Monday, March 12, 2012

The Cost of Gardening (February)

Last month I decided I wanted to keep track of how much we spent on the garden.   I received a lot of great feedback from new readers hopping over from the Homestead Barn Hop.  I re-read the post, and I can see how it may seem that the garden was all about the money spent and whether or not it was “worth it.”  I even said those words, but that is not what I intended.

I love to garden and have for about 5 years since Todd built my first raised-bed garden at a house we resided in Akron.  Whether or not we spend $500+ on this year’s garden or $75, it will be “worth it” to me.  One main reason is because I know where the produce is coming from, which is a big deal to me.  Also, I am attempting to sustain our family with the fruits of our labor through fall, winter and spring.  I really cannot put a price on that.

 In February, we had some unseasonably warm weather in the beginning of the month! I was even able to hang a load of laundry out on the line February 5th!!

We had big plans to rent a tiller and dig our new garden (20’x 34’), and as soon as we determined what we were going to do and who we would rent the tiller from, temperatures dropped and the ground was too cold!  And then the snow covered the ground! 

New garden area (you can see the lines)

Later in the month, Todd read about straw bale gardening and he wanted to try it out.  The day he found out about the method, we both were looking into it, and we decided to start looking for straw!  We found a gentleman about 30 minutes away that had 20 bales of straw at $3/bale, so we hooked up the trailer that very evening and made the trek to pick up the straw. 

We always say that our life together is an adventure, and it definitely was on this trip: but a fun adventure!  We went through several towns we didn’t know were so close by, and they were gorgeous!  It made our small town look like a big metropolis!

Total spent in February on the garden: $60
Total spent on the garden to date:  $95.29

I also want to note some great ideas that came from the comments on last month’s post. One commenter, Ten Things Farm, mentioned getting seeds at the end of the season from Ace Hardware for $0.10/packet!  We have an Ace right here in town and I never thought about purchasing seeds on clearance!  Oh, how I love clearance items.  I will definitely be doing that this year!!  She also mentioned asking Freecyclers or Craigslisters for tools or supplies we may need for the garden.  I will tell you, I asked Freecyclers in our area about mason jars several years ago, and I have yet to use all of the free jars we received (and I even gave some away with Christmas gifts in them last year!)  Brilliant idea! 

Here’s to another great month of preparing for 2012’s garden!
With the unseasonably warm weather, it is a lot easier to prepare and get things done!

How are things coming along in your garden this season?


  1. Thats my kind of gardening. Thats is exactly what I try to show on my blog that you can do it for close to free, if not free. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work!

  2. I've been thinking about keeping track of expenses this year also. I also plan to track my harvest and tally up the value of what I grow. I know it's saving me money but I'd like to know exactly how much.