Value of a Garden


  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,205 ✭✭✭✭

    My landlord pays my water, I bought the seed and have purchased compost and got some free Nature's Best from Lane Forest. I just got really lucky. Since my Beet Greens are still humming along through the winter ( I thought it was amazing) we are still giving some of them away. Just in my small space I kept 4 people in greens last summer and this winter (not including myself). My peas poked there heads out during the freeze but I poked them back under the soil. I am trying some lettuce tape but it is 4 years old. It doesn't hurt to try. I also have onion and carrot tape also. Beans of a different variety this year.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cost is definitely a huge consideration of gardening. Depending on the choices made it could cost way more to grow food than to purchase it. I know people that have given up gardening because they couldn't balance the costs.

    One point that I didn't notice in the article is that you have to compare apples to apples. The cost to grow nutrient rich organic produce is far less than purchasing that in the local grocery stores. I can definitely purchase poor quality produce that I don't know where it came from or what chemicals were used on it for less than I can grow my own most days.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,131 ✭✭✭✭

    I have been looking at the costs of fruits and veggies going up in the stores. I know that growing from seed can be far less costly. However, the stores sell starts, and looking at the cost of a start as opposed to the fully grown food, the math just doesn't really work as well for that.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've seen a book at the library titled "The $64 Tomato." The author appears to be an affluent person who spent a lot of money to take the most complex, expensive approach to every problem.

    It doesn't have to be that way, but gardeners will face challenges, and if you want to keep costs down you need to research low cost solutions.

    You also need to be willing to put in some time and effort. Sometimes sweat equity is the difference between an affordable food-producing garden and an expensive hobby.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you have no seeds or tools a garden can cost the first year. But if you buy a cheaper seeds or trade seeds with a friend those costs can go down. Saving seeds in the fall will also help save money

    I buy my tools at garage sales. I also try to protect my garden from predators. Its the weahter I find can be challenging but planning ahead can help that too.

    But over all, besides the cost of a garden I consider how fresh ther produce is and that I know its chemical free. That is so important to me.

    And its cheaper than a gym membership when it comes to exercise :)

    You can also save money on water by using a rain barrle or hand watering and not using a garden hose if that's an issue.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I agree that saving money where you can is the right approach. But one area I would avoid is "cheap seed."

    Steve Solomon wrote at length about the perils of cheap, low-yielding seed in _Gardening When It Counts_. And since he founded a successful seed business, he should know.

    He recommends starting from seeds instead of transplants unless (like me) you are planting things such as tomatoes or peppers that need a longer growing season than you have.

    But he strongly discourages buying seed from the cheapest commercial sellers, because those low prices mean the seller is not doing trials, not selecting and de-rogueing the seed plants, and starting from ultracheap seed sources that have degraded from the original variety. There is also a greater chance that the cheap seed is not the labeled variety, but a cheaper substitute.

    So buy seed from a trusted provider, or exchange seed with friends.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The best way after you have gardened for a year or so is to save your own seed. By saving your own seed they acclimate to your soil and climate. And by watching your plants you can select ther healthies plant, the one that made it through a frost and set seed or produced the earliest.

    When I buy seed I usually by really good seed and then swap it with others for some of their really good seed.

    I haven't had issues with a cheaper seed for greens but for tomatoes (a love of mine) I buy good seed and either swap it with others or sell a few of my extra transplants for a seed money stash.