Question of the Week
Answer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information regarding vegetable production and planting guides.
North Carolina State University Growing Farmers web site has a lot of information on farm record keeping and yield charts. The most helpful one for you would be their Planning Spreadsheets for CSA and Farmers' Markets. This is a tabbed spread sheet that includes yield and planting information for a typical CSA. The Field Production Info sheet might be most helpful to you. You can access this and other helpful record keeping templates at the following link.
Another very helpful vegetable planting guide is available from Kansas State University Extension Service. It includes information on days to harvest, days to germination, optimum germination temperature, space and depth requirements and amounts per person. While it is written for the Kansas climate, much of this information is adaptable to your situation. The link to this guide is listed below.
Kansas State University Hort Report
Vegetable Garden Planting Guide
By Charles Marr (1992)
Another yield chart that I refer to often is the Johnny’s Selected Seed yield chart for direct seeded and transplanted vegetables. It is broken down into 100’ rows and acre yield estimates. This is also included in their annual catalog. I find it helpful to take this out, laminate it, and refer to it while planting throughout the season.
Finally, these guides are meant to be a rough guide for your planning your vegetable plantings. Your own microclimate and farming practices will affect the yield and days to maturity of vegetable crops grown specifically on your farm. I encourage farmers to develop their own template and record exactly when their crops mature and their yield. This can help with planning and succession planting for the following season.
I have also listed a link to the ATTRA publication, Scheduling Vegetable Planting for Continuous Harvest. This publication has a record keeping template that you can fill in based on the information from your own farm.
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