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Old June 5, 2012   #1
Got Worms?
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Default Most economical veggies to grow?

Economically speaking, what do you consider the better veggies to grow for your family in your garden?

I use as a criteria; square footage used, length of time the space is taken by that crop, total pounds at harvest, price per pound in store.

My list would be: tomatoes, green bunching onions, leaf lettuce, summer squash.

The rest of the things I grow for solely taste, without considering economy. How about you?
Charlie

Last edited by Got Worms?; June 5, 2012 at 01:05 PM. Reason: add content
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Old June 5, 2012   #2
janezee
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Herbs, especially basil, parsley, asparagus, snap peas, beets, kohlrabi, burpless cucumbers, pickling cukes, raspberries.

I have one major addition to those categories: How much time do I have to spend on it? Asparagus, raspberries, and artichokes may take up a lot of room, but they require almost nothing from me but harvesting. And they're really expensive in the stores because of it and the shipping required.

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Old June 5, 2012   #3
Mudman
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Beans. One pole bean setup can last you a whole year eating fresth in the summer and freezing for later.
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Originally Posted by janezee View Post
Asparagus, raspberries, and artichokes may take up a lot of room, but they require almost nothing from me but harvesting. And they're really expensive in the stores because of it and the shipping required.
j
I have had raspberries my whole life and my eyes about pop out of my head when I see them at the store. Makes me feel like I am living high on the hog. I have so many I could make pies all summer. I don't know if I could even rationalize making a single pie if I had to buy them.
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Old June 5, 2012   #4
stonysoilseeds
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besides tomatoes i would conssider leaf lettuce , pole beans,zuchinni, cucumbers, basil dill and other herbs and leeks to be best money savers for me of course theres no comparison to the quality of home grown in which you cant consider putting a price on
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Old June 5, 2012   #5
lakelady
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We get wild black raspberries growing all over the place here, but you rarely get to eat any because between the bears and other critters, they pretty much clean them out. One day it looks like you'll be eating berries soon, then poof! They are all gone. I moved some in one other area of my hard and trellised them (somewhat) so this year I'm going to try a row cover or net to see if I can actually eat any. I got raspberries from my sister, from my brother in law's nona's yard, and they look like they'll produce. Would be great not to spend a small fortune on berries every summer. I wouldn't DREAM of making a pie with them at those prices lol....jam is another story

Beans are definately worth growing. Last year I literally tossed the seeds in the dirt, stomped on them, and got tons of purple podded beans, it was great. Strawberries are pretty easy and carefree too. I think peas are easy and productive. Tomatoes better darn well be productive this year as I've spent a fortune in time and money to build new beds for them lol....

I tend to try and plant varieties that I either cannot find in stores, (heirlooms) or are very expensive. I don't have enough land to grow on to really feed the family .
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Old June 5, 2012   #6
RebelRidin
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For us various lettuce and spinach give back very well versus time and space required along with brocolli. Tomatoes and pole beans are more demanding of time and space but heavy production with freezing and canning easily offsets that.
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Old June 5, 2012   #7
bower
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Salad greens definitely return great value for space. And also better food and taste value than buying em by the head, I have mizuna, komatsuna, arugula as well as lettuce, bok choy, and the sky's the limit for variety in the home patch.
Peppers are a decent value for the space required - especially since they are expensive here.
Potatoes are a great value for time invested if you have plenty of space: basically three days work: sowing, trenching and harvesting.
Tomatoes... can't be evaluated, since you can't buy a real tomato at any price!
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Old June 5, 2012   #8
willyb
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Default Use of space

Anything that will grow up.

Pole beans. Plant them, give them string to grow on against a fence or building. No maintenance, pick young for green beans. Dry mature beans for chili and soup/stew

Cucumber, summer squash, winter squash all grow well on a fence or trellis.

Plant carrots and beets at end of rows and small spaces. No maintenance except, thin hard. Cheap to buy, although much better nutrition for your family from your own garden. Plant double and triple rows to save space.

Dedicate an area for herbs. Plant solid. Step on a few.......oh well. Save dill, cilantro and parsley seed. Sprinkle in those wild areas to out compete the weeds.

Plant what your family will eat most of and get the best food value and enjoy, not by the cost to buy.

A small row of mixed salad greens will keep you in salads if cut frequently.

Corn, beans and squash in the same plot. Works
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Old June 6, 2012   #9
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Wow, what a wealth of economic approaches.

Also a variety of gardening tactics to increase yields: Intensive, Three sisters, Vertical, The Euell Gibbons approach (find it ... eat it), and preservation to allow for larger yields to be grown, lowering costs.


In no particular order:

bower, don't worry, I believe it's still cheaper to grow a great tasting tomato than buy the one that tastes like sawdust from the store.

janezee, yes, although the work involved is certainly a factor, I feel that the time spent enjoying the garden somewhat makes up for that.

lakelady, I hear that about the tomatoes. I've built 2 more beds 30" x 20' and raised the rest up an additional 5 1/2" this year. A labor of love...or impending poverty...lol.

stonysoilseeds, I see you listed leeks, I don't know how economically viable they are to grow, but I like them, and put in a boatload myself.

Wild berries, are great when you can get them . There was this really nice hill covered with blueberry bushes. The property was sold, and now it's inaccessible. My place to pick raspberries has been taken over by poison oak, and I don't feel like trying to fight with the black bear down by the river for the blackcaps. So, I'm thinking berries are probably bad for me anyway.
Charlie

Last edited by Got Worms?; June 6, 2012 at 04:21 PM. Reason: spelin
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Old June 6, 2012   #10
Worth1
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Cattails.


http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...OPwi7y22yfi4kA

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Old June 6, 2012   #11
Jeannine Anne
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Parsnips and brussel sprouts, they ask a disgusting price for them in the stores.XX Jeannine
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Old June 6, 2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
All you need is a swamp, and you're good to go.
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Last edited by Mudman; June 7, 2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old June 7, 2012   #13
lakelady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post

Holy cow, I would have NEVER known. We have tons of those on the far side of the lake where it is swampy. As kids at camp, we used to burn those things to keep bugs away at night (the catttail).

My neighbors already think I'm weird for collecting the jewelweed and boiling it to make poison ivy soap lol....all they need to see is me mucking it to the cattails in the lake and I'd be deemed certifiable at that point lol....

although, the idea is interesting ....
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Old June 7, 2012   #14
Mudman
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I got a book several years ago about eatible vegetation and so I knew all about cattails. Ever time I see them while driving around, and next to our pond, I think, well if things get really bad, I've always got cattails.
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Old June 7, 2012   #15
Doug9345
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I grew up on Euell Gibbons and books of his like Stalking the wild asparagus.
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