Although the economy is on the rise, people are still interested in saving money. An interesting (and delicious) trend that I’m seeing is the revival of the home garden. Homeowners with a little room in the backyard are making room for some fruits and vegetables. I definitely consider myself a “foodie”, and I love it when you can go out the back door and pick your own fresh produce!
In addition to being much fresher and tastier, growing your own produce can save you a ton of money!
Let’s say you want to grow tomatoes:
- Average tomato plant yield 35-40 pounds
- $4 per plant from your local nursery
- $4 cage which can be used and reused
- $5 worth of quality planting soil (you’ll get about 30-40 lbs of dirt at this price)
With a little time and TLC your tomatoes cost you only $14. Compare that to an average cost of $1.50 per pound from your grocery store where 35 pounds of tomatoes will cost you $52.50! Plus, you can reuse the cage and planting soil, so you save more money with each yield!
Getting Started on Your Own Garden
Your garden can be what you want it to be!
Many urban gardeners don’t have the luxury of having room to plant, but you can start small with an herb garden on your windowsill. It’s a cheap and easy alternative and it gives a pleasant aroma to your apartment or condo. Just make sure that you can provide a sill with southern or eastern exposure so that your plants get at least 4 hours a day of sunlight and that your chosen location is free from any drafts.
Hydroponics is another way to try indoor gardening, but beware that lighting set-ups, electricity, and chemical nutrients can be expensive. However, the taste of water-grown lettuce is well worth the cost.
For amateur gardeners, it’s easier and more rewarding to go with produce that always produces a crop and usually only takes a couple of months from sowing to harvest; these include herbs, bush beans, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes.
And if you start to get adventurous, go for peppers, onions, potatoes and more!
Check with your local nursery for seeds and bulbs. I prefer grown plants from places like Pikes nursery, since seeds take more time. Don’t be discouraged if your first plant becomes a dud! Check out http://www.bhg.com/gardening/ for great tips and techniques.
I plan to create a vertical herb garden this month. However, I’m a firm believer in things being both functional and beautiful, so I chose a design that looks like a colorful framed piece of art. Check out the picture vertical garden I’m duplicating from shopterrain.com.
Who has a garden and what are you growing?
Tags: atlanta, atlanta real estate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, fruits and vegetables, gardening, georgia, herb garden, hydroponics, Metro Brokers, save money, success, Tips, Tisha Gay, vertical garden