Who gardens to save some money?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by aprilfoolwed, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. aprilfoolwed

    aprilfoolwed DIS Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    We have a backyard garden that we've been using mostly as a hobby for the past few years. Last year, I really tried to make the most out of the gardening to help with the budget at the grocery store.

    It's time to start planting again (I am in southeast PA) - and just picked up my seeds for sugar snap peas, peas, and lettuce (3 kinds). I have to get my tomatoes started indoors too!

    We've experimented with several things over the years, but I have found the best things for us are lettuce and tomatoes - and the kids love the sugar snaps! We also have an ever-expanding Strawberry Patch which is fantastic in June!

    We probably spend less than $25 on "stuff" for the garden (soil - we have raised beds - seeds, fertilizer) and harvest so much more than that in value.

    Anyone else giving gardening a try? I don't have the biggest green thumb, but I've really seen the rewards!
  2. FrogPrincess

    FrogPrincess Earning My Ears

    Jun 5, 2007
    I'm also going to try gardening this year. I love the idea, unfortunately I always end up killing my plants by over- or under- watering them.

    Does anyone have suggestions for easy-to-grow veggies?
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  4. momto2inKC

    momto2inKC DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2005
    I can't wait for late April so I can start planting! We didn't do a garden last year and I really missed having it. We usually plant corn, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalepeno peppers, cherry tomatoes,roma tomatoes, fourth of July tomatoes, eggplant, squash, watermelon, strawberries, pumpkins, okra, and cucumbers.
    This year i'd like to try a couple of varieties of lettuce.
  5. ChisJo

    ChisJo Cause afterall, a dream that you wish, will come t

    Jan 29, 2001
    We live in a condo on the second floor. We have a large balcony, and in the summer time, I totally take advantage of it to plant herbs (especially basil...homemade pesto is the best), tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chives. I love it! Since up here fresh herbs are so expensive, its nice to plant them and then dry them. I use them into the winter before I have to buy more.
  6. SuzieDsouza

    SuzieDsouza Earning My Ears

    Mar 8, 2011
    Hey by gardening you wont only save money, but help to grow a better environment and save this earth from global warming disaster. This should be followed by every human, as it keeps environment cool, and satisfies your hobbies too.
  7. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    I have not started my seeds yet and am thinking I may go the plant route instead. Last year I had tomatoes into October! I seem to have the most luck with Roma tomatoes. They resist disease and for some reason the bugs stayed away from them too. I spent all summer fighting pests last year on my beefsteak tomatoes,they won.

    I also lost my green beans to the rabbits. But my herbs did great and I'll definately do those again, basil, sage,thyme,Rosemary and chives.
  8. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

    Jul 18, 2008
    We share a large garden with my parents and love it!
    Last year we did two types of tomatoes, four types of peppers, green beans, corn, potatoes, peas, watermelon, cucumbers, zuchinni, carrots. We also get wild blackberries and walnuts.
    We still have canned green beans, frozen corn and some potatoes left from last year. We had a really good haul. Hope we do as well this year!
  9. dis2cruise

    dis2cruise Long Island, NY

    Aug 21, 1999
    I did container gardens last year on my patio I had about 7 containers I got enough veggies for my family of 4 to weed my containers was a breeze...
  10. GaSleepingBeautyFan

    GaSleepingBeautyFan DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2007
    I garden but the kids don't care for alot of vegs.

    Last year I did an Italian theme and a mexican theme. I was very happy with the results but the kids didn't like the salsa I made because it was different than the jarred stuff.

    They also didn't like the green beans. The squash died, the cucumbers died, even the zucchini died. The eggplants did well but again the kids didn't like eggplant paramesan which was the only thing I could come up with to make with them. I tried onions before but it's actually cheaper just to buy a bag of them at the grocery store when I need them.

    You can only grow lettuce here while it is cool. It dies when it gets too hot. Carrots don't do well in our clay soil and while I've added lots of compost and other amendents, it's just not enough yet.

    The kids like corn and I was thinking of doing that in one of my 2 raised beds. I did try it a few years ago but it didn't go well. It might be worth it to try one more time though.

    I'll probably do the Italian theme garden again (tomato, peppers, basil) and some other herbs because I like to cook with fresh herbs.

    I don't know what else I'll be doing yet if anything. I was actually going to start preparing the raised garden beds next weekend.
    Then I'll have extra time to work in my flower garden later in March. I need to figure out what I'm doing this year.
  11. stich1fan

    stich1fan Mouseketeer

    Dec 26, 2009
    I am a gardener. I have been successful in the past with lettuce, tomato, peppers and string beans. the last few years I did not get started since we had a new baby, but this year I will be picking up the hoe again.

    I am going to try corn. My big issue here is animals they eat everything. We fences in the area and this year I might put a top netting on it too.

    We are in NJ and still have snow, so not yet will I plant. As a matter of fact I will wait till about half through may and then start them inside in a little green house and replant the seedlings outside. It works for us.

    I too think gardening helps you save money. Produce is expensive and seeds are not. So the return from your plant can last the whole season if you care for them well.
  12. mom0299

    mom0299 DIS Veteran

    Oct 17, 2006
    We will be planting a garden again this year. We usually plant corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, watermelon, onions...
  13. Leader of the Club

    Leader of the Club My Disney Princess only wears BLACK!

    Sep 6, 2003
    Does anyone do Square Foot Gardening? It is FANTASTIC! The yields from a small space are unbelievable. And its super easy to weed, water, monitor and harvest.

    You can check out the books by Mel Bartholomew at the library or google Square Foot Gardening. There are two websites. The store website and the information website--with forums! You know how we love forums!

    This year we are growing tomatoes, lettuce, onions, carrots, leeks, celery, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, rosemary, beans (not sure what kind yet), and peas.
  14. leadfootlevi

    leadfootlevi DIS Veteran

    Oct 7, 2010
    Last year we had tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, and strawberries. The pumpkins and watermelon overtook the whole garden area (I am a novice :rolleyes1).

    I want to try lettuce and broccoli this year. I'm hoping the pumpkins didn't kill our strawberries. And we will plant tomatoes. Maybe we'll try carrots as well. DH and DS want to do pumpkins again, but I think we'll have to make a new bed for them far away from our current bed.
  15. poohfriend77

    poohfriend77 DIS Veteran

    Jul 20, 2007
    I can't wait to get back in my garden! Temps are supposed to hit the 50s here today, so I'm thinking of getting some compost and getting my raised bed ready for carrots, peas, and lettuce. :banana:

    I'm going to pull out my strawberries to make more room for lettuce and broccoli. I couldn't believe how my kids begged for "garden salad" last year, and I wished I had planted more. Fresh-picked broccoli is sooooo much better than anything I have gotten in a store! We haven't had a lot of luck with our berries, anyway, and I have a friend with a HUGE berry patch who likes to share. :thumbsup2

    I also plant tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and peppers, but those have to wait until mid-May here in IL.
  16. poohfriend77

    poohfriend77 DIS Veteran

    Jul 20, 2007
    Yes! This is what I do, and I love it! His book is great for anyone new to gardening.
  17. jbmom

    jbmom <font color=darkorchid>Our underwear just gets put

    Jan 5, 2007
    We're ordering our seeds this weekend and in the spring we will be expanding our garden again. We grow tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, habenero peppers, radishes, onions, green beans, peas, cucumbers, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, snow peas, potatoes and we always have a few volunteer pumpkins that grow from the compost pile.

    We canned over 100 pints of green beans, 50 quarts of tomatoes, 40 pints of sweet jalapeno pepper jelly, 10 pints of pickled jalapenos, 30 pints of salsa. We froze fresh bell peppers, jalapenos, habenero peppers, peas and corn from my dads garden. We dried lots of cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes.

    Our garden saves us quite a bit and my dh enjoys working in the garden too.

    Can't wait for fresh summer squash and cucumbers again, our grocery store produce just doesn't measure up to home grown.
  18. rubato

    rubato DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2008
    I went in with a friend last year. He has 50 acres, I have no yard. So, we planted a lot of stuff at his house-pumpkins, watermelon, cabbage, lettuce, corn, okra, 3 different peppers, cukes and zucchini. The garden really didn't do well, other than the okra. But, we are giving ourselves a learning curve and hope to do better this year. Plus, we had old seeds last year. I loved it, and am happy to save money, eat organic and help out the environment as much as possible. :thumbsup2
  19. aprilfoolwed

    aprilfoolwed DIS Veteran

    Nov 15, 2008
    I tried broccoli last year, because my kids LOVE IT! It didn't work well for us. The plants are HUGE and took so much space, and the yield was very small.

    I'd love to start another bed for vine plants too - they take up too much space in the other garden. I love squash!
  20. Band mom!

    Band mom! Mouseketeer

    Feb 7, 2008
    We've done a few bucket container veggies the past couple of year.... However, was ag the grocery Saturday and ONE bellpepper was $1.77 :scared1: - I freaked, called my husband right then and told him to be ready to garden for real this year! good grief!
  21. Falltime

    Falltime Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2006
    I always plant a garden every year. For me it was never a money saving benefit even though that's great, but rather that I much prefer the taste of home grown fruits and veggies than what you buy in the grocery stores.

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