Just a few more thoughts on our garden. First, you may recall from last year, our entire garden is in the front yard.
Because of 2 dumb dogs, we cannot plant anything in the backyard, at least not anything we expect to live. Sampson on his own effectively took out all the hostas, a bleeding heart, 3 mini roses, 2 bushes, and most of some type of mint that I had spent the prior 3 years trying to pull. The only backyard survivors are two trees, a pretty ground cover (name unknown), a few brave yarrow, and the plants that grow in between the rocks (creeping phlox and chicks and hens).
Our front garden isn't all food though. You will also find asiatic lilies, oriental lilies, day lilies, lavendar, evergreen trees, bushes, mums, japanese maples and ornamental grasses. In the spring there are the daffodils, jonquils, crocus and hyacinth too. There is also the ever present weeds. So the front garden is a mix of beauty and utility. The big bushes are right by the retaining wall, and that is also where I planted the grape vines. My hope is one day that the front of our garden becomes a fence/hedge to block out the street.
The last thing you may have noticed is, I didn't work with seeds (except for the lettuce). While seeds are the least expensive way to grow your own food, they also can be more time consuming. I have also found that I have only moderate luck with seeds, where small plants do well for me. In figuring cost, it's easy to see that I am still saving the family money. All of the veggies I purchased this year, except for the pumpkin, were $1.79 for 4 plants.
- Each tomato plant then needs to only produce 1 to 2 tomatoes to recover the cost.
- Cherry tomatoes, which will only need to produce about 5 each.
- Each jalapeno plant will pay for itself if it produces approximately 4 jalapenos each.
- The squash plants will only need to produce 1 squash each.
- The cucumbers will only need to produce 2 cukes each.
- The red and yellow bell peppers will pay for themselves with 1 pepper each.
The pumpkin is something I don't normally buy. But, at $1.79 for 2 plants, 1 pumpkin will recover the cost, if I were to buy one in the fall. (Which is unlikely considering that the babies will be here before Halloween.)
I didn't buy a green bell pepper plant, because I often can purchase nice big peppers for 25 cents a piece. While they would still pay for themselves, there is a better return on the red and yellow which are much more expensive. Last, I bought plants because I am making an effort to take care of myself and these babies. It was easier, and right now, that's worth a few dollars!
And for potting all thos container plants? The Dollar Store has good sized plastic pots at $1 each and potting soil for $1.79 a bag. Also there are a few yard sale pots, and a few birthday present pots mixed in. So this year I've spent about $20.11 on our garden. I won't venture to guess what the value of food harvested will be, but I can guarantee it will be far more than $20.