The coming season will be keeping a record  of the cost of growing my own veg,this will be just to satisfy my curiosity,did this a few years ago but did not account for the things I gave to neighbours and friends.Will record everything I spend on the plot and price all the end produce against market prices not supermarkets.Whatever the result will still keep growing veg I just love to do it.At the present moment I still have five 25kilo sacks of potatoes worth about £40.oo with the price s now so thats a good start and covered my first order of seeds

32 Responses

  1. roly says:

    its a bit frightening when i start to put a price on growing veg,of course the total price includes seed potatoes veg seed onion sets and buying in flower plant plugs maintenance on the tractors inc fuel oil and sundries weed killer fertilizer allotment rent

    so all in all around £750 to £800 i can spend it quicker than i can earn it but not counting this year we enjioy growing our own veg and gardening in general and tractors are my hobby so its money well spent mite have to reduce spending when i retire

    • Beanstew says:

      Its a bit of a saving when you retire roly, and haven’t got quite so many mouths to feed – I find that seed packets will often last two or three seasons, so it cuts outlay a bit (unless like me, you want to try different things).

    • Yewbarrow says:

      I did it a few years ago and it was a bit scarey, decided the therapy, exercise, flavour of veg and the companionship with other plot holders proivded benefits which money could not buy – however one of our plotholders costed her efforts last year and said it saved her £200

  2. gibbon says:

    I think that our maths don’t work, how do you put a price on veg lifted 10 mins before cooking, how do you price the fruit you take fresh from the tree or bush, how can you compair the bought cut flowers to put in your window with the flowers growing under it,that last and last long after the bought flowers have gone in the compost,

  3. shedsue says:

    I think that’s a brill thing to do …The National Trust say you can save £1500 per year by having a full size allotment, they do not say what you will spend…Also man (or woman) hours are not accounted for. I am interested in what your results will be. On a personal level, I am sure my veg yields more than make up for my spending…..?????? I hope ;)

    • dandlyon says:

      Sue I feel sure when I read a similar article they talked of growing the expensive veg like asparagus out of season cauli, lettuce when they are costing a pound each,early tomatoes,potatoes other than earlies they said were too cheap to bother growing.I believe there was no memtion of the out lay cost

    • Beanstew says:

      Do we really care whether we break even or not? That would be the icing on the cake of very fresh produce grown without chemicals. I must confess I never counted the cost of setting up – electric propagators, polythene sheeting, fleece, greenhouse, tools etc – but then I wouldn’t bother to cost out the price of
      any other hobby either, or the value of my time spent at them. How do you value pleasure and satisfaction?

  4. gibbon says:

    I belive that if you wish to make a profit then a number of achers under glass are called for, I once had a very large greenhouse 20 ft long by 14.6 wide and grew perpetual carnations all year, the only time I had a decent time was when there were a lot of weddings near to each other or Christmas I grew hundreds and they were first class that brought praise, but I lost money hand over fist,

  5. dandlyon says:

    Hi Cliff there are so many articles about what can be saved money wise by growing your own veg I thought to check it out for myself.Not really bothered whether I make a prophit lose money or break even but the next time the question is asked I will have the facts at hand.As you rightly say parts of growing your own veg are price less then theres your time but what I want to do is just see what a years veg actually costs me.Will give updates through out the season

    • gibbon says:

      yes Tony, I know that you grow for the love of it, or you would not have been doing it for so long, and I know that you take a pride in what you grow, and rightly so, but any one that grows for profit or just to save money are merstaken, I grow mostly fruit and give it away, becaus I can not eat fruit, and it cost a lot in keeping the trees and bushes healthy, I have had walnut leaf bloch, and pear rust, things I had never herd of before only to find that as an amiture I could not bie the stuff to treat them, and had to experment, so a lot of worrie and cost, but what an experance, and I am glad to have experanced, it’s all part of the game, but a lot of people soon loose intrest when they realise that it can be hard at times,

  6. I just love the idea of veg that is home grown, and not sat on supermarket shelves for however many days so that all their goodness is gone, although cost is a consideration for me it will be the satisfaction of having grown it, especially as this will be my 1st year of veg. I will be interested in your results DL.

  7. gertie says:

    I think it’s all in the trying, learning, growing, achieving and eating your own-grown. So looking forward to our runner beans again this year :-) I feel that for many big growers it must be an expensive hobby in time and effort as well as money, but what an unbeatable experience….to grow your own fruit, veg and flowers :D

  8. An interesting project, Tony :D When I first got my garden (almost 2 years ago ;) ), my idea was to grow particularly what I liked to buy that was relatively expensive, hence the raspberry bushes. The whole gardening experience soon became so fantastic and compelling that it really doesn’t matter what I grow now. Certainly at the moment I couldn’t put a price on my freedom and having my own space and time but what an experienced gardener like you spends in monetary terms will be interesting for us all :D

  9. Beanstew says:

    I think this is an interesting question to raise at this particular time in world history, when the world is really struggling to produce enough food for its population, and we already see the effect of increased purchasing power by emerging economies on our own food prices. I was aware many years ago that I probably wasn’t covering my costs, but it didn’t really matter. Now I am spending more money in an attempt to reduce the effects of climate change on my ability to grow certain crops – but I feel that ANY costs will soon be worthwhile. We will never see cheap food again, and my prediction is that GYO will become increasingly competitive.

  10. shedsue says:

    I think, I save £5 to £10 a week, in veg and flowers in summer and around £3 in winter, That includes a good potato yield and tomatoes…. I am sure I spend less on my “Hobby” than my friends do on the gym, or even some sort of class….and I get to eat the results :) Could you put up monthly what you have spent Tony??? and it would help others too, knowing what to do in that month….I don’t use any chemicals so I think that makes it cheaper, but then again, I probably don’t get as much yield

  11. dandlyon says:

    BS its a pity more people do not think the same as you do I agree GYO will become a big thing and more young people need to be encourage to learn food growing techniques and the best place to start is in the schools.Some new comers do not even have any basic knowledge.This is a true story we had a 40something year old lady join our site 6 years ago lovely person keen as mustard and I saw this patch of ground well cleared raked all over and several 8ft canes placed neatly over the dug area.She said they were for her runner beans and did not realise they should be standing upright in a row.This year she was the top scorer in the ladies section of the allotment competition her plot is a credit to her and what she crams into the space she has is unbelievable.

    • Beanstew says:

      I can’t remember anyone teaching me how to grow things, Tony – I learnt by trial and error, so it probably took longer than it need have done. It was just lucky that my perseverance outlasted the many mistakes I made, and I had an umlimited supply of manure – but I am sure if I had been attached to an allotment site, I’d have got there sooner (and cheaper).

  12. Beanstew says:

    I have increasing anxiety for people trapped in poverty, often through no fault of their own. An increase in stealing basic foodstuffs and disposable nappies has already been reported – which is a real sign of desperation. It is my good luck to have had ground available – and I think there needs to be a committed drive to make more ground publicly available, with tuition and guidance from experienced growers on site, and a source of cheap seeds. We have done it before, “Dig for Victory” – and I don’t like to say, “Dig for Survival” but I’m sure many of the people caught stealing would rather have grown their own food if they had that chance to promote their families’ health and well-being, and their own self-respect.

    • gibbon says:

      I compleatly agree with you BS, but there is little profit in it for councils or government, they need more houses for homeless famalies and I agree that there is a pressing need for them, but there main consideration is profit, my village are going to build 80 houses ,yet have no plans to set aside land for lotties even though we only have 9 and there was a government directive to set aside land for more, the fat cats would see people starve rather than give up the chanch for even more cream,

      • Beanstew says:

        Hope your joinery today includes making some more soap boxes Cliff. I’m resisting the effort to get up on one of them because I’d bore everyone silly – and its a good job we don’t come back, because if we did, I’d be a political activist – and I’d rather grow veg.

        • gibbon says:

          you carn’t beat a good old rant, Nigh Bevon was a master at it,when he came to speak were I lived I was one of the people that guarded him, and I heard him say to some one that first I will make them laugh and then I will make them cry then I will make them laugh agine, and he did, it is only people that speak in a moner- tone that boars people and stops them listening, if you feal pashonate about something and allow that passhon to come through in your speaking or writing, you will never be boaring, and I have only found your writing very interesting,

  13. dandlyon says:

    I believe one foreward step would be for more gardeners to join The National Society of Allotment and leisure Garneders,This is a non prophit society who give legal help to any allotment sites under threat,challenge local councils to provide allotment space.They send out a quarterly magazine and members get an alternative seed catalogue from Kings offering seeds at a good reduction from the normal catalogue.If you want to see more of what they do go to http://www.nsalg.org.uk. PS other than being a member I am not conected to this organisation just know they do a good job on our behalf when needed

  14. roly says:

    this is a really interesting topic with many varied comments that are well worth reading i think the general idea is for all of us to produce good wholesome home grown food

    sometimes like me you do have to look at what your spending but if we can fill our freezers full for winter of the allotment knowing that what we are eating was grew with our fair hands then its money well spent

    we used to supply a shop with hanging baskets plants Christmas wreaths all on a sale or return basis i have to say we made a few bob that went into buying our seed and plants but if you counted you time spent in the greenhouse and delivering then i think there wasn’t much money-try gain

    when the shop closed we stopped selling to anyone else now its all for ourselves and our families

  15. I’ve just remembered some of what I don’t buy from the shops since I got a place with a garden and started growing stuff:
    Bags of rocket and watercress and lettuce @ £1-£2 per bag each and this was about every 2 days
    Any tomatoes – just so inedible once you’ve grown some of your own

    Not everything has worked yet but tapping into everyone else’s experience is really helpful, so thank you all :D

  16. dandlyon says:

    We all seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet on this,as the months go by will update my costs and I feel sure some cost saving ideas will be put foreward and we will all benifit in some way

  17. bizzylizzy says:

    i did find it expensive when we first started out but you learn to look out for the sales which helps with seed’s /compost/and any fertilizers act…….. we bought the poly tunnel which did eventually pay for it self to do hanging basket’s which i sold . but as i got more into the veg side of thing’s the basket’s went out the window and tesco started selling basket’s (small ones ) for £5 each i couldn’t make them for that price it wasn’t worth all the effort making them when people could get them for that price even though they where half the size and just one variety of flower in them busy lizzy or leggy petunias still do some just for family , but don’t miss doing them got to involved in the veg side which i find i enjoy more and get more pleasure out of ,yes i get my ups and downs like everyone else but love the challenge and i do it for myself not for other people now and get great pleasure in giving surplus to friends and family freezer is full and i’m happy the only thing i would change if i could was the weather which i dare say most of us would this year but there you go that’s life another challenge we’ve got over i suppose :D so all in all what ever the cost i think i will still be doing it as long as my body will let me :D

  18. dandlyon says:

    Thats the spirit Liz onward and upward certain items are a must tools last for years I had to buy a new mantis this year my old JCB cultivator was getting too much for me .My two biggest outlays each year are seed and fertiliser,I use vast amounts of compost but most of this I make myself.Use a good quality compost for show veg but will not be including that,its not something everyone wants to do but on a small scale I love it. Got the bug for this home brew now thanks to Mick

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