by contributing writer Dawn
Image courtesy of Carlos Porto/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Whether this is your first year to plant a vegetable garden or the tenth year, there are most certainly costs involved. Here are three ways to save in the vegetable garden. They involve finding a few friends, because sharing the expenses is an ideal way to frugally grow food.
Form a small co-op or group of like-minded friends in your area, and work together to make your gardens successful.
Plants are obviously one of the main start up costs for growing a garden. Buying numerous tiny packets of seeds can really add up and rarely does anyone need 25 tomato plants in their backyard garden. Place an order together and decide how to split the seeds among the group.
In the south, this is the time of year to start seeds for a summer garden. Starting 25 tomato plants is really no more trouble than starting five. Each person could start a different vegetable for transplanting and then share with the other group members.
Share the Bounty
Commit to growing one or more vegetables to share with the group. One person may grow fantastic cucumbers but the others don’t have room for vines. Another may have great success with herbs and can share those with the group. This is a great way to share your excess and benefit from others’ successes as well.
Even if your are alone in your gardening venture, vegetable gardening is cheaper than a run to the produce department at your local grocer. The reality is that five dollars of tomatoes can build you a really nice (and huge) salad, but five dollars of tomato seeds can provide tomatoes for an entire season of salads.
Yet, tomatoes alone don’t make a salad. Imagine combining your tomatoes, with Sally’s cucumbers, Betty’s herbs, Bart’s spinach, and Jim’s bell peppers. Now, you’ve not only built a fantastic salad, but you’ve also helped build a better community!