How Much to Plant for a Year’s Supply of Fruit

by Becky

When growing a year’s supply of food, most of the time we think of vegetables. In fact, I did a blog post all about how much to grow for a year’s supply of vegetables HERE.

Some of you might be curious about how much to plant if you wanted to supply your family with a year’s supply of fruit. I have found very few resources about this and thought I would do my research and use some of my personal experience to create a guide to share with you.

Anytime I put out a chart with how much to grow, I need to also make a disclaimer: These numbers are just estimates. Everyone eats different amounts of each type of fruit because we all have our favorites, right? 

In my own family, we eat a ton of fruit. And that is a literal statement! I hardly ever buy processed sugary foods anymore. The consequence of that is anytime we get a sugar craving we reach for the fruit. Which is a good thing but it also means we need to grow a lot.

We haven’t attained 100% self-sufficiency on growing our own fruit yet. We dedicate most of our garden space at this point to the vegetables because we are limited by the size of our yard.

 Even though we don’t have lots of space, we are able to grow all of our own blackberries and most of our own blueberries. We grow strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe and as well as lemons. 

Growing fruit even if it is a small amount is worth it! I’m so glad we grow some fruit because it has given me a good idea based on experience how much we would need if we were to grow a year’s supply.

The numbers I share below are based on how much you would need to grow per person. That being said, if you have more than one person in your household make sure you multiply the number of people in your home by how much you would need per person. 

The only tricky thing is that fruit trees often need at least two for pollination purposes even if it’s more than just one person could consume. I will make note of these circumstances and how much you would need for one person vs. a family. 


A dwarf apple tree produces 40-160lbs of fruit. A Semi- Dwarf tree produces anywhere from 200lbs to 400lbs of apples. If you grow a standard tree they produce anywhere from 400 to 800lbs. 

The numbers I’ve stated above are for a mature apple tree. During the years leading up to maturity the numbers will be less. Our family averages eating 520lbs of apples a year for six of us. 

So for one person, two dwarf apple trees would work great. For our family of six, I planted three semi-dwarf trees and planted one crabapple as well for adequate pollination. If you have the space it is best to err on the higher side of what you need because things like weather, disease, and bugs can have an effect on yield.


3 Plants per person is usually enough. We have 12 mature plants for our family (2 per person) and could definitely use more!


Yield for blackberries is high for the space they take up. We have roughly 80 row feet of blackberries and it produces a year supply for the 6 of us. Usually yield is about 100 quarts for 100 row feet of blackberries. Ours is slightly less than that because my thornless blackberries aren’t as productive. 

So per person you should plant on at least 5 plants.

Cranberry bushes 

Average yield per plant is 1- 1.5 pounds. My family went through 10.5 pounds over a year and would need about 7 cranberry plants for a year’s supply. BUT cranberries don’t grow in my zone. They grow in US Zone 4. So my lucky nothern friends get to enjoy growing these delicious fruits. You would need about 2 bushes per person (rounding up here).


Each grape plant is capable of producing from 15 – 30lbs of grapes. Most grape varieties are self pollinating and you can start with one plant per person. 

Melons (Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Etc.)

1- 2 Plants per person is enough for plenty of fresh eating in the summer. If you want enough to make into jam, freeze, and dry increase the amount to three plants per person. 

Peaches/ Nectarines

A dwarf peach tree can produce from 45-135 lbs of fruit. A standard peach tree would produce from 135 lbs to 270 lbs. Between canning and fresh eating we went through roughly 200 lbs of fruit for our family of six. 

There are several self pollinating types of peach trees so for one person you could get away with planting just one dwarf tree. For our family of six we could plant one standard size tree as long as it is self pollinating. 

Because I grow everything organically, I am planting two very disease resistant peach trees this year and hoping for the best! My local cooperative extension doesn’t recommend them for home gardeners in Arkansas because they require so much spray to keep diseases and pests away. I am going to experiment and I hope soon they will come out with better options for organic growers like me.

Nectarines are very similar to peaches in how much you would need to grow so I grouped them together. 

Pears (European)

A dwarf pear tree produces 50-150 lbs of fruit per tree. A standard tree produces 150 – 300 lbs of fruit. You usually need two trees for pollination. I would plant two dwarf trees for one person. For a family of four two dwarf trees would work. Or if you eat a lot of pears go with two standard size trees!

Random side note: Dehydrated pears are the best! They taste like candy.


60 pints of fruits can be harvested from a 100 feet row. Plan for about 25 plants per person.


My mature second year strawberry plants produced around 15 lbs from 81 square feet. That is about enough for one person a year (I have 50 plants). Our family would need six times that many-  or about 300 plants. 

Sweet Cherries

Two dwarf cherry trees are a good choice for one person. They are much easier to maintain. However, one standard cherry tree can produce 150 lbs of fruit. Two dwarf trees or 1-2 standard trees would also be enough for a family. Keep in mind that some cherry trees require at least  two for pollination purposes. 


Watermelon is an interesting fruit because it’s usually only available only a month in the summer and it’s not common to preserve it. I have frozen watermelon before and dried it. But I definitely prefer to eat it in season. 

How much you need to plant depends on your climate! In the northern US you’ll be growing icebox size watermelons and in the south we can grow larger ones. 

Plant 3 plants per person in the more northern areas of the country and two plants per person in the south.

Remember to start out planting more than you need and thin down the plants as they grow.

Fruits for Year-Round Warm Climates

Below I’ve listed fruits that can be grown in areas that don’t freeze during winter and how much you would want to plant for a year’s supply of fruit. 

I am in Zone 6b and have a Meyer lemon that I grow in a pot to take in during winter. Everything else I can’t grow in my zone but I know many of you are in a tropical place where you can grow these! Or perhaps you have a heated greenhouse. Lucky!! 


Bananas are a giant perennial herb and each banana plant forms one fruit cluster. Each fruit cluster can produce anywhere from 50-150  bananas on a standard plant. After the fruit is harvested the entire plant is cut to the ground to spur new growth so it can produce more fruit. Plan on 3 dwarf plants for one person or for a family of four plant 3 standard plants.


A regular lemon tree can produce up to 100 lbs of fruit by its fifth year. It would be enough for a one person or a family.

A Meyer Lemon Tree, especially one that is potted, would produce less fruit than the numbers above. Plant one Meyer Lemon per person.

Oranges/ Other citrus

An outdoor planted, mature orange tree (10 years old) can produce from 150-250 pounds of fruit. 

If you are planting a variety that is suited for container gardening plan on one plant person. 


You get one pineapple per plant so this is an easy one, grow as many as you will eat!


Pomegranates start to produce fruit about the fourth year, each tree may produce a crop of 20 to 25 fruits (10 pounds). By the tenth year, production rises to 100 to 150 fruits (50 pounds). 

Plant one pomegranate tree per person. Most trees are self-pollinating so it is usually ok just planting one. 

A printable version of this chart can be found on my Subscribers Resources page for my email subscribers. To sign up to receive my emails and get access to this page and more click HERE.

References and Additional Resources:

Homegrown Pantry. Barbara Pleasant. 2017, Storey Publishing

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How Much to Plant for a Year's Supply of Food - The Seasonal Homestead December 20, 2023 - 4:14 am

[…] Psst…This cheat sheet is all about how much you would need for a year supply of vegetables. Wondering about how much to plant for a year’s supply of fruit too? Check out my post HERE! […]


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