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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Garden Yields

I have been making lists again! It's a compulsion and a way to avoid actually DOING something. It's okay-just the way I am, bursts of activity then lists. The list in progress is a list of vegetables-yum! I have been thinking about the kinds of food my family likes to eat and the kinds of food I would like for them to eat-they are two different lists! LOL-since frozen pizza doesn't grow on trees I will concentrate on the sauce!
I am working under the assumption (right or wrong!) that food supplies will be rather tight next year. I am hearing serious talk of water rationing in LA and farmers (no -PRODUCERS) who will be under serious water stress. So much of our commercial food comes from S. CA I can't help but wonder what another year of drought will do to food prices or even availability. I do not expect or even dream of being able to grow all of our own produce this year, my first 'real' year of gardening, but i would like to make a serious stab at it! I also plan to grow enough to have seeds for the following year.
So this leads me to the question I have. How do I translate say 20# of carrots into square feet of garden or 50# of potatoes into # of hills? I know no one can give me an answer-but a guesstimate? There are too many variables-soil, rain, temp, deer etc. I am going to talk to Dad first-he has been gardening there for a pouple years now-then maybe an extension agent or master gardener. Any other brilliant ideas?
BTW thanks Rose for the book-I think you must have wrote it just for me! It is so exactly what I needed to hear-I can't wait to read more!


ChristyACB said...

If you are going with the SFG at your home and the something more traditional at ArkWork, then it is two different answers.

I used the guide in the Ball Canning Book...and I think you can get those pretty darn cheap now if you don't have one. It has row feet and the like and also how much that generally puts up in cans and such.

It is pretty good for an average condition, but every place is different, of course. It worked much less well for SFG so I worked out how many plants would be in their "row feet" changed it to my SFG numbers, then subtracted 20% in terms of weight yield to account for slightly smaller amounts generated in the SFG (eggplants and the like tend to be smaller by a little and the tomatoes get suckers pruned so fewer per plant).

That worked for me and I'd say it was off mostly because we had a humid heat wave in May where temps went from 70-ish to 103 is less than 24 hours and stayed that way too long. It stunted the squash and beans so low yields.

Hope this helps a little. If you need that chart, I believe several people have posted them online.

hickchick said...

Christy-that is beautiful! Thanks I will look for the Ball Canning Book. K

Sue said...

Hi Kris
Here is a link that kind of gives a general list of how much to plant to feed a family. If it were me, I'd plant twice that....but I'm feeding a LOT of deer! : )

Hope this helps a bit.

hickchick said...

Sue-thank you for the source and thanks for following small life!!

Ruralrose said...

Thanks for mentioning the book - glad you are enjoying it

- when i started i followed the sfg book to the letter - it was far to finniky for my nature - do you have that book?

my beds are divided into 3x3 squares - i mix all the seed for the plants that will grow in that square together (there is a chart in my book) with a little sand (to help distribute evenly) and sprinkle the entire bed and water well - that's it - no measuring no digging little holes - of course the same bed is done twice, once with veggies that can start when it is cool and again with the veggies that need the soil to be warm

as the season progresses i move things around so everyone gets enough light - this works for me because i grow a lot of seed and because i can identify each seedling from the weeds -

the exception is beans and peas which get pressed in the soil, and squash which are so large they fill the whole bed themselves

tomatoes, peppers and eggplant i use transplants

how much? some plants will do exceptionally well one year and produce little the next - no reason for it so no way to really predict for sure

i did figure this out an estimate few years ago, i will try to dig it up and post in on my blog

am i really this long winded - can't wait to be in the dirt gain!

Ruralrose said...

ps i just read Sue's link - it is awesome - have never seen it set out so well - isn't it wonderful how ladies coming together can make things happen everywhere - peace