I ripped out my main summer vegetables last week – the tomatoes, cucumbers and basil – after they had been in the ground for six months. They were done producing and it was finally time to prepare my containers for their winter veggies.
I’ll have more analysis about my first summer using self-watering containers soon. In this post, I wanted to share (or maybe brag) about the money I saved by growing my own vegetables.
I didn’t keep track of everything I grew this summer, but I did weigh every tomato, cucumber and wax bean that crossed my doorstep. The star performer was the diva cucumber plant, which produced 37 pounds of cukes. On the other hand, the Japanese cucumber I planted was a major disappointment – I got only 8.35 pounds. These are large cucumbers; I only harvested six throughout the entire summer.
I increased my tomato yield dramatically from last summer. I got 11 pounds of cherry tomatoes and 22 pounds of large plum tomatoes from four plants. I also more than quadrupled my wax bean yield when only doubling the amount of plants.
This was still a summer of learning – learning how to ward off fungi and pests from my plants, and learning which vegetables performed best. I do feel like I crossed a proverbial hump, however. For most of the summer, I didn’t have to buy a single tomato, and many weeks I was harvesting pounds and pounds of one vegetable or another. My garden has become something I can rely on consistently.
After adding up all those pounds of cucumbers, tomatoes and wax beans and calculating their farmers market price, I realized I saved $175 by planting at home. Now I have another target to beat come next summer.