[Market-farming] how many tomato plants?

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at illinois.edu
Sat Feb 14 11:26:14 EST 2009

>   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.

Over the many years I've done tomato trials, including heirlooms, I've found that better yielding varieties will produce up to 20 lb per plant, most of the time in plastic mulch and drip irrigation. With the heirlooms I found they could produce as much with some varieties, while others performed at less than half of the better ones. Most of the time I was planting in rows 5'-6' apart with plants 18" apart. If you're not getting 10 lb per plant, you may want to review your system.

William H Shoemaker, UI-NRES
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
535 Randall Road  St Charles, IL  60174
630-584-7254; FAX-584-4610

More information about the Market-farming mailing list