How to Plan Garden Yields


Gardeners often await the new planting season with eager anticipation and hope that this year's harvest will be much larger than the year before. There's no reason to leave your yields to chance, though. You can calculate the amount of vegetables you will need for each member of your family and the amount of vegetables one plant will yield to plan your garden carefully. You and your family can enjoy homegrown vegetables year-round once you've planned your yields.

Step 1

Find a planning chart to assist you with calculating your garden yields. Make sure the chart has the amount of each vegetable that is needed per person in your household over a year. A good chart is the USDA Community Garden Guide, available online (see Resources).

Step 2

Divide a sheet of paper into seven columns. Label the first column "Crop Type" and the following columns: "Pounds Needed Per Person," "Number of People," "Total Pounds Needed," "Yield Per Foot of Row" and "Total Feet Needed."

Step 3

Choose the type of vegetables you would like to plant and list them under the "Crop Type" column on your paper.

Step 4

Find the average number of pounds needed per person for each vegetable you listed. Write the number under "Pounds Needed Per Person" for each vegetable. For instance, 6 lbs. of asparagus and 20 lbs. of tomatoes are recommended per person over the course of a year.

Step 5

List the number of people the garden will provide for in the "Number of People" column of your sheet.

Step 6

Multiply the pounds needed per person by the number of people your garden will feed to find the "Total Number of Pounds Needed."

Step 7

Use the planning chart to find the yield per foot of row. Asparagus yields about 0.6 lbs. per foot of row, while tomatoes produce about 2.5 lbs. per foot of row. Write the information for each vegetable under "Yield Per Foot of Row."

Step 8

Find the row length needed for each vegetable by dividing the total number of pounds needed by the yield per foot of row. Write the information in the "Total Feet Needed" column.

Things You'll Need

  • Planning chart
  • Sheet of paper


  • Colorado State University: Planting Yield Chart

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Community Garden Guides
Keywords: planning a garden, increasing yields, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.