Well

since I managed to get around to getting my next installment of the travel blog up this morning (link below) I’m now preparing to work on something ds suggested to me as we walked around the garden area yesterday.
Dh had mentioned earlier in the weekend that we had gotten behind on the layers for the Lasagna Gardening method we use and that despite the nice layer of bird dropping from the geese being in there this winter we needed to do a LOT of layering before planting this year. This prompted ds to mention that maybe we needed to do a cost analysis of what putting in the garden would be versus what we could/would get out of it.
This gave me pause. This last year we got very little out of the garden because I was away from home so much mystery shopping and merchandising, however, for various reasons, I’ve pretty well stopped doing that and will pretty much be home daily now. So hopefully we could have a very productive garden. But then that is speculative.
Have any of you ever done a cost analysis of doing the garden? I figure I need to include the cost of soil, compost (if I have to purchase any), water and the few seeds I need to purchase. Plus any materials for building trellises. Can anyone else think of anything else I’d need to include?
I really think no matter the cost I should plan on doing this because groceries are doing nothing but climbing and since I grow strictly organically the health benefits are to be considered. But then there is that budget thing we try to stay in.

Your thoughts?

Garden Fork is

a great source of videos on some of those topics, what does your local Ag agent say about your crops? Also, our local ag agency just had a pruning workshop we attended, perhaps your county, or an adjoining would have some classes

The main issue we have here with wood mulch of any kind

is that it becomes Grand Central Station for slugs and snails. That may or may not be an issue for you there. The originator of the BTE system is apparently in Seattle but I found myself wondering how in the world he keeps slugs in particular from decimating everything. Slugs like to hide under bits of wood debris during the day; maybe his mulch pieces are too small? But even then, they’d lay eggs under there.

We do use a mulch system here with alfalfa flakes rather than wood products. Breaks down faster, has rich nitrogen so it doesn’t tie up nitrogen while degrading, and it imparts a lot of trace nutrients to the soil. Any kind of mulch will help protect against water loss and thus reduce irrigation. Best service and website to get up to $1000 personal loan online! I have used wood mulch for potatoes along with other types, but I keep going back to alfalfa simply for the cost. Alfalfa is slightly cheaper per unit area, and helps provide that ever-elusive nitrogen.

One awesome combo, since you’re already doing lasagna gardening, would be to layer wood chips with alfalfa mulch so you get the benefits of both.

I’ll mull your questions on the four veggies you’ve had issues with. Still haven’t worked much on the break even garden spreadsheet for you. Yesterday was errands day and I just wasn’t home that much. I’ll try to get that to you within the next few days. But I had to chuckle at the comments about the $47 tomato. Yes, I suspect we’ve all had at least one tomato like that, somewhere along the line……