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Estimating Yields of Vegetable Crops and How Much to Plant

Posted Jun 05 2011 1:00pm
Predicting a crop yield before harvest can aid in planning the use of your garden space. Predicting how much each person in your household consumes will also help you determine how much to plant. Knowing how much space each plant requires and when it will reach harvest will help you determine how much space to set aside for each crop and when.


Crop yield estimates and consumption predictions are largely base on experience. Your vegetable needs may change from year-to-year.


Keeping a food log will help you determine how much to grow for your household. Record how often you eat lettuce, for example, and you will soon determine how much to grow. Do you eat tomatoes fresh or do you process and freeze them for winter use--or both? A food log is a simple way to learn about your eating habits and preferences.


Estimating Yields

To estimate crop yields in your garden, follow these steps:

    Select a 10-foot section of row to measure your harvest. If you plant wide rows or intensive beds, measure plantings and harvest by the square foot. Note the number of plants growing in the measured section. Be sure to note the cultivar or variety of plant you are growing. Differing cultivars can vary in yield. Harvest the crop from the measured section. Weigh the sample harvest for total yield; you can also count the yield bean-by-bean or tomato-by-tomato. Record the results so that you can plan and compare the results to future harvests.

Yields will vary according to garden conditions and variety planted. Weather and growing conditions can change from year to year; these changes can affect yield.


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