Ask a Question forum: Where can I get some data regarding the savings of self planting vs store bought

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Zplanter
Feb 3, 2017 11:18 AM CST
Is there any data which breaks down the average cost of planting your garden?
Seeds, fertilizer, etc, and the yields it would produce?

With the cost of seeds especially the germinating ones, the pricing is going up!

Thanks, I'm a beginner so please be gentle... ;)
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 3, 2017 11:44 AM CST
Oh my. That depends on so many things. If you're speaking of vegetables, and the cost of growing your own versus buying at the grocery store, well, that depends on how much of that sort of thing you consume. For me, it's hardly worthwhile because I'm not that much of a veggie eater. (I grow some anyway, just because it's fun and I love fresh tomatoes.)
When it comes to growing your own flowers from seed, versus buying the pony packs of already growing annuals, I figured out that it cost me about 1/10th as much. I included the cost of the trays and small pots, the potting soil and the electricity needed to power my greenhouse as well as the cost of the seeds.
Your mileage may vary; so much depends on what you want to grow. Smiling
And don't forget, there are seed swaps here, and people who are willing to send seeds for postage, and keep an eye out for the cheap seed packets that show up in odd places.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 3, 2017 12:41 PM CST
You cant beat home grown veges #
Seeds are the way i go. Keep them in refrigerator, and they will last for years. I have some very old seeds that still sprout. I also save seed of what i grow most of, like beans .squash etc. Add some manure and compost ownce a year and you probably dont need any more fertilizer till next year. Now !!! If you put a high price on your TIME !!!
Then its not worth it. We do it because ! We love growing things and know whats been sprayed on them. You can do it with natural, safe, bio-friendly methods 😎!!!
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Ooo !!! What type of soil do you have ? And, how fertile is it ?
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Feb 3, 2017 12:59 PM CST
I think that depends on how much you spend on your seeds, fertilizer etc. You would need to add up your costs and then compare them to the cost of buying the food yourself. Keep in mind a few things though - composting your yard and kitchen waste (coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels), is easy to do and is great for your garden -- and costs nothing. Composting can save you money on buying fertilizer. Another benefit of growing your own is that you can control how many chemicals you are putting into your soil and then your body. For instance, root crops and gourd type crops (squash, zucchini) can absorb noxious chemicals from the soil. In fact, I was told by a chemist friend in the food industry, that growing gourds and pumpkins are actually a method of cleaning up contaminated soil. (He cautioned that one should never eat them though!). He also said that it often a good idea to buy organic potatoes, carrots, and other root crops for that very reason. And finally, I agree with Philip - home grown tastes better. I do not care for store bought brussels sprouts, but find home grown ones very tasty. And you ust can't beat home grown green beans!
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 3, 2017 5:04 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Zplanter ! (and welcome to the idea of gardening, as well Smiling )

There is a book that I think has the title of "The $60 Tomato" (or something like that)... which has more than a grain of truth to it.

There are an awful lot of variables that affect how much you can harvest for a given cost; but to address the cost of the seeds themselves (which I totally agree are getting more and more expensive), I would highly suggest buying (or, better yet, swapping for) open-pollinated varieties and learning to save your own seeds, which is not only frugal but fun! Smiling

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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 3, 2017 7:24 PM CST
Too many variables to give one answer to your question.

Some folks grab a hoe and shovel and create a garden bed in their existing soil. Cost = zero plus some elbow grease.
For seeds, some folks share seeds with neighbors or seed swapping sites. Cost = either zero or postage cost.
Some folks buy seeds off the rack. Each pack is reasonably priced for the expected yield.
Some folks go crazy and order online from total strangers selling seeds (sometimes from countries other than the USA); cost = yikes! There is a potential for disaster if you are importing seeds which may contain insects that could harm our food-producing farms.

Planting a garden should be a labor of love. Plant what you love to eat. Start slowly. Create a small bed maybe 4 feet by 4 feet, or 5 feet by 3 feet or thereabouts. Till up the existing soil, add amendments such as aged manure, home made compost, etc. Depending on where you live you may need to protect your plants by adding a fence.

Each year your garden can grow a bit larger as you learn the ropes. Having your own compost bin saves a ton of money - compost anything that is available and it will help improve your soil each year. Search for sources of manure to add to your compost. You may not need to add fertilizer if your soil is good enough.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 4, 2017 8:36 AM CST
Another concern.... Is the question of so called "conventional" vs organic, and the hidden costs of shipping vs what we grow in our own yard.

After all the news reports about people getting sick and being hospitalized from eating store bought food.... The costs gain a new perspective...

Getting anything from the store means an entire chain of people that you have to trust....

Personally, anything I can grow means better for me.... Besides the whole five minutes from the garden to my palate versus the time the food spent in the truck, and sitting on the shelf....

Remember the whole thing about ears of sweet corn loosing flavor for each hour spent between being picked and being consumed?

Lotta hidden costs with no easy way of being measured.

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