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Don't Overdo these Veggie Plants

How many, how much space? 

Watters Weekly Garden Classes

April 23- Grow Your Own Groceries From Tomatoes 2 Fruits

This fun filled class has everything edible for the garden this spring. Nothing is genetically modified here at Watters, but we will cover the best heirloom varieties to local favorites. The ideal soil preparation, best foods and care are all covered in this fast paced class. It's that start of planting season, and this class starts the season off smarter and wiser to local ways in the garden. The nursery is loaded with 100's of non-GMO vegetable starts and organic herbs this weekend. We're ready to plant.

April 30 - Going Native and Low, Low maintenance

This class coincides with our annual native plant sale along with a host of other Low, LOW, LOW water use plants that once established require little to no water and even less care. No other nursery has so many native and low care plants in the region with the horticulturist to help you plant it right.

Garden Classes are on hiatus for the month of May

June Classes

June 4 - Smart Phone Photography using Instagram

Ken Lain has decades of professional garden writing under his belt, but he also takes his own garden photos. Learn these easy photo tips, best light, angles and fun. Bring your iPhone or Android enabled smart phone loaded with the latest Instagram app and have some fun in the garden. This class is rated for novice so come early if you need help loading this free app.

This week we start the official planting season in the summer vegetable gardens.  Tomato demonstrations, garden classes on growing your own groceries, non-GMO radio interviews, organic talks with a HUGE buildup of vegetable plants at the garden center marks this weekend as the start of planting season.  

Lisa and I have always gardened for a family of six, that's no small feat.  Just how many plants are needed and how much space should be dedicated to these edibles is a challenging mental exercise.  The vegetable planting guide that follows was created years ago and should be a help for just how many plants are needed to feed the family.  Of course, this chart does not include the edible flower harvest from the garden.  

How much of each vegetable to plant also depends on the size and layout of your garden. You generally get more produce in a small space if you garden in wide rows.

200 sq.ft. of garden space per person is a good place to start for most gardeners.  That size garden will provide a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for most of the year.  If you want to grow 100% of your food the garden space needed per family members is more like 400 sq.ft.

Knowing how much of each vegetable to plant is a bit trickier to calculate. That depends on how well things grow, which vegetables you prefer and how often you’ll be eating the vegetable produced. In truth, you won’t really know how many vegetables to plant for your family until you’ve got a few seasons experience in that garden. Even then, tastes change so will the crops you plant.

Some plants simply take up more space.  Artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb are perennial plants that take up space in the garden all season.

Vining crops, like squash, cucumbers and melons need room to spread out or up. On the other hand, many crops can be planted in succession, planting only a few feet of a row every 2-3 weeks so a new crop is continually emerging.  Succession planting can be dependent on the length of your growing season.

If space is an issue, try extending your harvest by planting different types of the same vegetable: early, mid and late maturing varieties in the same garden space.

The chart below is meant to give you some general guidelines for the most commonly grown vegetables. Of course, if you love peppers but dislike cabbage feel free to adjust the garden to your taste.

How Many Plants needed per Family of 4

Asparagus

40 Plants

Perennial

Beets

10'

Spring and Fall Crop

Broccoli

5 Plants

Cool Season Crop

Brussels Sprouts

5 Plants

Cool Season Crop

Beans, Bush

15'

Succession Plant

Beans, Pole

3 Poles

Single Planting

Cabbage

5 Plants

Spring and Fall Crop

Carrots

10'

Succession Plant

Cauliflower

5 Plants

Spring and Fall Crop

Chard

5 Plants

Re-Grows after Harvesting Outer Leaves

Corn

15'

Succession Plant and Multiple Varieties

Cucumbers

2 hills

Single Planting

Greens

10'

Spring and Fall Crop

Kale

5 Plants

Single Planting

Lettuce, Leaf

10'

Succession Plant

Onions

5'

Single Planting

Peas

10'

Succession, Spring and Fall

Peppers

3 Plants

Single Planting

Radishes

5'

Succession Plant

Squash, Summer

2 Hills

Single Planting, Multiple Varieties

Tomatoes

5 Plants

Single Planting, Multiple Varieties

Turnips

10'

Spring and Fall Crop

 

Until next time, I'll see you among the organic vegetables here at Watters Garden Center.

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Ken Lain, the Mountain Gardener

Ken Lain is attracted to sunshine, beauty, happiness, success and health through gardening, and wishes to point the way to others. Throughout the week Ken can be found at Watters Garden Center located at 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, or contacted through his web site at www.wattersgardencenter.com

Website: www.wattersgardencenter.com