5 Reasons To Grow Your Own Vegetables

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but you can save a lot of it by growing your own vegetables.  However this is only one of the great reasons to pop some veggie seeds or seedlings in the dirt this spring.  So here are my five favourite reasons to grow your own vegetables this season;

1.  The price is right

We usually buy our vegetables from local green grocers or roadside veggie stalls in a neighbouring town, so last weekends visit to the supermarket was an eye opener.  The most significant reason to grow your own produce is the price.

Take capsicums (bell peppers) for example.  For three capsicums in the supermarket, it costs A$7.99, which was extortionate.  I can buy a packet of capsicum seeds for A$2.95 or a punnet of seedlings for $2.50 and grow in excess of 10-20 kg of green, yellow or red capsicums.  That is just one of the amazing savings.

Plant a couple of zucchinis and you will soon know what I mean!

grow your own vegetables

 2.  You decide what goes on your food

Another reason for growing your own is that you can control what goes into your food. You can either be very strict in keeping your produce organic, or use limited amounts of fertilizer and pest control that you approve of.

I personally only grow with organic methods, but the choice is yours. Best of all, the security of knowing how and what is used in the process can be reason enough to grow your own.

3.  Freshness and Taste

We’ve all run into the problem of reaching into our fridge’s crisper drawers and finding limp or bruised vegetables only fit for the chooks. You won’t have that problem when you can pick them straight from the source and put them in your evening meal on the same day.

Vegetables found in the supermarket are typically picked half ripe so that they can be transported long distances, which has a detrimental effect on its flavour.

4.  A Cornucopia Of Cultivars

Given the choice between a few types of tasteless tomatoes in the supermarket, you will probably be surprised at the variety of different cultivars that are available.

From massive Mortgage Lifter beefsteaks to stripy Tigerella, to the tiniest cherry tomato, no two are alike in size or flavour and there are literally hundreds to choose from.  And that is just tomatoes.

The vast choice of variety among veggies like beans, lettuce, chillies, potatoes, pumpkins, corn, or even onions are just simply amazing.  Just try and grow one variety, I dare you!

5.  Fresh Herbs are simply amazing

If you only begin with herbs, which I consider to be “the gateway plant to gardening”, you will not be disappointed.  Easy to grow from seed or ready bought, herbs will flavour your cooking like never before.  Rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, and basil are great choices for the beginner.

Fresh herbs are great in any dish and leave dried herbs for dead.

Summary

So if I have convinced you, why not pop down the library and pick up a few edible gardening books? It is a great place to start to learn how to grow your own.  However, remember to only plant the vegetables that you use frequently. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew at the start.  Most of all, start small, and increase your growing space as you gain confidence.

All I can say is give it a go. What have you got to lose?  You will save a small fortune in the process, especially with the climbing prices of fresh food.

Do you think growing your own saves you money? If you are a novice, are you up for the challenge of producing your own veggies?

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Comments

  1. says

    Great reasons Gavin. As you know, my tiny patch in Sydney focuses on edibles. For a couple of months in summer, we don’t need to buy any extra veggies (and we have less than 80 square metres of yard). The other reason (apart from your list) I do this is because of the joy, peace and satisfaction that growing your own food brings. I am a nicer, calmer and more fulfilled person after a potter around the garden!

  2. says

    Great post Gav. Like Lanie, I produce a large percentage of our vegetables on our smallish block in Sydney. I think it’s interesting, satisfying and totally worthwhile. I can’t honestly say that I save money though. I’m always buying mulch or seeds or stakes or ties etc that add up to as much as I would spend on vegetables, even organic ones. Maybe it is because I’m still in the setup phase of my garden (18 months on), but I haven’t found that I’m saving yet.

  3. says

    I’m pretty sure I’m saving money, but I haven’t tracked it closely enough to say how much. I’ve run across a few bloggers that do weigh every bit of their harvest, calculate a price based on local store $$ and subtract their costs. All of them, as might be expected, spend most of the year in the red, and only late in the season – when everything is coming in fast and furiously, do they show a profit for the garden. But that profit is usually pretty substantial.

  4. Anonymous says

    hi gavin,

    i know you have chickens so that would help in getting rid of snails, but do you know much about iron based snail pellets which are supposed to be safe for animals?

    also, do you have any tips for stopping blackbirds etc digging up the garden looking for worms??

    • says

      Snails don’t like copper. Put pieces of copper around your plants.
      Also they don’t like strong smells and flavours. You can plant sage and thyme between your lettice.
      They defenitely like beer, so build your own beer-trap, they will fall in the beer and drown.

    • says

      I do remove quite a lot of snails by hand and give them to the chooks, use beer traps occasionally, and at a last resort use iron based snail pellets.

      Just a note of the pellets. If you read the fine print on the box you will note that they are safe for animals in small doses. However dogs find them irresistible in large quantities and can lead to organ failure. Keep the box out of reach of dogs and kids.

      The copper is good if you can afford it, but I find that used coffee grounds works really good as a deterrent.

      Gav

  5. says

    All my children commented on the following when they left home and moved away to university or the city: they all missed home grown vegies and eggs and being able to wander out to the garden to pick whatever they needed to make a meal – and especially missed the fresh herbs. They now come back in uni breaks etc and I can hardly keep them out of the kitchen! (Not that I want to, lol!)

  6. says

    I’d add another one – variety. It’s so good being able to duck out to the garden to get one spring onion, or one stalk of celery, or a couple of leaves of silver beet, or a few sprigs of parsley or mint, or a bit of basil, etc etc. I wouldn’t buy them like this, so I’d miss out on all those little touches that make all the difference.

  7. says

    After we have our 2 week holiday, I intend to get a small veggie garden up and running. I am thinking small to start with – a few lettuce varieties, some potatoes, carrots, onions, chives and I want to grown some tomatoes from a hanging tomato planter (I have had success in the past) and of course, some herbs. Sometime soon we will be getting some chooks so will keep in mind feeding the chooks all the snails in my flower garden (hundreds in my agapanthus!).

    Thanks for the run down – you have really wet my appetite and I can’t wait to start digging!

    Cheers – Joolz

  8. says

    Hi Gavin

    Thanks for the post :)

    I went out to the diggers club at Blackwood last week to start my growing journey. This weekend I will plant tomatoes and eggplants, I already have parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme in my new garden. My brother will give me some basil and zucchini seedlings from his garden.

    The main reason I do it is for the taste. I bought some strawberries from the Queen Vic market the other day and they were so large and red, and smelled great I thought “awesome”! Bit in to them only to find they were not so sweet and tasty as they looked. Same happens to me often with apples (except organic ones! You cant beat the taste of the organic apples from the Queen Vic!)

    Anyway, another good tip for $$$ saving is to swap your surplus zucchinis (for example) with a neighbour or friend’s surplus capsicums (or whatever they have)!

  9. says

    I just found your blog and I love this post. We live in a flat so I only have a container garden, but have managed to grow tomatoes with so much more flavour than supermarket ones, fresh salad greens and to have fresh herbs on hand all of the time (I would never buy them because they are so expensive!). I love knowing exactly how they have all been grown :)

  10. Anonymous says

    i love my vege garden, but i think it’s far cheaper to buy veges than grow them! if you buy, you only need to buy exactly what you need… there are so many other costs associated with growing- not just the price of the seeds (even if you save your seeds, growing still costs money)… the soil must constantly be improved (composts, mulches, fertilisers)- and garden tools cost money (spades, stakes, bird netting etc)… if you want to put in raised beds they are quite pricey!
    but i wouldn’t give my vege garden up despite the cost… it brings me so much pleasure to just go outside and pick what i am going to eat… and i’m not sure you can put a price on that!

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