Profitt Report: The economics of starting your backyard garden

Photo credit: Pixnio

Tired of paying too much at the grocery store? Starting your own fruit and vegetable garden could be a good way to save money, depending on what you plant and the tools you use.

“We tell people, you don’t have to have a 1,500 square foot garden, you can do a container garden, raised beds,” said Deb Hamilton, Edible Flint’s garden start coordinator.

Hamilton loves helping newbies learn how to grow fresh fruits and veggies. First, don’t let the tools of the trade intimidate you. Keep it simple.

“They get a container, get some soil, then they would get their seeds,” she said.

You could till up some soil in your backyard or a lot but if you can find some two-by-fours or old buckets, that’s all you need for a raised bed.

You’ll need some soil: a mixture of top soil (free from the earth) and compost, something you can either create or buy for $5-10.

Next, you’ll need the seeds, that’s a few dollars and of course, water.

Before you purchase and sew your seeds, be careful about where you place your garden. Some plants want full sun, some like partial shade.

“See how much shade you have, how much sun you have,” Hamilton said.

However, maybe some gardener’s favorite part is that pioneer spirit of knowing they can provide for themselves.

“There’s nothing as good as a home cooked green beans fresh from the garden, there's never any way you can fix what's in the can and make it taste like fresh vegetables,” Hamilton said.

When it comes to pest control, it depends on your situation. You might need to look into insecticide, there are several options on the market. To discourage small furry critters from nibbling your garden, some gardeners cut up a garden house and place them around the plants to make them look like snakes and scare away the animals.

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