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I need help with math!

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 5a ( on
Tue, Mar 8, 11 at 13:05

I posted this on the vegetable gardening forum, however I didn't know if it was the best place to post this topic. So I'm posting the thread here.

I do container gardening so when a planting guideline says 'for enough for 4 people you need to grow a 15 foot row' this makes no sense! This is because you don't use
row spacing for container gardening. Basically what I need to know is when something says with a planting guideline, 'plant a row this long' how many plants can be grown in that space; that is essentially how many plants are equal to the planting guideline given with the row spacing.

My main questions about this are in regards to root vegetables and beans. The planting guidelines given for how much to plant are normally 'you plant a row this long'.

I realize what is listed below is a general guideline, but for now this will suffice. I'm only growing for 2 people, and I'm guessing since I'm growing for double the amount of people, I will have some leftover for storage (freezing mostly).

Here is something I found with a planting guideline online that explains what I'm talking about....

Lettuce-a 10' row
Bush beans-a 15' row

Greens-a 10' row (I'm going to guess this is referring to just about any leafy green thing.....asian greens, spinach, chard, arugula, etc.)

Radishes-a 5' row (successive plantings)

Carrots, turnips, and beets-a 10' row

I realize that one thing I could do is convert the feet to inches, then using the plant spacing divide the plant spacing into the converted inch measurement, and the quotient would be how many plants to grow. However when I did this, it seemed like a very large number that seemed off.

An example of what I'm talking about is below....

beans; 15 feet x 12"=180 inches; plant spacing per bush bean plant.....3"; 180 divided by 3=60 plants.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I need help with math!

Your math is correct. It looked a little high to me, as well, but since the numbers you are using are for 4 people (if I understand you correctly), it's really not that bad.

For the beans you used as an example, that would be 15 plants per person. Since this is based on row planting that would all be planted and harvested at once, that would probably be about right to stock up for each person. You would probably want to stagger your planting so you wouldn't be harvesting as much at any given time.

Where did you find the information on how much to grow for 4 people? I have been looking for similar information and haven't had much luck. Could you post the link for me? I would appreciate it!

RE: I need help with math!

  • Posted by keski 6 Rochester NY (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 9, 11 at 10:25

You could calculate the surface area of your container and using Mel's website (plants per square foot)figure how many plants will fit in the container. I haven't yet been able to figure out how many squares of something I need for two people. You did the math correctly. However, this would give you beans all at one time. It doesn't take into consideration what is known as succession planting. For that you plant some of these plants every couple of weeks to get a continuous harvest. For example, 9 bean plants fit in one square foot. If you use a variety like Blue Lake bush beans,they continue to grow all season and are good for freezing,too. I planted about 8 square feet of beans and had enough to eat beans every day or so and some to freeze.

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