Can a Vegetable Garden Save You Money?

That’s the title of an article by Cindy Haynes, Extension Horticulturalist. Her answer was “yes” if done correctly. She goes on to quote a book about $64 tomatoes. 

We laugh in my family about the “$10,000” garden that my sisters and Dad share. It has high fences to keep out the deer, cement borders, table and benches, and a shed for storing equipmentplus it is connected to the yard irrigation system. We grow several varieties of tomatoes and peppers as well as peas, green beans, zucchini, onions, radishes, cucumbers, rhubarb, asparagus, raspberries, and lettuce in the garden. We have grown white and sweet potatoes, winter squash, melons, broccoli, and eggplant. I don’t think anyone keeps track of what they spend on the garden, but I do know that the garden supplies all of us (and many friends) with loads of fresh, delicious fruits and veggies. Besides enjoying “the fruit of our labors,” the garden provides hours of discussion and shared activity.

If you are new to gardening, I strongly recommend that you start small as Cindy recommends. I had container gardens for years and enjoyed tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, et cetera which grew on the patio. Cindy’s article includes a list of ISU publications you can get at your county ISU Extension office, or you may download a pdf version from the ISU Extension Online Store.

-pointers from Peggy

3 thoughts on “Can a Vegetable Garden Save You Money?

  1. Gardens are nice too because you can plant more unusual types of foods that might be harder to find in the store. Plus, I can grow the food organically. The garden is a nice supplement to CSA farm produce.

    I grow my strawberries in big pots on the patio. To keep the squirrels out when the fruit is ripe, I just add a circle of wire mesh on top of the pot, which I tie down with some old leftover yarn. It works well to keep out the animals, but does make harvesting a bit harder. I wouldn’t mind sharing with the little animals, if they could just take a few whole strawberrys or two rather than eat half of all of them. 🙂

  2. Garden strawberries ALWAYS taste better than those from a store. How big do yours get in the pots?
    Growing up, the only time my family would go to the store for veggies in the summer was for emergencies, like the deer got into the garden again :S

  3. she hit the nail on the head in her article. Grow the expensive vegetables that you enjoy eating. I live in the suburbs, so there aren’t very many critters only birds. I just used chicken wire though and that keeps them out.

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