If you read my article on developing a concept garden for the survivalist, then you already know how many pumpkins and sunflower plants are necessary for a family of two. Here are some averages for other plants. These are just my numbers; you may need to adjust yours. We love tomatoes so we usually have about two-dozen tomato plants. Six will provide us with tomatoes to consume for the summer, twelve will give us enough to freeze and the last six gives us green tomatoes to wrap in brown paper sacks and store in a cool place to ripen.
Let The Games Begin!
Depending on your style of eating these may vary. I wash, core, and freeze my tomatoes. When I am ready to use them, I rinse them in hot water and the skin slips off easily. I don’t know if you are supposed to blanch them first, I never have in over thirty years, and I’m still alive and kicking.
Green beans are prolific little devils and you will want to go out and stomp their little heads off by the end of the season. We have found that about ten plants provide a lot more beans than we can consume in a year, but we are not fans of green beans. You will also want to plant other types of beans to supplement both your cooking and diet.
Peas are wonderful but they require a lot of work. You plant them, delight in the fact that you picked bags of them, spend hours shelling them, and then get two pan-fulls of peas. It is depressing. They are a spring crop and can be planted in the same area as other later harvesting crops, so if you have the time and the inclination, give them a try. Sugar peas are great and you don’t need many to spice up the stir-fry. I highly recommend these over regular peas.
Carrots can be planted the year through. I usually find that two packages of seeds allow us to have a bounty. Even give a few to the neighbors. These can be stored in a root cellar or frozen for soups. Potatoes have always been fun for me. I never order them out of a catalog or buy starters. But use potatoes that have sprouted in my kitchen instead.
Parsnips, asparagus, and Corn. Oh, my!
Simply cut the potato into sections, making certain an eye is in each section and plant. Fifteen potatoes with sprouts have given us over 70 plants and a huge bounty for the winter. These are best stored in a cool place.
Onions, both green and regular, are musts in our garden. Green onions get a small area, but regular onions are planted by the dozen. Usually about five-dozen plants are necessary for a good winter crop. Zucchini and other squash don’t require a lot of plants. You will need about six zucchini plants to provide enough for meals and delicious zucchini bread all winter: associatedcontent.com/article/420333/gift_breads_homemade_zucchini_bread.html
I have no numbers on sweet corn. It takes a lot of space. Unfortunately, we have had problems with a mold blight and don’t plant it anymore. I usually buy mine from local farmers at a really reasonable rate.
Parsnips, asparagus, strawberries, berry bushes, fruit trees, and melons can be your choice. So you won’t have a single one to eat for a few years. Remember that the fruit can be made into jelly for gift giving or your consumption. Plant what you like to eat. You can even eat some of the natural bounties that Mother Nature provides. Like plantain usually thought of as a weed!
Plan your garden around your family menu. If you absolutely hate squash, why grow it? You may want to have a few Christmas gift plants like the loofah sponge plant and a few fun plants like the spaghetti squash or purple tomatoes. They make the garden an adventure.