A vegetable garden is designed to give you the freshest food possible while saving you money on your grocery bill. Fresh food from the garden is more flavorful, packed with minerals and nutrients, and can be very rewarding to grow. There are many varieties to choose from, each with its own requirements, yield capacity, and cost.
The following plants are high-yielding, low maintenance, and expensive to buy at the grocery store, making them a perfect choice for a money-saving garden.
Many culinary herbs can be grown quickly; some, like chives, fennel, and dill, are perennial and will come back every season. Basal and cilantro are great to grow because they are expensive to buy fresh and don’t have a long shelf life, but most recipes call for fresh versus dried herbs.
Lettuce and Salad Greens
Anything with a short shelf life is advantageous to growing at home because it saves time, money, and frequent trips to the grocery store.
Salad greens are easy to grow, and if you selectively harvest them, the same plant will give you leafy greens several times throughout the season.
In addition, these salad greens can easily be grown in a window container to have fresh greens during the off-season.
An obvious choice, the tomato plant will give you a plentiful harvest of delicious and healthy tomatoes all season long. And there is nothing like the taste of a fresh garden tomato.
There are many varieties to choose from, including many that you wouldn’t find in the grocery store, like:
- Heirloom Green Zebra
- Cherokee Purple
- Brandywine tomatoes
Zucchini, yellow summer squash, and other similar gourds can be difficult to establish, but once they start growing, they are some of the most productive vegetable plants in the garden.
There are so many different types of beans to choose from, including wax beans, green beans, and navy beans, but whichever kind you choose, they are fast-growing and, if constantly picked, will continue to grow throughout the season.
Fresh beans can be hard to find at the market, but most bean plants grown at home will give you more beans throughout the season than you will know what to do with.
Just like beans, fresh snap peas are challenging to find fresh at the grocery store, but if you plant them in your garden, you will have delicious and crisp snap peas throughout the whole season. You can also can, freeze, or dry them to keep them for the winter.
Quick growing, plentiful, and versatile, cucumbers are a great vegetable to grow in the garden. They can be used fresh or canned to make pickles, which gives you an artisan pickle experience at a fraction of the cost.
Good hot peppers are expensive to buy and come in limited varieties. Plant several different pepper plants, such as:
- chili peppers,
- yellow peppers
to get a variety of flavors and Scofield ranges. It would help to plant several pepper plants since they only produce a few peppers.
Planting blackberries and raspberries will undoubtedly save you money considering the price you would pay at the market. It may take a few seasons for your plants to start producing berries, but once they do, they produce a considerable amount of fruit without a tremendous amount of effort. They also come in various types to try, including thornless blackberries and heirloom raspberry plants.
The low-growing blueberry bush will give you a chance to have all the blueberries you could want for a fraction of the price you would pay at the market. In addition, these antioxidant-rich berries will pay for themselves in the first season of harvest.
If you plant strawberry plants, such as the Junebearing or Everbearing perennial varieties, they will come back every year. You are saving money each season on a costly and popular fruit. They are easy to grow, but you will have to guard them against animals.
Check out A Farmish Kind of Life for more gardening tips.
Specialty potatoes, such as the blue, purple, or fingerling varieties, would be worth planting. Still, otherwise, potatoes are cheap enough to buy at the market compared to the amount of work it takes to grow and harvest them.
There are several varieties of fruit trees that you can choose from, including apple, pear, peach, cherry, and apricot.
The orchard will take several years to become established, but once it does, you will have lots of fruit available that is usually very expensive to buy at the market. You may have to cover the trees during the fruiting season to protect your fruit from birds, but it is worth it to have fresh fruit at a fraction of the cost.
Image by [Alexander Raths] via [Shutterstock.com].