Fall Garden Update and Cost Analysis


All my seeds sprouted exactly 6 days after planting! End of Week 1.


End of Week 2


Click each image to enlarge.


Cost Analysis

31.99  wb 4 x 4 x 6 Cedar Raised Bed Kit
14.99 Weed Barrier
5.00 Organic Compressed Peat Moss (2.2 cu. ft.)
15.00 Organic Worm Castings (1 1/2 cu. ft.)
3.97 Mushroom Compost (40 lb bag)
2.18 Evergreen Manure Compost (1 cu. ft)
5.17 Cow Manure Black Kow Compost (50 lb bag)
3.75 Winwood’s All Natural Compost and Soil Amendment (1 cu. ft)
29.99 Coarse Vermiculite Premium Grade (4 cu. ft.)
Seedlings for Transplanting
23.00   –  Organic Local Seedlings from Crabtree Farms: 3 White Russian kale, 3 spinach, 3 Red Fire lettuce, 3 Romaine lettuce, 3 cabbage, and 18 onions
Seed Packs
1.99 Early Golden Acre Cabbage Ferry Morse
1.49 Detroit Dark Red, Medium Top Beet Burpee
1.99 Chantenay Red Cored Carrot Ferry Morse
1.67 Walla Walla Onion Burpee
1.99 Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach Ferry Morse
Total 144.17 *Items I already own include two 10 x 10 tarps, shovel, and wooden trim to make the grid.

There is always an initial investment when beginning a new hobby.  I budgeted $100 for this project.  When I began making plans, I considered only the cost of seeds and later decided to purchase seedlings which increased expenses.  I didn’t realize how long some of the crops take to mature and it was just a little too late in the growing season to start my own.  Live and learn!  I am interested in starting my own seedlings for the spring and summer season.  In fact, I’ve already started saving seeds from locally grown organic vegetables.  I’m not sure if saving seeds and buying starter kits will be more economical or not but I think I’ll enjoy the process.

The soil was the biggest investment.  In Square Foot Gardening, Mel Bartholomew specifically says, “Don’t skimp on this!”  I didn’t want to deviate from the book so I followed the instructions precisely: five different types of compost, mixed with equal parts peat moss and vermiculite.  Coarse vermiculite is expensive when compared to all the other items.  The big box stores didn’t have it but I was able to find some at Holcomb Garden Center.  Interestingly enough, they said they don’t have a lot of customers asking for it.  They had to dig in the back of their warehouse to find 1 bag that was partially open.  So I got a discount!  Perlite is a cheap substitute but it’s not recommended.  According to Bartholomew, “coarse agricultural vermiculite holds the most moisture while at the same time giving the most friability to the soil mix.” As I type this, we’re experiencing torrential rains and flash flooding so I’m thankful for well draining soil!

I think it’s worth mentioning that I’m thrilled to be growing my own veggies!  If I had known it would make me this happy, I would have started years ago!

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