Hey my Sweet Lifers! There are so many challenges to think about when planning a garden, like understanding the way the sun lands throughout the day, the quality of the soil, and rotation and location annually. Unless it lives in the Sweet Life Garden year round, each year every bed is delicately and thoughtfully planned as a brand new piece of art to care for and then enjoy. The biggest and sometimes most over looked challenge is not only what to plant but how much of it to plant to actually have enough to feed your family. There’s simply no sense in planting a bed full of broccoli if your family will not eat it. On the flip side it’s frustrating to plant what you do love and realize that you did not plant enough to do much with!
That is why the first step in planning your garden is to think about what your family actually eats.The amounts per person must be considered as well as accounting for interruptions in production due to pests and weather. Additionally, it is also important to make the decision as to whether your garden will be exclusively a “feeding” one or also provide extras built in for preparing a canning and preservation resource for your kitchen. That changes the quantities of the plants you’ll want to sow and or purchase this spring.
For example, the average person will consume beans equal to 10 plants. For celery, 6 plants are needed per person and for cherry tomatoes you need to have one plant per person. I have created an easy graphic for feeding a family of four fresh veggies to help you decide how much you need to plan for. This does not account for canning and preserving for winter. If say you know you want to can sauces and pickle cucumbers then you’ll need to plant extra so that you’ll have enough to do both. If the amounts seem overwhelming, I recommend starting with a few vegetables that you really will enjoy and not try to plant an entire garden full. From my own experience I will tell you that a garden can bring great joy, satisfaction and teach patience in ways no other lovely experience in this life can; however planting too much can also be stressful and overwhelming so start with what you’ll eat and grow from there. Check out the charts that I have created to get you an idea about each vegetable and how much actually needs to be planted so you’ll have enough to fresh feed your family. If you want to can and preserve veggies as well for the fall and winter you’ll want to add a few more so you’ll have enough to do that too!
Once you have determined how much you need and what you need the next steps is to actually map out where these plants will go into your garden, accounting for what their individual needs are and the space you have to work with. That will be next month’s task but for now I hope this helps you in thinking further about how to make your garden work for you!
Keep on GROWING!