Vegie Growing Guide

Need to know how many plants are needed to feed your family? This handy guide will give you an idea of numbers and expected yield.

For a family of four

TABLE NOTES:                                                                                                              
 indicates outstanding yield for space occupied. 
Seeds indicates to direct sow into garden bed. 
Seedlings indicates to raise seeds in punnets (or purchase seedlings) then transplant into garden. 
Plant quantity indicates to plant this amount over successive sowings to spread harvest over longer period.

Adapted from Gardening Australia magazine September 2008


What to plant to feed a family of 4

Time to Harvest


When to plant (Melbourne)


Asian greens, bok choy, mizuna, tatsoi, Chinese cabbage


1 to 2m row

Fast maturing,

3-6 weeks

0.5 to 1.5kg per plant

Late summer to mid-winter

Faster maturing and more heat tolerant than hearting cabbages

Harvest progressively, removing outer leaves

Beans, dwarf & climbing


3-5m row for dwarf

2-3m row for climbing

8-10 weeks for dwarf

10-12 weeks for climbing

100 to 500g per plant

Mid-spring to mid-summer

  Space saver. Plant on tripod of stakes.

  Successively sow seeds over 6 weeks.

  Harvest daily.


Seeds best

2-3m row, every 4-6 weeks

10-12 weeks

3kg per metre

300-400g per plant

Spring to early autumn

Thin seedlings to 7-10cm apart

Pull up alternate plants to spread harvest.

Baby beets save space.

Broad Beans


5-6m row

7-18 weeks

360g per plant

Autumn to mid-winter

Pod setting improves as weather warms.

Useful for soil improvement

Broccoli $$

Cabbage $$


Seedlings, successive plantings 9-12 plants, every 4-6 weeks

12-16 weeks (broccoli)

8-16 weeks (cabbage)

14-26 weeks (cauliflower)

250g-750g per plant

1.5-3.5kg per plant for cabbage

Late summer to autumn

Summer Green is a heat tolerant broccoli.

Leave side shoots on broccoli to develop after harvesting main crop.


Seeds or seedlings,

4-6 plants

10-16 weeks

1 to 4kg per plant

Mid to late spring

Start seedlings indoors and transplant into garden after frosts


Seeds, 4-6m row,

every 4-5 weeks

12-16 weeks

200g per plant,

2 to 3kg per metre

Spring to late summer

Sow successive crops every 4-5 weeks,

Thin seedlings after 4 weeks



Seeds or seedlings,

4-6 plants

8-12 weeks

5 to 30kg per plant

Late spring to early summer

Cucumbers can be grown up trellis to save space. Eggplants may need support.


Seeds or seedlings, 9-12 plants, every 3-4 weeks

2-3 weeks for non-hearting, 8 weeks for hearting

100-500g per plant

Varieties are available to plant year-round

Mixed punnets offer variety. Grows readily from seed.

Allow one or two plants to self-seed.


Tubers or seed potatoes

Plant 4 sq metres over 2 months, 3-4 plants /sq m

16-20 weeks

10 potatoes per plant

Winter to mid-spring

Sow several varieties for extended harvest. Need room but will grow well in tall pots or stack. Harvest 30 days after flowering.


Seeds, 3-6 plants

16-20 weeks, less for mini varieties

3-30kg per plant

Late spring to early summer

Requires room, so try mini types. Raise early plants in punnets – need 4-5 months of warmth


Seeds, 0.5-1m row

3-6 weeks

20+ per metre

All seasons except winter

Sow successive crops every 2 weeks. Sow several varieties. Thin for larger harvest.

Red Onion

Seed or seedlings, 4m row

24-32 weeks

30-120g per plant

Autumn to early spring

Keep weed free for best results.


Seeds, rows 30cm apart,

9-12 plants

8-12 weeks

2kg per metre in summer

Late winter to early autumn

Pick outside leaves first.

Harvest over long period.

Snow Peas,

Sugar snap peas

Seeds, 1m row

6 weeks

1-5kg per metre

Winter to spring

Space saver. Dwarf and climbing types. Grow on tripods.


Seeds, 30-40cm apart,

12-15 plants

8-10 weeks

2kg per metre

Autumn to mid-winter

Quick growing. Cut and come again harvest. Can be harvested as baby leaves.

Spring Onions

Seeds or seedlings

0.5 to 1m row

8-12 weeks

1kg per metre

All year

Keep weed free. Harvest early by thinning.



Seeds, 20-24 plants

12-16 weeks

2-3 cobs per plant

Mid-spring to early summer

Plant in blocks of short rows to increase pollination and yield.

Tomato $$

Seeds or seedlings, 12-15 plants

12-20 weeks

4-20kg per plant, depending on variety


Raise seedlings indoors for a headstart & plant out after frosts have finished. Mini varieties best in small spaces or pots.


Seeds or seedlings, 3-6 plants

8-14 weeks

6-24 per plant

Late spring to early summer

Edible flowers. Pick frequently. Harvest when small  for continuous cropping. Bush and spreading varieties.




TABLE NOTES:                                                                                                             
indicates outstanding yield for space occupied.
Seeds indicates to direct sow into garden bed.
Seedlings indicates to raise seeds in punnets (or purchase seedlings) then transplant into garden. Plant quantity indicates to plant this amount over successive sowings to spread harvest over longer period.

Cool season vegies
such as broad beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, onions, spinach, peas and turnips grow when temperature is 10-20oC.
Warm season vegies, such as beans, eggplant, capsicum, eggplant, potato, sweetcorn, sweet potato, tomato and cucurbits (cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin) grow when temperature is 20oC or higher. Variety can be increased without compromising space by growing dwarf forms such as mini-pumpkin and baby beetroot.
Soil needs to be replenished each harvest with plenty of compost for all beds and feeding manures for heavier feeders.