One of the many advantages of growing your own food is conserving loan. Although there are more inexpensive methods to garden in the house, I chose to purchase a raised garden bed. I wondered to see if I might spend for the expense of implementing this garden with the food I grew. To make the most of money cost savings, I selected foods that are easy to grow, expensive to purchase from the shop organically, and ones we enjoy to consume. My options were Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and basil.
Containers vs. Raised Beds vs. In-Ground Gardens
The option to opt for a raised bed was clear for me when efforts at container gardening failed in the past.
The containers did not hold wetness.
Even with healthy soil, containers simply didn’t produce healthy plants.
Containers are great for herbs and smaller sized plants, but they just could not support my tomatoes and zucchini.
Tilling the soil to put a garden in the ground wasn’t an alternative because of poor soil quality. Even with amendments to enhance soil quality, there were chemicals that had been applied to the lawn close by that have infected the location, preventing the garden from being organic.
Poor drain can also be a problem with in-ground gardens.
The raised bed approach keeps soil cool on hot days, enables drain, and offers me the control I desire over the soil quality. The beds were filled with a mix of natural gardening soil and garden compost purchased at a home supply store.
I’ve included all expenses connected to the garden in addition to canning. In order to prevent BPA, I decided to purchase Weck brand name canning containers which are glass with glass covers. They worked quite well.
Because I utilize the Roma tomatoes for making fresh tomato sauce, I had the ability to use the fresh harvest for the week to make a big batch of Sunday sauce every week. Throughout peak production, I used the glass canning containers to maintain the excess and also froze some sauce for short-term storage.
Raised bed – white cedar – 18 sq. feet planting location.
Organic soil and garden compost.
8 cubic feet.
Organic tomato fertilizer.
1 little bag.
Roma tomato plants.
Cherry tomato plant.
Marigolds (to keep away bugs).
Weck canning containers (glass with glass lids, no BPA).
Misc. canning materials.
Calculating Cost Savings From the Garden.
For the season, I tracked how much the garden produced. I approximated to get a general sense of cost savings without getting slowed down in information. For example, I determined the typical weight of a Roma tomato from the first couple of batches– and after that, I simply counted the variety of tomatoes picked and documented it.
I approached the estimation of savings with the idea that I am replacing what I usually would buy at the shop with what I have grown in my garden.
For instance, in the off-season, I don’t spare expense in purchasing tomatoes for sauce. I purchase Bionature Organic Strained Tomatoes, made in Italy, and offered in glass containers (no BPA due to the fact that of the glass container, but likewise no BPA in the metal lid). Given that I’m currently spending quite a bit to make sure quality tomatoes, the savings is significant in growing my own tomatoes.
For basil, I generally buy a freshly made pesto sauce, which is fairly costly. Using my home grown basil, I have the ability to make my own pesto sauce and save quite a bit.
Tracking Garden Production.
Quantity Grown Replacement Worth.
Estimated Cost Savings (US$).
replaces 34 containers Bionature tomato jars (about $3/24 oz.).
changes 15 pieces of zucchini from regional natural farm ($ 3/piece).
replaces 8 pints from regional organic farm ($ 3/pint).
changes 4 batches of fresh pesto sauce from store (about $7/batch).
TOTAL COST SAVINGS.
I was very delighted with the result that my garden benefit duration turned out to be one summer season, even with challenges and errors made along the method. Total costs equated to $218 and total savings was around $206.
I should be able to realize significant cost savings in following years as some of the initial expenditures have actually already been spent for. Besides adding soil modifications and purchasing starter plants, there are no other expenses for the second season. I would like to execute some enhancements, which will incur some cost. Possibly starting from seed would result in even more cost savings.
Improving Garden Yield.
My future strategies to grow even healthier plants and hopefully improve yield are as follows:.
Instead of letting Roma tomato plants bush out, attempt square foot gardening method. Have more plants, however minimize each to a single stem. For my environment, this would enable plants to dry better in between rain storms and prevent the plant from shading the fruit. Less bugs, less illness and more sun need to result in more fruit.
Use a calcium and magnesium supplement for tomato plants next time. Much of my tomatoes had end rot. My yield might have been double what it was without this problem.
Clip off the top of the tomato plants towards the end of the season so that it doesn’t continue to put energy into flowering, however rather can put energy into the fruit that hasn’t mature yet. This would have offered me one last huge harvest.
Install a metal grating on the bottom of the raised bed to keep animals from burrowing near roots.
In the beginning of the season, buy a batch of ladybugs to set into the garden to consume the aphids. Likewise attempt garlic water spray as a preventative treatment to discourage insects.
Use a drip line to water plants to save water in addition to keep wetness off leaves, avoiding possible disease.
The garden was a little overcrowded, so leaving more area in basic ought to cause healthier plants. The square foot technique for tomatoes will improve this issue considerably, but this was an issue likewise for the zucchini.
In general, yield ought to increase with improved conditions. Because I know that the expenses were repaid to me with the first season, I am more comfortable buying some enhancements. It will be intriguing to see what the payback of a brand-new and improved garden will be.