Spring is just around the corner, which means it is optimal gardening time. The weather isn’t too hot, but you still get the essential sunlight that plants need. Some vegetables thrive more than others, which means that you can easily grow them to save money on groceries in the summertime.
Did you know that you could save over $500 over a six-month period by growing your own vegetables? When produce isn’t in season, it can be hard to continually see the prices rise in grocery stores. It turns out that these pricey items are very easy to grow for any gardener, experienced or not.
Setting Up Your Garden:
The cost of setting up a garden can be inexpensive if you have ample yard space. You can also save money if you collect rainwater. Plants actually prefer rainwater because tap water contains chlorine. It is also beneficial to start composting your soil. Some people like to invest in compost systems, but it can be as simple as burying kitchen scraps in your garden soil.
Collect your vegetable & fruit scraps and coffee grounds in a container in your kitchen when you are prepping food. Once you fill the container up, go out to your garden area and bury the scraps. When you do this around the area, worms will come to eat the scraps and create healthy, nutritious soil for your future plants. You’ll save money at the grocery store if you grow the following vegetables.
Greens like kale or chard are actually very easy to grow. They can even grow in colder temperatures. Adding kale or chard to your smoothies can be a great way to get more green vegetables in your diet. Make a smoothie with a kale, bananas, strawberries, cucumbers, and blueberries, or use avocado, chard, mango, kiwis, and beets. If you find that your kale is flourishing faster than you can consume it, pick it, cut it up, and store it in the freezer in plastic bags.
The vegetable spiralizer has made zucchini a very popular health food. Fortunately, zucchini have an impressive yield and they are incredibly easy to grow. You can make grilled zucchini sticks, zucchini noodles, dip raw zucchini in hummus, or stir-fry zucchini slices with other vegetables. If you are cleansing and making zucchini noodles, having a zucchini plant could save you $100 over the harvest season.
Fresh cherry tomatoes are probably one of the easiest and best garden vegetables to grow. There’s nothing like going to the plant and picking fresh cherry tomatoes for a healthy snack. These little guys are loaded with antioxidants and they come in many varieties. A great planting tip is to make a simple a-frame structure for them to grow on. Plant seeds at each of the four corners of the a-frame and continually put compost in the center for best results.
Growing salad greens like lettuce varieties, arugula, or spinach is not a difficult process. Sometimes you can even grow lettuce from kitchen scraps. After you plant seeds, however, it is important to keep the earth moist to ensure healthy sprouting. Always harvest some leaves from the salad greens every day to keep the plants healthy. This way you can have fresh salads directly from your garden!
Depending on where you live, a bundle of herbs can be quite pricey. Herbs don’t take up a lot of space and you can grow them in little pots in your windowsill or out in your garden. Plus, there is nothing like picking fresh basil, mint, rosemary, or cilantro off the stalk to cook with. Oregano, chives, and mint can grow quickly, but other herbs may take a little longer. If you purchase small herbs in pots, you will have an easier time growing the plant.