Frugal Living 

BFP Garden Project: $29 Kick-off

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My wife and are planning on putting together a small little garden of potted plants that have had success with in the past. Our deck doesn’t get a tremendous amount of sun because of enormous trees behind our property but it gets enough that we’ve had pretty good success growing tomato and peppers in the past. This year, we’ve decided to give the garden project another go and document our progress.

This past weekend, we visited our local farmers market and picked up $29 worth of plants and potting soil and anticipate that will be the extent of our expenses besides water. Due to prior garden projects, we have a sufficient number of planters as well as some fertilizer, so we should be set in those departments.

BFP Garden Project: $29 of Garden Loot!

For $29 we were able to pick up:

  • Cayenne Pepper (2)
  • Eggplant (2)
  • Thai Basil (1)
  • Hot Pepper – Kung Poa (1)
  • Sweet Basil (1)
  • Orange Bell Pepper (2)
  • Patio Tomato (1)
  • Oregano (1)
  • Super Steak Tomato (6)
  • Green Sweet Bell Pepper (6)
  • Roma Tomato (6)
  • 40 lbs. Country Boy Potting Soil

As they grow, we’ll compare them to the grocery store prices and see if the whole garden process is “worth it.” My hypothesis is that the financials will come close and the real value is in being able to say you’re somewhat self-sustainable (and gardening is fun!).

Right now, tomatoes on the vine are going at $2.79 a pound, orange bell peppers were $2+ a pound (by far the most expensive of the bell peppers), and green bell peppers were under $2 a pound. While I don’t see us getting ten pounds of tomatoes, they’re certainly the most valuable of the vegetables we purchased.

{ 10 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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10 Responses to “BFP Garden Project: $29 Kick-off”

  1. Trisha says:

    Isn’t it amazing that tomatoes are the most expensive? I think they’re the easiest veggie to grow. And, don’t be surprised if you get 10 lbs of tomatoes AT LEAST!

    So, you’ve got a scale at home to weigh the veggies you grow as you harvest them?

  2. jim says:

    I have a postal scale that goes up to 5 lbs that I got from a promotion, i don’t think I’ll get any tomatoes above 5 lb! 🙂

  3. Probably the cost saving of such small gardening will be little to none, but in the long run you could be getting seeds from your own veggies and grow again almost cost free. The financial gain will be bigger if you grow bigger quantities of course.
    But there are two gains more important than money here: 1. enjoyment of gardening and 2. – being sure to eat eco veggies that you have grown yourself

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good luck. A few thoughts to help or hinder you along the way.

    It’s probably too late, but try for indeterminate varieties of tomatoes — they’ll produce more over a longer period as opposed to giving you 10 lbs or tomatoes all at once. Romas are the perfect tomato — you can do anything with them and they’re easy to grow.

    If you aren’t getting much sun, the cayennes may have difficulty. But if they do take off, try making your own hot sauce. Simple, cheap, and the longer you have it, the better it gets.

    Since you have shade, try pole beans. You can easily affix some pole or trellis design, and vertical plants help you maximize limited space.

    Oregano is a good choice, as it’s a perennial and after a few years is a good-looking plant.

  5. Miller says:

    Are these the sort of plants that you can buy once, or would you have to re-buy them each year? I’ll assume its an annual buy because otherwise I couldn’t imagine the purchase not breaking even sooner rather than later…

  6. Frugal Dad says:

    Good luck with the gardening project. Our own square foot garden has been so successful that we have had to add some in-ground yard space to plant the overflow. Hopefully we’ll see some “fruits” or our labor here soon.

  7. mike says:

    Are you planting a garden in the ground or are you just doing containers?

  8. jim says:

    We’re using containers because we have too much shade elsewhere, we need to grow the plants on the patio.

  9. mbhunter says:

    We have a few containers on our back porch.

  10. Nick says:

    Safeway has vine on tomatoes for $1.49/lb now 🙂

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