Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 35

Thread: Is Vegetable Gardening Worth It?

  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    3,334
    My DH has a small garden and my son and DIL plant stuff in there too. The 3 of them enjoy it. They never plant more then 3 or 4 different items. However, this year the squirrel that lives under the neighbor's tree ate everything except the tomatoes. I guess he doesn't like them)

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    559
    It really boils down to 1) Do you enjoy gardening? 2) Do you grow what you normally eat? 3) Do you love the flavor of food fresh from the ground rather than 3-5w old in the grocery store picked long before it's ripe and ready to eat?

    Compost is a must every year if you're organic gardening. (Those who do Miracle Grow don't need it or so they tell me). We have a compost mini-mountain that has built up over 20 years...and I didn't use but perhaps 1/3 of it dressing my garden beds this spring and I put a LOT of compost everywhere. No-cost compost here but I would buy it if I didn't make it myself.

    I compare my costs and harvest to Farmer's Market pricing since I grow organic. Cost examples:
    I failed to start my eggplant seeds this year so I spent $47.70 on 12 organic plants. $1.45/pound is the current price. So after 31 pounds it's free. I'll easily far exceed that. We'll slab and grill plenty for meals and use the bulk of it in our annual ratatouille for the freezer and winter enjoyment. http://www.salon.com/2010/08/07/rata...s_grade_style/ This stuff is AWESOME! Thanks to Kalpana for sharing it here long ago.

    I started my cucumbers from leftover seeds from last year. No cost. 12 plants in the ground. Will easily get 10 pieces from each plant. 120 cucumbers for 5 minutes work per week.

    I buy my tomato and pepper plants every year-my biggest cost ($4 each from my CSA farmers). I put in 12 peppers and 24 tomatoes. I like to always plant at least 6 cultivars of each and buying seed and starting just a few sounds like a pain to me. 2y ago we put up 60 pints of salsa and over 40 quarts of ratatouille. Buying all of that at Farmer's Market? Can't imagine that cost. And OMG the flavor of a warm freshly picked heirloom tomato in late August? Divine

    I bought my zucchini this year as well. I picked 4 this morning-my first harvest. There will be many more off my 6 plants! Never has a neighbor said no to my offer of zucchini. And if they "get away", I seed them and grate them and bag it for freezing. It gets tossed into pasta sauce, into my lasagna, or squeezed dry for winter GF chocolate zucchini bread. http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com...d-gluten-free/

    It is NOT worth it to most people I know here nor most of my family members. For all the years of growing food in the front yard, I have only 2 neighbors who grow food. 1 already did but has expanded to the front yard as of 2y ago and the other started beds in the backyard after many chats and lots of Q&A with me out there.

    I don't think it's all that much work personally, for the yield. 1 full weekend up front to clean up and prep the beds, planting, composting, top dressing with more compost. Today is the first day of work out there since planting. We spent 2h out there this morning weeding, threading plants through wire trellis and tucking tomato arms back inside their cages.....I'll do maybe 1h/week maintenance until harvest begins.

    I would do better if I weren't working 50+ hours per week. I could be more attentive and do a better job of getting ready in the spring. one of the many things I will do more of in retirement.

    YMMV!

  3. #23
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SW Washington State
    Posts
    1,498
    No way it's cost effective for me. Maybe at one time in my life when I grew a huge one and canned and froze tons of produce. But that is ancient history. Now it's a hobby.

    BUT, growing herbs is cost effective, I think. I have some which I can access most of the year, even in winter, right out on my deck--no run to the store. The rest I've got in dried form. I really have learned to love growing herbs. I grow about 18 different ones.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  4. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    999
    I have perennial herbs, minimal work and no expense. I like perennials as a concept, but my asparagus and blueberries never did much.

  5. #25
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,061
    This year I only planted what other gardeners gave me. I've got 5 tomato plants that I've had a big 3 tomatoes from so far, pepper plants that haven't done anything, cabbage that has also been slow. I had some lettuce, kale, spinach that did ok. I think my raised bed soil is off, I don't have a fence to keep the rabbit and deer away and I'm giving up. Oh, the blackberries had my best year ever so I'll keep those. DH brings home bags of veggies from co-workers and friends plus there are the farmer's markets. I think I'm going to admit defeat. I do not have a veggie thumb.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  6. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    115
    We got into gardening in 2009 and have maintained a plot in our community garden. One thing we learned, is that first time gardeners definitely do not save money just with having buy tools and fencing. We have managed to start plants from seed and find the best buys for getting plants that are already started, but still have to admit that between buying seeds, plants and soil amendments, it's not still not cost effective from the outset. However I have gotten great satisfaction from gardening plus I enjoy canning the produce and drying the herbs, which last us through the winter.

    This year, sadly, blew the costs out of the water. Major rainstorms last weeks that caused widespread flooding including the community garden. Lost my entire tomato and pepper crop, but luckily the pumpkins, zucchini and cucumbers look they have survived due to being planted in hills and a bit of TLC. I debated doing this but decided come hell or high water (no pun intended) I am going to have me some tomatoes. So I bought some Early Girls and popped them in, there's enough time in our growing season to produce.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,013
    We have a small city lot - appx 5,200 sq ft and that includes the sidewalk and parkstrip I think. So we have to be selective on what we plant. Cost wise, veggies are not really a smart choice. We have lots of farmers markets with great fresh produce at good prices because the farmers have their water subsidized and water is a huge expense here. But I do like growing herbs and we have good producing lemon trees and a not very productive persimmon tree. This fall we might build a few small raised beds for cukes, zukes, and tomatoes. The rest of the garden is heavily planted for shade and year-round flowers and foliage. We don't have central A/C so the shade trees give us a good return on investment. And having a nice-looking garden in the winter months means we use our outdoor space a lot, so that's a good investment too. I have SAD and outdoor time is critical.

    Hmmmm.... maybe I'll see what winter crops would work well since our cukes/zukes/tomatoes are all warm-weather plants. Of course that might make the soil too depleted if we grow stuff year-round so I would need to change out the soil twice a year I guess. That seems like a lot of work.

    Question for you experienced veggie gardeners:
    How often do I need to change out/supplement the soil if I grow veggies every year? We have heavy clay soil.

    I'll add that my garden is a very meditative/zen place even though I don't grow veggies, so I don't think it's what you grow, but rather just the process of growing and tending a garden that seems to provide the wonderful benefits. My garden is my spiritual place.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    559
    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post

    Question for you experienced veggie gardeners:
    How often do I need to change out/supplement the soil if I grow veggies every year? We have heavy clay soil. .
    Every time you pull stuff up and every time you plant (if they are not one and the same). I will add more compost to my beds in a few weeks where I can get to the soil around plants.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    115
    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Every time you pull stuff up and every time you plant (if they are not one and the same). I will add more compost to my beds in a few weeks where I can get to the soil around plants.
    We add every time we plant. We don't garden all year so in the spring after the community plots have been tilled, we add compost to the areas we are planting. For the most part we plant directly in the ground except for root vegetables which go into a small raised bed. Ground is heavily clay, but works ok as so long we keep it aerated

  10. #30
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,318
    I started out gardening with the "square foot garden" method. I followed the advice in the book almost to the T. It uses a shallow box with Mel's magic mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost, equal parts. My 4'x4' box cost maybe $100 to set up and other than that, add a bag or two of compost every year. It's great for people who have limited space or poor soil as well as being really easy to grow many things. I plant leafy greens in the springtime and rotate in herbs later and grow tomatoes on one end on a trellis. It's not very well suited for other things I've tried. The special soil mix seems to retain moisture but is difficult to over water. It's not exactly work free, but much easier to manage than my open space garden.

    I might recall that Mel died recently, but it looks like his web site is still up and I suppose the book is cheap used (or at the library).
    http://squarefootgardening.org/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •