The development of plantations in the American colonies took awhile. When the "pilgrims" arrived and other immigrants arrived as indentured servants plantations were just small farm or farm of pretty good size. As the years went by and the profit and demand for crops such as tobacco grew larger so did the farms. For your farm or land to become a plantation you must accumulate much land, larger plantation could have over 200 acres of fields growing anything from tobacco to maize and sugarcane(in the south). They also had to have the money to buy slaves as they were auctioned off at the ports or to own indentured servants.
In the Chesapeake colonies plantations were small due to fewer crops able to be grown because of infertile soil. In the New England colonies on the other hand plantations were large and had many slaves to work the land.
Most South Carolina plantations had over 100 slaves and large lands, the plantation owners tended to be wealthy and did not help to work their own fields. Above South Carolina the farms were smaller and maybe 40% of southern white males worked as tenant farmers and the remaining men who owned land, about two out of every three in the Chesapeake region worked farms of two hundred acres or less(Nash,206).
Plantations of the south roared in the tobacco, sugar cane, maize, and cotton. Yet in the north the soil would allow only maize so their farms and small plantations were for fishing and lumber also. Tobacco was the boom crop of the southern colonies until the demand and profit started to slump and led to less immigrants wanting to come over and work. All in all this led to the large scale forced migration of African slaves.