Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

How much should I plant?

How many of each of these seeds to plant? It depends on your family's tastes, and how much time and space you have. Also, the pepper seeds really should have been planted awhile ago; they're notoriously slow to germinate, so try to find transplants now. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Some guidelines for estimating a garden you'll eat

What to plant? That question is on the mind of every vegetable gardener right now.

Think before you buy seed – or dig. You’ll thank yourself later.

The UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County have this advice:

“It is tempting to try growing a large variety of vegetables. A better approach might be to consider what you and your family like to eat.”

Poll your family members. Will they really eat a whole row of daikon radishes? What about okra? Or beets?

“Then consider the space that you have available,” add the master gardeners. “Plant only as large a garden as you can easily maintain, as there is a time commitment (thinning, weed and pest control, irrigation, fertilization). A smaller, properly tended garden will be more productive and satisfying than a larger garden receiving minimal attention.”

Right now, it seems like you may have all the gardening time in the world. But will that be true when life returns to relative normal?

Also consider how much your family will actually eat when those veggies are ready for harvest. Some crops – such as tomatoes – can be readily preserved. But lettuce? Those heads need to be eaten fresh, not frozen.

Garden Gate Magazine came up with a vegetable calculator with estimates per person and for a family of four. Find it here:

Some estimates seem pretty high (such as 24 lettuce plants per person), but that consumption depends on the size of the heads at harvest – and how much you like salad. Also, that lettuce harvest may be spaced year-round, not just one season.

For summer favorites, here are estimates of how much to plant this month for two people:

Beans (bush) – 30 plants

Beans (runner) – 20 plants

Corn – 24 plants

Cucumbers – Two vines or bushes

Eggplant – Three plants

Melon – Two plants

Onions – 40 sets

Peppers – Six plants (mixed varieties)

Squash – Two plants

Tomatoes – Four plants

Zucchini – Two plants


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.