[Market-farming] how many tomato plants?

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Fri Feb 13 20:20:12 EST 2009

OK, I have not had the management time to keep ANY records of tomato yields.
I know that I have had many more than I could sell. But, this year I am
aiming for a 100 member CSA, and if I get the 100 members, will only market
to the CSA. I grow a mix of hybrids and heirlooms, inside and out.


It seems that 10 lbs per plant is a common yield. At that point I would only
need 300 plants (30 lbs/share / 10 lbs per plant * 100 shares). Other yield
estimates, based on row feet, are 2.3 lbs per row foot, with Florida weave.
At 18 to 24 inch spacing that would be 3 to 4.6 lbs per plant, would mean 30
lbs per share / 3 lbs per plant * 100 shares = 1000 plants. Quite a spread. 


I would appreciate what others are finding for tomato yields per plant,
assuming 18” spacing. Hoophouse plants are pruned to single leader. Outside
ones grow rampant.


I was figuring on 240 plants in my hoophouse – 60 Lola greenhouse variety,
the rest heirlooms (Striped German, Black Prince, Amish Paste, Rose,
Brandywines, etc, possibly grafted. The outside tomatoes are Polbig, Orange
Blossom, Big Beef, and heirlooms. I have op det seed also – Marglobe, Oregon


Thank you. I am doing massive, intensive planning for this and am down to
tomatoes and potatoes. So, what do you use for potato yields and amount of
seed potatoes? I find recommendations ranging from 50 to 200 lbs per 1000
feet for seed potatoes. I am figuring 2 to 2 ½ feet of row per share per
week for potatoes, hoping to give out about 2 ½ lbs after the small new
potatoes (a heaping quart). Thank you. It is challenging to convert lbs
information to volume data, or piece/head, etc. For this year I am using
number of heads of broccoli, cabbage, etc rather than lbs in figuring how
much to plant. 


When I was just farmers market I didn’t worry. If I didn’t have something,
it was my loss. I had a very enthusiastic 30 share CSA last year, but with
the jump to 100 will be maxing out my space and want to be careful.


Thank you.


Beth Spaugh

Rehoboth Homestead, Peru, NY

Farm Fresh Food Club CSA - http://rhomestead.com <http://rhomestead.com/> 

Garden fresh vegetables, organically grown, and pastured chicken, duck, and


"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used." -
Wendell Berry


"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty." - Frances
Moore Lappe


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