The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Dollars into Dirt: Garden Budget April 22, 2008

The raised plot is full, seeds are in the ground, and it’s a good time to tally up spendings, since I don’t foresee spending a lot more. So far, I’ve spent a grand total of $100.26 for dirt, seeds, and seed starting stuff. I have nothing to compare it to, but I feel pretty good about that amount. Creating the new raised bed is an investment that will last for years and, I hope, won’t cost me anything more; I’ll add compost yearly, but plan to take it from the heap on my parents’ property. Where I saved most was by constructing the raised bed out of unused decking material. Where I splurged: instead of workaday stakes, I bought a pair of metal spirals for vine plants, at $8.95 a pop. And a fluorescent desk lamp from Home Depot cost me $20 and was more expensive and less effective than a couple of hanging shop lights–I just didn’t know better.

In the spirit of Earth Day, I do think about energy usage from the lights that are on about 10 hours a day and the fan that’s on about 10 hours a night. Our electricity usage went down again this month, and caring for these seedlings indoors has definitely not countered the huge spring drop-off in usage (the condo is heated with electric radiators, so that accounts for a massive decrease!). I still wish, though, that I could start seeds with natural light alone. I’m thinking of building or buying a small outdoor greenhouse–along the lines of a utility shelf hung with plastic–so that next year I can just stick it outside and leave the work to the sun.

Also planned: rainwater collection. Turns out I haven’t missed much. It hasn’t rained here in 10 days, and that adage about April showers just isn’t panning out. What with that and the late snow, it’s been an odd growing season so far. I wouldn’t expect anything less from New England.


3 Responses to “Dollars into Dirt: Garden Budget”

  1. Nancy Bond Says:

    Every small change we can make will have an impact, though it might seem small at the time. Good for you.

  2. concretegardening Says:

    I really love your daily photographs!

  3. xcskimom Says:

    Check with your local dairy about rainwater barrels. Ours gives away metal barrels – you can’t beat free!

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