Q. I want to grow tomatoes in soil beds on acreage. How many soil beds can 1 acre hold. Also, what yield can I expect with tomatoes? In the Mittleider gardening course it states that 1 full bed is 156 pounds of tomatoes. But somewhere else I read it is possible to grow 100 tons in one acre. For a family garden it doesn’t matter because both are considerably high yields, but in a commercial operation, which I am starting, detail is important.
A. You should plan on 3 1/2′ aisles and 5′ end aisles. And outside aisles should also be 5′ minimum. Properly done, and depending on the configuration of your property, you should be able to have at least 250 soil beds in one acre. Planting a single row of tomatoes 9″ apart in each bed (and guiding them up strings to pipe on T-Frames) you will have 41 plants in each bed. Each plant can produce between 10 and 30# of fruit in 4 months’ fruit production (July-October in Utah). If you multiply 250 X 40 X 20 you come up with 200,000# of fruit.
As a practical matter, there are many variables that can affect that yield, and someone is very naive to expect that quantity the first time they grow. Dr. Mittleider has produced over 270,000# per acre, and I have produced at the 200,000# rate, but never a full acre.