Saving money is one of the biggest benefits to growing a vegetable garden in the mind of many first time gardeners. While this may be a good enough reason to start a vegetable garden, let's not forget that there are others as well. Growing your own vegetables would increase your confidence in food safety and security. You would know where your food is coming from and all the history of plants grown in your own gardens. You would know what chemicals you used (if any), would learn what pests could impose problems and would essentially eliminate the whole transportation chain to get the food to your plate. And all that gardening is good for you, because it's a great form of physical exercise!
For all you first time gardeners, here are several useful tips to consider when growing a vegetable garden in order to save your money.
Select vegetables that you and your family like to eat. Many fist time gardeners don't know where to start and which vegetables to grow in their gardens. This is quite simple - you're not likely to take care of vegetables you don't like to eat. So don't waste your time or money planting them in the garden, but choose the ones you like (and that grow well in your gardening zone).
Select vegetables that are expensive to buy. To save money, think of growing more expensive items, like tomatoes, or growing large quantities of vegetables that you purchase regularly. You could save money by growing herbs if you use a lot and they're expensive to buy;mixed salad leaves are also cheaper to grow than to buy. Consider vegetables like broccoli, beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, spinach, tomatoes and Swiss chard. All these vegetables will provide the biggest returns on your investment of space and time you spend in your vegetable garden.
Select vegetables that can be easily stored or preserved. A lot of vegetables that you can grow in your garden you can store, freeze, or can so you are saving that money year round, not just during the growing season. Selecting vegetables that have a long storage life or that can easily be canned or frozen is a great way to save money on your grocery bills. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and winter squash can be stored for several months if stored at the appropriate temperature. Other vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and beets, can be preserved by canning or freezing. Preserving vegetables is a great way to enjoy the surplus produce later in the year.
Do some research and start with a plan. Planning the garden on paper could help you decide what you want to grow and determine what will be necessary to be successful. If you need help, ask family members, neighbors, or friends that can help you. There are many gardening forums and sites on the Internet where you can search for information on how to start a vegetable garden.
Start small. Even a relatively small garden, say 20' x 20', will give you enough room for variety, without being overwhelmed. Plants will require regular maintenance, watering and harvesting. Growing too many different vegetables your first year in a large garden could become overwhelming for you and can ultimately lead to failure. It's better to limit yourself to just a few types of vegetables the first year. Later, when you become confident in your abilities, you can gradually increase the size of your vegetable garden and grow a more and more variety of crops!
Jane Thomas is experienced and respected vegetable grower, hobbyist gardener with more than 15 years of experience in organic vegetables gardening. Among other projects, she is co-owner of Laminated Garden Guides, your one-stop resource to learn how to grow vegetables with subjects like: Home Vegetable Gardens, Container and Raised Beds Gardening, Growing Tomatoes, Herb Gardening and many more.
Article Source: Ezinearticles.com