seedlings going and am going to be doing cukes, peppers, watermelon, pumpkins and corn how much should i plant of each and how big approximately should my garden be?

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We need more information. What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you growing for? Why are you growing (for fresh food or to have enough to store/preserve, or are you trying to sell your crops)? Without more details we'd just be throwing a random number at you.

Also what is your experience? If you are a first time gardener don't overdo it. Start small with 2 or 3 of each of those and if you find you can handle that grow more. What you don't want to do is grow too much that you can't keep up with and get frustrated and turned off on trying to garden.

This post was edited by weirdtrev on Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 9:53

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:49AM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

Start a garden plan.
Depending on how much room you have, help you have and how many you are trying to feed.
If you doing beds you might consiter square foot gardening, if your doing rows map them out using standard . measurements.
Some times they are found on the pks.
If you can do this on your computer using a spread sheet it works better because it may take a few tries before you get it the way you want.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I think you are going garden crazy and getting dizzy.

keep in mind different varieties require different amount of space. though on average, from my experience, watermelons require about 25 sq feet per plant, pumpkins, about 100 sq feet per plant.

having said that, you need to work within the room you have, ajust your needs to your goals, and determine how much time you want to spend in the garden weeding, mulching, pruning, harvesting..

at my old house I had 3500 sq feet of garden, I was in there every day after work, from when I got home till it got too dark to see. most of the day on the weekends too. it was a lot of work and I got a lot out of it. but it left little time for anything else, now I have about 200 sq feet of garden, implement alot of sq. ft. gardening methods, and I spend maybe few hours a week working in the garden. and get a good harvest for what I need.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Im just growing for fresh veggies for my little family of 3 and of course the love of watching things grow :) Dont want too little and certainly not an over abundance either i was thinking where i already have 10 tomato plants to continue that pattern and just do 10 of each veggie if that works. How big of a space would i need?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:48PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

yep you need to work out what space you have where vege' beds get good sun at least 6 hours a day 8 is better.

we put our beds on the north to eastern aspect so they get good winter sun as well(for you south to eastern aspect).

teh best bed dimension is 1meter X 6meters, with at least .5 meter between beds if you have space make that 1 meter.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens bale garden

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:30PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

It isn't as simple a question as you make it sound. :) There is no set formula. No one-size-fits-all, especially for new gardeners who lack the knowledge and experience to make it work. So to try to answer will be a big over-simplification.

You appear to have big plans so the simplest answer is to make your garden as big as you have room for, the time available to work on it, and the money to invest in soil amendments. Then plant as you wish.

10 corn plants won't get you anything to eat - maybe 1-2 half pollinated ears. 10 cucumber plants could bury you in cukes, 10 watermelon or pumpkin plants could easily take over the whole yard and you'd be using the fruit for target practice. So you need to do some more research into how each vegetable grows and produces.

More specifically, corn, pumpkins and watermelons take up a great deal of room. Corn requires thick block planting for pollination. For example a block of approximately 4'x8' to get approx. 24-30 ears.

These are all approximations because it will vary depending on lots of variables - your soil condition, the amendments you use, your weather, the time you invest in it, the varieties you choose, the sun exposure, etc. etc..

If you wish to grow pumpkins and watermelons, say 2-3 watermelon plants and 2 pumpkin plants you'll need approx. 4'x4' for each plant and they will still run all over the garden. Tomatoes need 2-3' square feet depending on the variety, how you support them, and if you prune the plants or not.

A wiser, and likely more successful approach would be to down-scale your plans a bit with the goal of expanding the size and the crops grown each year as you gain experience. Do the tomatoes, a couple of cucumber plants and maybe a watermelon plant this year. Then next year you'll have a good idea how much more room you need.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:37PM
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I had to laugh at your question. I am an impatient gardener and in the spring I want to be doing something in the garden everyday so I just keep planting new things. Mostly in buckets because the sunniest spot in my "lawn" is my deck-huge deck.
I will have over 100 plants egg plant, peppers, tomatos, 6 different types of squash.
And that doesn't count the early crop of snow peas and radishes.
I also have strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.
I never eat it all-I have friends happy to be on the receiving end of sharing.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:51PM
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My first year I planted 6 pea plants.......................I think I got about 20 pea pods total. Bought them as a 6 pack, just didnt know better.

Last year I planted over 100 - this year I'll double that.

At least you have found this site and are trying to figure things out before you start. Do lots of searches and read read read.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:58PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Yessabub, not sure where you are. Zone, weather during the summer, etc
10 tomato plants is a lot for DH and I, and I do quite a bit of sauce to put into the freezer! I usually am fine with 6-8. I'm in CA, where usually things grow just great through Oct and in rare occasions, through December!
I usually grow a couple of cukes (unless you plan on making pickles), planting a couple weeks apart.
I have only tried melon (not watermelon) 1 time and got a couple per plant.
Pumpkins are much fun for the little ones! The Giants are a whole different being of their own! Lots of water and manure! Regular pumpkins still require a lot of water, but not quite as much care.
Corn is tricky( for a small family!)! It's a high nitrogen user, needs to be planted in blocks for cross-pollination, all of it gets ripe at the same time unless you plan everything out for harvesting. I don't think it freezes that well IMHO, and at .10 per, during the summer, is it worth it? Besides, I can steal it from the neighbor! LOL
To get some more specific info, it would be a good idea to give us an idea of where you live, your USDA zone, if you are in a drought, is your yard mostly sun/shade, type of soil, raised beds or in ground, till or no- till.
Don't want to overwhelm you! You'll see as you start reading this board!
Happy gardening! Nancy

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:16PM
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> Im just growing for fresh veggies for my little family of 3 and of
> course the love of watching things grow :) Dont want too little and
> certainly not an over abundance either i was thinking where i already
> have 10 tomato plants to continue that pattern and just do 10 of each
> veggie if that works. How big of a space would i need?

Danger, danger! One pumpkin can take up as much space as ten tomatoes. :)

My opinion:

- Ten tomatoes: Assuming that they all live and thrive, that's a whole lot of tomatoes, far more than you're likely to need for fresh eating, but, hey, there's always sauce. I'd recommend giving each tomato a minimum of an eighteen inch by eighteen inch square.

- Peppers: I'd give them at least a foot by a foot. They're much less productive than tomatoes; ten plants would be fine.

- Ten healthy successful cucumber plants will feed Nebraska. OK, maybe that's an overstatement, but I wouldn't grow that many. My plan for my garden this year is to prepare three spots for vining cucumbers, plant three seeds in each spot, and then thin to one plant per spot when they're all up and healthy, for a total of three plants.

- Ten healthy successfun pumpkin plants will cover Nebraska with leaves. OK, I'm really exaggerating, but pumpkins sprawl over a _lot_ of space. On the other hand, if you're not overprotective of your lawn you can plant the pumpkins near the edge of the vegetable garden and let them crawl over the lawn. But i still wouldn't plant more than five, and I say five only because it's always upsetting when you plant only two or so, and one of them dies.

- Ten corn plants, on the other hand, isn't quite enough. The customary minimum recommendation for corn is a four-plant by four-plant block, sixteen plants total. The block planting increases the chances of good pollination. I plant my corn at eighteen inches; many people plant it much closer.

This post was edited by chickenfreak on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 0:57

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:55AM
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Some of these comments made me giggle.

I had the same problem trying to figure out what I wanted to grow, where I wanted to grow it, why I wanted to grow it, and then ran into the problem of what was actually available (I prefer start seedlings over seeds) at the store. I planned to put in artichokes and ended up with pattypan and acorn squash instead. I started with a 6x4, added three 2x2 pallets (6" deep) for greens and my daughter to plant bush beans and mini sunflowers, and just added a 4x4 bed. Not to mention a few 7-gallon pots, 5 gallon pots, and anything else of size that can hold dirt and a plant. I'd give parts of my anatomy for a big yard with better soil (I'm urban farming it) with just a little more sun each day than I get now and revel in the production. And keep planting more and more. My dream is a potage garden some day...where I can grow food for use now, grow food for preserving, and grow food for giving to friends because nothing beats fresh grown veggies!

This post was edited by THatstat on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 11:05

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 12:03PM
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You have gotten a lot of good advice, but i'll add a couple of more things...
1) Give your plants plenty of space. I have several 4x8 raised beds and the first year I put 4 tomato plants and some other plants in each one. Wayyy too crowded. It just looks so empty when you plant those teeny tiny plants! lol but trust me, they will take over. I now put two tomato plants in each box, on opposite ends, and they still end up covering the whole box by the end of the season.
2) 10 tomato plants is a LOT of tomatoes. I planted 7 plants last year, a variety of tomatoes, and nursed them through the worst drought in the history of my area. Then they all got blight, got infested with pill bugs (which apparantly isn't possible but I will tell you for sure it is), and lost most of my tomatoes from August on. I still ended up canning 112 jars of salsa and we ate fresh tomatoes every day.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:30PM
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