Is gardening really cheaper than buying fruits and vegetables?

Image for article titled Is gardening really cheaper than buying fruits and vegetables?

Photo: jgolby (Shutterstock)

With rising food prices, many people are considering starting a garden. This makes sense, since human beings have been growing their own food for thousands of years. The thing just pops out of the ground and literally grows on trees. Gardening offers many benefits: it can be spiritually and emotionally fulfilling, improve the appearance of your property, and provide delicious subsistence. The potential of save money doesn’t hurt either.

At first glance, this may seem like a obvious victory: Once you start a tomato plant, for example, you get free tomatoes instead of having to buy them all the time like a sucker. But gardens have hidden costs, and not all crops are the same when it comes to profitability. Can you really save money growing your own food? The answer is yes, but you have to think about it.

Make garden mathematics

Once again, your high school algebra teacher wins. It’s yet another time in your life when you will use math.

The starting point is your initial investment. The good news here is that gardens are relatively inexpensive. Few years ago, the National Gardening Association conducted a cost survey and concluded that most home gardens require around $70 initial investment. This money goes to seeds, potting soil and/or fertilizer, cages, blanketsthe water, tools and fencing, if needed. The best news is that you can expect an annual return of around $600 perAnd going forward, seeds are incredibly cheap compared to grown fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. Jtomatoes on the vine cost about $2 a pound, but a packet of seeds will cost about $4 and each plant that grows is capable of producing eight at 30 pound sterling tomatoes (although there’s no guarantee you’ll get that many, of course).

These are good numbers, but keep in mind that there are ongoing costs as well. Water, for its part, will be a regular part of your budget. You will need to handle pesticides and use other measures to protect your crops, too. Also, there will be breakage, which means some of your crops will die. Frost can arrive unexpectedly and destroy more and every wild and living thing nearby will look eagerly at your garden. Those breaking factors will make your initial ROI estimates look ridiculous once they’re done with you.

The other consideration is what you plant. Some plants are more profitable than others, but there’s no point in planting a high-yielding plant if you’re not going to eat it. When planning your garden, choose fruits and vegetables that you like and will actually eat, because to get a big budget impact from your garden, you will need to eat a parcel of what it produces.

These are the mmost profitable crops

So you’ll overcome economic anxiety by planting a vegetable garden and living off your own crops. What are the best plants to invest in? Here are some of the most profitable crops you can plant.

Tomatoes. As stated above, tomatoes are a great investment. They don’t take up much space and can be very easy to grow. Seeds are the cheapest and produce the most economic benefits, but they take a long time to produce. Buying a seedling or a mature plant will cost you between $4 and $8, but you will get those red beauties much faster, and since you will always have at least about eight pounds of tomatoes, you’ll save about $3 per pound.

Squash. Squash plants are not as productive as some crops, but they grow for a long time. For $3 of seeds, you’ll get up to 10 pounds of zucchini, for example, for about $1.50 a pound in stores. Plus, squash freezes well, so if you have a bumper harvest, you can extend those savings throughout the year.

Leaf lettuce. Lettuce is incredibly versatile, so it’s an ideal crop that you’ll use in almost any meal. It also grows very, very well, requiring fortnightly harvests. Yesyou will have many of lettuce. A packet of seeds usually costs less than $3, so you’ll definitely get what you pay for.

Green beans. For $3, you can get a seed packet for this easy-to-grow crop. Alternatively, the plants will cost around $2 each. A plant will typically produce around 40-60 bean pods, and you can plant your seeds a week or two apart for consistent yields. Fresh green beans go for $2 to $2.50 a pound at the grocery store, so you’ll absolutely save money.

Herbs. If you’re paying Big Spice for your herbs at the supermarket, you’re paying too much no matter what they charge. Grass the seeds are incredibly inexpensive – usually less than a dollar a pack – are easy to grow and will give you all the mint, basil and parsley you could need.

Berries. Freshly picked fruit is quite expensive. A pound of blueberries will cost you up to $7. Instead, you can buy three blueberries for around $30 and get about six pints of berries out of them each year. Raspberries will be a little more expensive with about the same yield, so they are still a very economical choice. Even better, they will continue to produce delicious berries for you year after year.

Okra. Fast growing and relatively easy to maintain, okra is an excellent choice for an economical garden, assuming you like eating okra. You can get a packet of seeds for around $5, which will usually net you around three plants, each producing around a pound of okra once the plants mature. With fresh okra going for around $5 a pound in stores, that’s a pretty good saving.

Cucumbers. Cucumber seeds will cost you about $6 per pack, and each plant will yield about 10 six-ounce cucumbers, or nearly four pounds worth. Whereas cucumbers do the trick 70¢ a pound in the store, all you need is about three plants to break even, with every other plant being a profit on your investment. Bonus: you can pickle your cucumbers, which takes another item off your grocery list and preserves your harvest for centuries.

Kale. At $5 for a packet of seeds, kale can be a great addition to your garden. It grows very quickly, and each bunch of kale you harvest is about $1 in savings, so you’ll recoup your investment fairly quickly.. Plus, kale is delicious and extremely versatile, so you can enjoy it in a variety of ways.

A well-planned vegetable garden can indeed save you a lot of money. Just keep in mind that there is a lot of work and care involved and your time has a cost associated with it, as well as. Just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean your garden is profitable if it takes up valuable time. That being said, a vegetable garden is definitely worth investigating as prices continue to rise everywhere.

Previous Loan, insurance, payment and heritage
Next War in Ukraine spills over to Taiwan's 'frontline of democracy'