When it comes to organic gardening it's not a question of why or what, but how much. We all know the benefits of growing greens and such sans pesticides at this point, but the bigger point in these times is being mindful of monthly budgets. RedPlum has taken out the financial guesswork and broken down just what switching to organic gardening will cost you. Below, the big four dollar sign differential you need to know before you grow.
- Know when to cut your losses. If a plant gets diseased or infested, it has to go immediately to avoid infecting all the other plants nearby. Better to lose the $10-$20 dollars spent on a single starter plant than your entire garden-worth of initial outlay due to creepy creatures.
- Instead of buying already organic starter plants, which can be costly, opt for seeds that come in at comparative pennies (around $2 per packet). This is one of the cases where living in colder, northern climes is a gardening asset—you still have time to get even early season fruits and veggies in the ground and sprouting. Visit eonseed.com.
- Consider the offsets: With gas hovering at $2 a gallon again, those frequent trips to the grocery store to keep your pantry stocked with healthy, fresh food can add up. Do the math on mileage and subtract it from the cost of growing meals at home. Also, creating your own compost heap can reap savings in not having to buy organic fertilizer at anywhere from $8 to $18 a packet. Visit planetnatural.com.
- Invest in protective organic companion plants for around $4 a stem. Spices such as sage and rosemary keep away slugs with their strong scents, marigolds fight root nematodes, and onions are a natural fungicide when planted alongside strawberries. Worm and ladybug cultivation also helps keep bugs at bay the natural way.