The cost effectiveness of growing your own food plants


Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
Quite often some variation on the theme of what you do or do not save in growing your own is revisited here on this forum with the end result generally being that people grow what they want based on their own need or just the sheer joy in seeing the fruits of the labor.

I came across this article this evening that I thought some might find interesting: The Most Profitable Plants in Your Vegetable Garden

This graphic is what led me to the article via Pinterest, though interestingly enough, it doesn't appear to have been a part of it.
3614b3d2e3f4b4a7fa80768795f67529.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,530
Reaction score
494
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I have two problems with having a cost effectiveness for gardening: weather and no space. My tiny area for gardening won't bring me anything substantial results enough to even for us to eat :( I have cilantro, basil, chive, and rosemary in pots. This is a great share for those that have large piece of earth.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I have two problems with having a cost effectiveness for gardening: weather and no space. My tiny area for gardening won't bring me anything substantial results enough to even for us to eat :( I have cilantro, basil, chive, and rosemary in pots. This is a great share for those that have large piece of earth.

What size space do you have? I grow strawberries in hanging pots; growing vertically increases your space, and following a permaculture/square foot plan on the proper rotation - even in containers, makes it possible to grow several pounds of food.

As far as weather restrictions go, you just have to get to know your own microclimate and work from there.
 
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
1,104
Reaction score
278
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I do not have the space that would allow for me to grow all of my own food, or do I think it is really saving me a lot of money because I had to go out and purchase stuff to make the gardens happen this spring. We will see though, I am just happy that at some point this summer, I will be able to make a salad of veggies I grew all on my own.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I do not have the space that would allow for me to grow all of my own food, or do I think it is really saving me a lot of money because I had to go out and purchase stuff to make the gardens happen this spring. We will see though, I am just happy that at some point this summer, I will be able to make a salad of veggies I grew all on my own.

No one can grow all of their own food exclusively unless they are a strict vegetarian and utilize every possible cubic inch of growing space available to them. Not to mention they would have to dry, can, pickle, and otherwise preserve everything they produced, and likely ration their food for very disciplined portion control.

The person could also not be a picky eater and would have grow things like beans and cucuzza. This person would also have to understand the time it took to harvest certain crops... I could go on and on.

The biggest value, however, is the satisfaction and gratification that come from successfully growing and then eating your own non-GMO, non-pesticide laden, healthy safe to eat food.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
1,471
Reaction score
1,105
Location
Oakville,Ontario
Hardiness Zone
5A
Country
Canada
I think my veggies cost me more than the store's. I'm still in the getting everything needed stage so one time expenses outstrip any savings.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
256
Reaction score
57
Hardiness Zone
6a
Country
United States
At the moment I'm not saving anything since there isn't enough space to make it cost effective. I had a coworker who pretty much lived off his garden most of the year but it took him a long time to get it established.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
447
Reaction score
528
Hardiness Zone
USDA 10a - Sunset 22
Country
United States
If I could just get those pesky avocados to grow I could save a ton. I do find growing my own tomatoes, citrus and herbs somewhat cost effective.

On a different but like subject. Growing your own cut flowers can save $$$ if you like cut flowers in the house.

Very Informative - Thank You,
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I think my veggies cost me more than the store's. I'm still in the getting everything needed stage so one time expenses outstrip any savings.

Considering where you live and how long you have to wait to plant, I would think anything you could grow yourself would be helpful. Maybe you should look at what you're growing - which was the point of the article.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
If I could just get those pesky avocados to grow I could save a ton. I do find growing my own tomatoes, citrus and herbs somewhat cost effective.

On a different but like subject. Growing your own cut flowers can save $$$ if you like cut flowers in the house.

Very Informative - Thank You,

I bet it can! I finally have more long stemmed flowers suitable for cutting, though I don't buy the cut ones all that often, and not the expensive ones when I do.

The biggest thing for me in growing my own (other than the sheer pleasure of it) is the convenience of being able to go out and get what I need right outside the back door. I'm looking forward to gradually expanding my edible garden.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
606
Reaction score
927
Location
Close to The Garden of England
Hardiness Zone
8b
I think things are slightly different in the UK.

A lot of people grow their own veg and fruit - to a certain extent. In many parts of the country, even in the cities, people can rent allotments. These are specifically for growing edible foods.

I used to grow a large variety of vegetables but, over the years, have reduced the variety to those that are either expensive to buy or are much tastier when grown in the garden.

I don't grow potatoes any more as there is too much effort involved (I'm getting old :() for the return. We grow a large variety of herbs, onions, garlic, zucchini, butternut squash, tomatoes, chillies, runner beans (just ordered 520 beans from the supplier), French beans of different sorts, sweet corn, apples, pears plums, rhubarb, blackberries, broccoli, and I'm sure there are others I can't remember at the moment.

They certainly save money as long as I don't take into account the time spent growing and picking them! The flavour off most are better than the shop bought ones.

Sometimes that's because they are so fresh but a lot of the time it's because they are varieties that are not commercial from a growing point of view.

A good example are Brussel sprouts. They commercial varieties are grown for the individual sprouts to all be ready at the same time so that the harvesting machine can lift the whole plant. Whereas the tastiest varieties have the sprouts maturing at a gradual rate along the stem. These individual sprouts can be picked as they're ready, and when they're needed.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
...I used to grow a large variety of vegetables but, over the years, have reduced the variety to those that are either expensive to buy or are much tastier when grown in the garden...

You've hit the proverbial nail right on the head! Perennial veg, things that are expensive, can be grown vertically, no-dig options, etc. (I grew potatoes in a laundry basket last year.) I think growing beans is a good idea, even if you start with a handful of seeds because you can grow them just for new seed and expand your growing. It's all about planning.

I would like to establish a permanent bed for asparagus. This is something I think worth growing since it's perennial, and knowing the time it takes to get to harvest explains the cost of it at the market.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2015
Messages
606
Reaction score
927
Location
Close to The Garden of England
Hardiness Zone
8b
Growing asparagus is a good idea but only if you have the space. The harvesting season is short and you can't grow anything else on that spot.

I don't collect my own bean seeds as it's not worth it. We eat, or sell for charity, all the beans we produce. The 520 runner bean seeds I have just bought are F1 hybrids and only cost just over eight dollars.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
721
Reaction score
567
Location
Long Island, NY
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
I would like to establish a permanent bed for asparagus. This is something I think worth growing since it's perennial, and knowing the time it takes to get to harvest explains the cost of it at the market.
I had well over thirty asparagus plants growing along my back fence line for a few years. Then the next year, Nothing! Turns out the moles had a winter feast party, and all was lost.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
721
Reaction score
567
Location
Long Island, NY
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
That's a pity :(
Yeah it broke my heart. It was the perfect spot, and they did very well there too. My sister used to live in Virginia, and they would grow wild along the roadsides. So I figured, piece of cake, right? nyet! :)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I had well over thirty asparagus plants growing along my back fence line for a few years. Then the next year, Nothing! Turns out the moles had a winter feast party, and all was lost.

Oh, no! Thankfully, moles are not a problem where I live and the only way I would be able to grow asparagus is in containers so hopefully I wouldn't have that problem. I just have to figure out where to situate the plants, their cold hardiness, and what sort of seasonal protection they'll need. I imagine they don't necessarily do well in high heat.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
721
Reaction score
567
Location
Long Island, NY
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
Oh, no! Thankfully, moles are not a problem where I live and the only way I would be able to grow asparagus is in containers so hopefully I wouldn't have that problem. I just have to figure out where to situate the plants, their cold hardiness, and what sort of seasonal protection they'll need. I imagine they don't necessarily do well in high heat.

I think it may be too warm for you to make a go of them in your area. They really need to winter over or you wind up with toothpicks, or nothing at all. It also took all of three years before I started to get a good yield from them.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
783
Reaction score
858
Location
Very West Midlands, UK
Showcase(s):
1
Country
United Kingdom
The difficulty as far as we can see, is how you work out the finances of the exercise. We use a rough and ready formula based on the fact that if we did not go and pick it from the garden we would have to buy something to eat, but not necessarily the veg or fruit we have grown for ourselves.
Bottom line is that whether it is cost effective is not as important to us as knowing what has been sprayed on what we are eating.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6A
Country
United States
I had well over thirty asparagus plants growing along my back fence line for a few years. Then the next year, Nothing! Turns out the moles had a winter feast party, and all was lost.
Moles or Voles? ( I think moles like insects, Voles like roots ). Our surroundings are largely wooded and voles have always been troublesome
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top