I read in a magazine a reader submission that they simply didn't see the financial advantage in gardening. I'm guessing it was their first year in gardening. They said they added up all their costs and compared it to their yield and determined that it was cheaper to buy bags of frozen veggies at the grocery store. Here's where I can't agree with them.
1. You cannot compare fresh off the plant, homegrown, organic veggies to bags of frozen veggies from who knows where. Granted, I can see their point. They weren't necessarily interested in eating fresh, organic veggies. They were more interested in saving money. However, gardening can still be cost effective if:
2. You consider that start-up costs for anything is always more than maintenance because:
3. You can save money by composting and befriending a farmer who's all too glad to get rid of his overabundance of manure. Both methods are free. I do believe this reader bought bags of compost and manure at the hardware store.
4. You can save money by starting your vegetables from seed rather than buying plants at a greenhouse or Lowes.
5. You can save even more money by saving your seeds from year to year (and looking into seed share/plant share programs).
Of course, you must weigh all options. I prefer to purchase already well-established tomato plants every year. However, if I even invest in a greenhouse or grow lights, I will start my own from seed.
How else to do keep your gardening costs down? Please share!