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How to Grow Vegetables for Two People

garden fresh stirfry vegetables image by Brett Mulcahy from

Growing vegetables is one of those things that seems suited for large amounts of people. This is simply not correct; using the proper use of space, the right combination of vegetables, and knowing what people will eat, you can manage to grow enough vegetables for two people without much spoilage. Once you get the basics down for your two-person garden, growing vegetables can quickly become an enjoyable yearly project.

Make a list of the vegetables both of you will eat. This will ensure that all of the vegetables grown will be used. Research the yield of the desired crops so you can determine the proper amounts to grow for the selected vegetables.

Plan the space requirements for the vegetable garden. Space requirements for vine vegetables, such as cucumber or potatoes, are greater than those of root vegetables, such as radish or carrots. Vegetables like pole beans or vine tomatoes can be grown upright on trellises. Root vegetables can be grown around bush vegetables, such as bush beans or lettuce, since they grow in opposite directions. Use graph paper to place the location of each type of vegetable by using circles or squares to represent each type. Write the name of the vegetable in the circle or square. Adjust the planting guide accordingly before planting to ensure an effective and efficient garden.

Prepare the soil. Use a loamy soil that is well drained and high in organic matter, as recommended by the North Carolina State University Extension. If you have a heavy clay soil, the extension service recommends adding organic material to even out the original soil. Incorporate a multiple inch layer of compost, manure or peat moss in the spring before planting and after harvest in autumn.

Plant the vegetables. Different vegetables have different variations of supply and spacing when you grow vegetables for only two people. Sow snap beans one-inch deep two inches apart in an eight-foot row. Lettuce should be planted in a four-foot square to yield between four and 10 pounds. Corn can be grown in 4-by-4 foot squares using 16 plants to grow two dozen ears. Cucumber can yield 10 pounds over a season using a three-foot-wide mound and three cucumber bushes. Radish planted in a 10-foot row can produce up to five pounds during a season. Use a 10-foot row to grow peppers (both hot and sweet) to yield between five and 18 pounds. Three tomato plants can create enough variety for two people, especially when using three different varieties.

Water the garden. The North Carolina State University Extension recommends providing at least an inch of water to your garden each week. Sandy soil needs more frequent watering as compared to clay soil. Check the soil before watering by putting your finger into the soil up to an inch; if you feel moisture on your finger, the soil can wait up to two more days. Water the soil for longer periods of time to encourage deep root development.


Plant vegetables that will yield multiple harvests such as tomatoes, broccoli and peas.

Make use of sauces and soups to use up any extra produce.

Learn how to use the seeds from various vegetables to create a customized number of seeds for your garden.

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