Is having a Garden really cost effective? It is, but…
One of the more popular websites today is Reddit.com, which is a user generated behemoth. At any time on anyone of it’s many “subreddits” (sections devoted to specific topics) you’ll find someone asking for help and some really great answers.
As we speak there is a discussion in the frugal section where a user asked the question “Does r/frugal think that gardens are actually financially frugal?” The top comment is such great advice we wanted to share it with any of you would be home gardeners. Even if cost isn’t an issue for you it’s still sounds advice:
“It is, if:
- You identify the plants you eat a lot of and are expensive and grow those. Eat a lot of potatoes? Probably not a good idea to grow them, because they’re so dang cheap. Like chives? Well, they are really easy to grow, and cut herbs are expensive in the store, so go ahead. . Raspberries are also super easy, and pretty expensive. My general rule is: grow leafy vegetables, herbs, and berries. Buy root vegetables and squashes, plus anything that doesn’t get enough heat here.
- Find out what crops grow well and easily for you, in your climate. For me, beans are tasty, yes, but we just don’t get a big enough crop to make it worthwhile. However, I grow a lot of kale, because it just does fantastically here- in fact, since some self-seeded, I don’t have to do anything but harvest now.
- Develop your soil’s fertility cheaply or for free. For example, I’m getting a truck load of composted horse manure from a friend for the price of gas. Compost kitchen scraps and lawn clippings, check out coffee stands and see if they’ll give you coffee grounds. All of these are free or nearly free sources of fertility that will make your garden really produce.
- Don’t get carried away and buy a pile of tools. Really, unless you have a big garden, all you need is a shovel, a trowel, and maybe a rake and garden fork. You do not need to buy rototillers or other fancy and expensive doodads.
- Realize that gardening is a skill, and may take some time to develop. Some people are fantastic their first year, but many have entire crops fail before they figure out what they need to do.
TL;DR: Find out what crops you eat a lot of, aren’t cheap, and basically grow themselves for you. Get free and cheap sources of soil fertility. Only grow what you will actually eat. Figure out how to minimize effort and time investment while maximizing yield.”
It’s great to see people who posses specific knowledge and skills share that knowledge with other people.