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Home vegetable gardens help families save in food costs

By Ward Upham

K-State Horticulture Specialist

Gail Langellotto, statewide coordinator of the Ohio State University Master Gardener Program, wrote a blog post last year summarizing studies regarding the savings a home vegetable garden can provide.

Langellotto looked at eight studies and summarized the results. Values were adjusted to 2012 values. Overall, gardens had an average value of $0.74 per square foot of garden and a median value of $0.62 per square foot. That would equal $148 for a modest 200-square-foot garden using the average value. Most of these studies included the cost of establishing the garden the first year. These costs would certainly be less in the years following.

Also interesting were the crops that provided the greatest return per square foot. Those crops were tomatoes, salad greens, beets, broccoli and potatoes. However, be sure to plant crops that will actually be eaten. Vegetables that will not be used are a waste of time and money. To see much more detail, go to Langellotto's blog post at http://osumg.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-much-does-vegetable-garden-costsave.html.

Date: 2/4/2013

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