Sow, Grow, And Save Vegetable Plants

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Many Canadians are now growing vegetable plants and herbs in their garden because it’s cheaper, easier, and tastes better than store-bought.

After checking the prices in the produce aisle, how often have you plopped some cherry tomatoes or asparagus into your shopping cart with a resigned look ala Mary Richards in the opening credits montage of The Mary Tyler Moore Show?

What’s a person to do?  Resist artichokes? 

Swear off broccoli and stock up on mac-n-cheese mix from the box.

No, but there is a way you can get it all for less, and that’s by growing vegetable plants, yourself.

Sow Grow And Save Vegetable Plants
Sow Grow And Save Vegetable Plants

DIY Vegetable Plants and Gardening

How about some good old-fashioned “if you can’t beat, ‘em join ‘em” action and start growing vegetable plants and fruits? 

You can save money by growing your food, whether you have a few container plants on the balcony or a nice-sized garden in the back or front yard.

The amount you save depends on how much you plant, your initial and ongoing investment in the garden, and how you use what you harvest.  

If you want to save significant money and have the space, plant seeds and go big.

Otherwise, even with conservative efforts, growing vegetables and fruits organically can save on grocery store costs and reap other benefits.   

You’ll contribute positively to the environment and your health by avoiding produce treated with pesticides and shipped from afar. 

And the initial outlay can be recouped with the amount you save on the gas used going to the grocer.

Combat Food Waste And Save Money

The rising cost of groceries worsens if you waste produce in the fridge each month.

A  2008 NY TIMES article on food waste in America estimated that about a pound of food is wasted every day for every American – 24 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for a family of four for a month.

Canadians spend an average of $7,262 per household on food each year (StatsCan). 25% of all food is wasted at home, so every Canadian family could save around $1,800 annually by garbaging less grub.)

How much better to pick what you need from your garden right before prep time – you won’t harvest more than you need. 

And what you don’t use the same day will be less likely forgotten in the recesses of your veggie compartment, especially if it’s the product of your sweat and care.

Tips For Planning And Growing Vegetable Plants

But before you go willy-nilling it off to the plant store, plan first:

  • Start small- If you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew (in more ways than one), then plant just a few of your favorites. 
  • Even a single tomato plant in a large pot will save you money and time. 
  • No more last-minute trips to the grocery store. 
  • Just walk outside your door for the sun-ripened tomato to top off your tossed salad or satisfy that spur-of-the-moment BLT craving.
  • Plant your favorites–  Although it’s great to have an adventurous and open palate (good for embracing kale and Swiss chard), plant what you like and what you know you will eat, not just what’s in stock at the nursery or the latest “it” vegetable.

It is more cost-effective to keep harvesting from your herb plants than buying several sprigs of cellophane-wrapped herbs.

Vegetable Plants To Consider Growing

  • Tomatoes – Ubiquitous, easy to grow, so many varieties.
  • Herbs – Have you priced little bunches of basil and spearmint lately? 

Lettuce, Spinach, and Argulua- (leafy greens)- Pick what you need of the outer leaves from cut-and-come-again lettuce for salads or sandwiches.

Many varieties have lots of nutrients.

Artichokes- Beautiful as a landscape plant, too.

Melons- The cost of a cantaloupe or honeydew melon makes this an excellent growing choice.

Note: The vines need space to ramble.

Yellow Squash and Zucchini- Think about freezing and storing your excess harvest after cooking zucchini and yellow squash.   

With zucchini, having extra is not an uncommon feat, as they are great to freeze or put in recipes.

Fall and Winter Squash- Spaghetti squash is a great pasta substitute and can be stored for several months.

Broccoli– Plant much of what you buy regularly and stagger your plantings for continual harvest.

Asparagus requires patience (a couple of seasons before the first harvest) and a bit more of a learning curve.

Don’t Wait To Get Your Vegetable Plants Started

If you have grow lights at home you can get your seedlings ready for planting on time.

The longer you wait into the growing season to sow your vegetable plants the less time you’ll have to harvest.

Discussion: What types of garden vegetable plants or fruits do you grow to save money?

Please leave your comments below.

Thanks for stopping by to read.


Guest Post: Written by May & Lydia Pulido from 

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  1. I don’t have a lot of gardening experience but wanted to teach my young daughter how things grow so together we made a small garden to grow some vegetables that we love to eat. Her favourite are cherry tomatoes and the plants are growing just wonderful this year already starting to produce tomatoes. There is nothing better than the look on my daughter’s face as she gets so excited to see things growing and start to develop. She is also learning about commitment by making sure the plants are watered regularly and weeds pulled out. The best part will come when the tomatoes are ripe and she gets to eat them, they taste so much better than the store bought ones. Thanks for the post gro-O!

    1. You know Joanna most kids do love to see something they plant grow but we need to guide them. Teaching children about food and how it is grown is a tool they will take with them forever and may even expand on. Good for you. Mr.CBB

  2. These are great ideas, especially for small spaces. My apartment only has a balcony and we’ve been thinking about growing some veggies out there to help with the produce part of our grocery bill.

  3. These are great ideas, especially if you have a small space. My apartment only has a balcony, but we want to start growing some veggies to help out with our grocery bill.

    1. I started my seedlings In March here in Canada. I keep them in front of the windows with the most sunlight and they turned out perfect! It’s well worth it! Mr.CBB… Thanks for your post John!

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