Welcome to The Grow Monster where we enjoy gardening and pride ourselves on being able to go outside to pick our very own produce throughout the season. Although enjoyable, is growing your own produce really worth it?
We at The Grow Monster have realized the following four tips that will help you save money growing your own fruits and vegetables and make growing your own fruits and vegetables ‘worth it’ :
- Tip 1: grow fruits and vegetables you enjoy and are healthy for you
- Tip 2: grow fruits and vegetables with a plan for preparation and storage
- Tip 3: grow fruits and vegetables that can be grown well in your agricultural zone
- Tip 4: grow fruits and vegetables that are expensive at the store
Tip 1: grow fruits and vegetables you enjoy and are healthy for you
When growing fruits and vegetables to make the effort worth it, it comes down to growing those that you and the kids actually enjoy eating. Why would you ever want to put in the time and labor to grow something you, or our family just wouldn’t enjoy eating? Okay, we will let you go with this answer: because you wanted to try something new. Yes, it is important to always be open to trying new vegetables and to reserve a small area in your garden for experimenting. It makes the garden interesting, but be aware that it does add cost to your gardening efforts where you run the risk of growing something you and the family might not like eating. Overall, grow produce that you enjoy eating, won’t be throwing away, and you will be on your way to saving money while growing your very own vegetables.
Tip 2: grow fruits and vegetables with a plan for preparation and storage
When growing fruits and vegetables to make the effort worth it, it also comes down to growing those items that you have plans to prepare and store. You may enjoy eating them, but you must also have a plan to prepare and store them when they are picked from the garden. Imagine harvesting a bumper crop of your favorite vegetables, but watch helplessly as they go bad, because they weren’t prepared in a meal soon enough or stored properly. Yes, it happens, and has happened to us here at The Grow Monster. Setting time aside to plan your recipes and store your freshly picked produce will reduce waste and assist in saving you time, money and making the effort worth it when growing your own vegetables.
Tip 3: grow fruits and vegetables that can be grown well in your agricultural zone
When growing fruits and vegetables to make the effort worth it, it also comes down to those that will grow the best in your agricultural zone. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines what they call thirteen “Plant Hardiness” agricultural zones in the United States and is considered the standard in which farmers and gardeners alike can determine those plants most likely to succeed in growing at a given location. Each zone also is broken down again into an (a) and (b) designation. So, in a way, there are really twenty six agricultural zones in the United States. For example, within ‘Zone 1’, there is a ‘Zone 1a’ and a ‘Zone 1b’. To determine what agricultural plant hardiness zone you live in, you can visit the USDA website here. So why would you attempt to grow something that doesn’t grow well in your zone? Again, we’ll let you get away with the following answer: because you wanted to try it out and see how well it would do in your area. Yes, experimenting is good and the climates are ever changing. You might even get lucky growing something new in your area. Though, growing vegetables that are known to be successful in your agricultural plant hardiness zone is the safest bet for saving money and making the effort worth it when it comes to harvest time.
Tip 4: grow fruits and vegetables that are expensive at the store
When growing fruits and vegetables to make the effort worth it, it also comes down to growing those that would otherwise be expensive at the store. Choose to grow those fruits and vegetables with higher prices per pound, and buy the cheaper fruits and vegetables at the store. Why would you want to buy a more expensive fruit or vegetable at the store versus just growing it yourself? We’ll let you by with the following answer: because you can’t grow it successfully in your agricultural plant hardiness zone, and/or you have a taste for the fruit or vegetable and basically want it now. Valid points to consider. Though, if it is expensive in the store, the family likes eating it, and grows in your agricultural plant hardiness zone, you will save the most money growing it yourself.
So, is growing your own vegetables worth it?
If following the four tips listed above, and getting the whole family involved, then yes, it is worth it. When you are growing things that the family enjoys, then it is worth it. When you already have a plan in place for the things you intend to grow, then it is worth it. When you are growing things in your garden with the best chance of growing well in your agricultural zone, then it is worth it. When you are growing your own fruits and vegetables that are generally expensive at the store AND saving money, then it is worth it. It is worth the memories, the family gardening experience, the experience around the dinner table with the family, and being proud you grew it together as a family. If you haven’t started a garden yet, then what are you waiting for? Go ahead, you can do this. Get out, and start growing today!