The true cost of home-grown veggies

You can't beat the backyard garden for taste, but sometimes store-bought produce is a better option.

Jennifer Alsever, SwitchYard Media, special to MSN Money

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116Comments
Jun 26, 2013 11:07AM
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OK.  I read the whole thing now.  Has to be written by a city slicker or something.  Describes some of the most expensive, goofy ways to grow vegetables.  The world would starve if we tried to grow our food this way.  Even organic farms are much more efficient than the descriptions above.
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You don't need to buy seeds every year if you buy non-hybrid.  Then it is simply sweat equity.  When you breed your own, you harvest seeds forever.  The sooner you start, the better.  Non-hybrid are only a little more expensive at first, and pay for themselves in the following season. We have had many seasons of our own veggies, using the seeds from select plants from the previous year. Yum!
Jun 26, 2013 11:00AM
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There is no reason why composting has to cost money.  It is a natural process - not rocket science.
Jun 26, 2013 11:15AM
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Anything home grown might not cost less but is better / safer for you then the garbage you find in the store!
Jun 25, 2013 11:18PM
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I also plant plenty of green beans, lima beans and peas.  I harvest a ton of all three from a "few" plants every year and encourage others to do the same.  I just keep expanding the size of my garden each year.
Jun 26, 2013 1:43PM
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This is the dumbest article ever. Probably written by Monsanto.
Jun 26, 2013 12:53PM
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Sometimes growing your own costs more than buying it at the store, but the satisfaction that comes from eating food you grew with your own hands is priceless.
Jun 26, 2013 9:08AM
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Obviously the author lives in the NE or somewhere up north.  A lot of the advice is not applicable to the SE or other southern regions.  For example, lettuce must be grown in the winter down here, and zucchini and other squashes will only last during spring, forget it when summer arrives.  But Collards, Okra, peppers and some other stuff do well.  Broccoli is another great winter crop in the south. 
Jun 26, 2013 1:21PM
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been pianting my own garden for over 50 years and will say jennifer is wrong about store bought vegies their not near as good as fresh home grown ones gues miss jennier is just not a gardner or she would know this

Jun 26, 2013 1:43PM
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I wouldn't want his expenses. I threw a pile of old manure in a corner, threw in some zucchini seeds and other then watering now and again I left them alone, grew a ton of zucchini, no work no mess no expense......this is how I grow all my food. As for composting, grab some wire make a circle (or scrap wood)..... and throw it in....done. no expense no mess. Things can be done right ,look good and be very cheap. And if you have the room growing your own seed is very easy.
Jun 26, 2013 2:06PM
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My garden cost me $25-30. I have two different kinds of beans, carrots, cilantro, 6 tomato plants, a lettuce patch, a potato patch, cucumbers, squash, peas, radishes, and green onions. The tomato cages were given to me, the climbing structures I made for the cucumbers and squash was FREE. I got a roll of fence off of the curb when someone put it out for trash pick up. The peas climb the fence around my yard. The water is free (other than the electric I pay for the sump pump) and plentiful from my sump pump. I store water in old water softener tanks that were FREE from a neighbor that has a water treatment business. I made a irrigation system with PVC pipe that was FREE. A garden does not have to be expensive if you do it right. My space is limited so I went up.  The rewards are more than plentiful and being in nature and nurturing something from seed to fruition feeds the soul.

Jun 26, 2013 1:48PM
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i bought 24 tomato and 24 pepper plant's from the amish and it cost $13.78 total for everything. the tomatoes were about 10-14 inches and the peppers were about 6-9 inches when i planted them and the tomatoes are all over 30 inches and the peppers are about 20 inches and all have flowers and some have tomatoes and peppers and it hasn't even been a month yet. unfortunately if you have to get your plant's at home depot or lowes or kmart or walmart or somewhere similar you're probably going to have to pay at least a couple dollars per plant but it's still well worth the effort. all i've ever used was a little bit of miracle grow and that was last year and i've never sprayed any kind of bug spray or chemicals. you can can or freeze them and have them all winter.
Jun 26, 2013 11:02AM
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I live and Love in Texas ... my Garden is a great source of stress relief and fun to experiment with growing in the winter and harvest in spring, also agree with martin 223
Jun 26, 2013 1:59PM
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Even if it is more expensive to grow your own veggies, you can't beat the flavor and at least you know they don't have any chemicals in them that GMO grown veggies all have, and those lead to cancer , and other ailments according to a recent European study done across 18 countries there .  I prefer to have the option of not chemically treating my veggies.
Jun 26, 2013 1:40PM
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we compost everything from our garden, make our own mulch. We use seeds from year to year (3rd year on tomato plants) and everything grows and fruits fine. The first year was kind of expensive, but since then really it's a piece of cake, most expensive item, the water butts to collect rain water, but the plants love the sun warmed water, and it uses much less water on a gravity drip.

Jun 26, 2013 1:39PM
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"Plant gardens and eat the fruit of them......"  Jer:29:28  Home gardens, or community gardens are exciting to see no matter where thery are.  Young or older can reap the benefits.  They bring excercise and well being as well.  Growing sprouts inside your home is a easy, healthy, beginning.
Jun 26, 2013 8:42AM
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Oh, I thought this article was going to be about something else! But, vegetables are good too!
Jun 26, 2013 1:57PM
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We never spend that much!  This year, our costs were a bit higher, as we had to get rabbit fencing and chicken wire to keep the deer out.  All told, I think we spent about $100 on everything.
Jun 26, 2013 1:22PM
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nevwe have to but seed save my own from each harvest
Jul 4, 2013 1:50PM
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Gardening is much less expensive than golf or many other hobbies. 
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