What Is The Most Effecient Vegetable?

I thought this would be a good little tidbit to keep in mind when planning your spring gardens and ordering seeds over the next few weeks.

This list from the National Garden Bureau rates vegetables based on their total yield per square foot, average value per pound, and length of time in the garden. Crops are rated from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most efficient.

Tomatoes, grown on supports…….9.0
Onions, green bunching…………….8.2
Leaf lettuce………………………………7.4
Turnips for greens and roots………7.4
Summer squash……………………….7.2
Onions, bulbs for storage……………6.9
Peas, edible podded………………….6.9
Beans, pole………………………………6.8
Beets, for greens and roots………..6.6
Beans, bush…………………………….6.5
Carrots……………………………………6.5
Cucumbers, on supports…………..6.5
Peppers, sweet………………………..6.4
Broccoli…………………………………..6.3
Swiss chard……………………………..6.3
Kohlrabi…………………………………..6.3
Mustard greens………………………..6.2
Spinach…………………………………..6.2
Beans, lima (pole type)………………6.1
Radishes………………………………….6.1
Cabbage………………………………….6.0
Leeks………………………………………5.9
Collards…………………………………..5.8
Okra………………………………………..5.7
Kale…………………………………………5.6
Cauliflower……………………………….5.3
Eggplant…………………………………..5.3
Peas, English…………………………….5.2
Brussels sprouts………………………4.3
Celery………………………………………4.3
Melons……………………………………..3.8
Winter squash…………………………..3.8
Pumpkins…………………………………1.9

Vegetables have become generally more productive since this rating was established due to breeding improvements of the last few decades, especially in peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and winter squash. However, it is a good guide for comparing one crop to another.

6 thoughts on “What Is The Most Effecient Vegetable?

      • Pick a spot we have 6 acres! This is truly a from the beginining project! Removing the grasses and weeds building up soil (though my meter shows its pretty fertile already) deciding how big to go, renting rototiller hire a guy with tractor or do it the old fashioned shovel and hoe way? Then what to plant and where when to plant and methods of preserving to have veggies and fruits over winter. I would like to ultimately maybe grow enough to take extras to farmers market and possibly local restuarants.

  1. This is a great post! We’ve decided to go with a limited amount of vegetables that will deliver the best yield and this list is perfect. I will say that I had amazing success with squash but it was something I had to dedicate time for every day to stay on top of the bugs. I still have a few pumpkins and squash in the basement.

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