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How Much Does it Cost to Grow a Garden?

So how much does it actually cost to have a garden? And how much value do you get out of your investment? I’m breaking down the cost of building a garden from scratch and I’ve calculated how much food we’ll get out of it.

Raised garden beds filled with crops.

Cost and Value Breakdown of a Raised Bed Gardening System…

Startup Costs

  • My raised bed – $324
  • Logs (rotten or fresh) – Free
  • Soil – 1 Raised bed of soil (8’x4’1″) at $6.40 per foot – $202
  • Four tomato cages at $6 each – $12
  • Tools/Supplies – $40
  • Plants/Seeds – $78

TOTAL Cost – $656

Calculate Soil Needed for your Raised Bed

  • 1 raised bed of soil (8 ’x 4’ x 1’) is 32 cubic feet.
  • There are 27 cubic feet in 1 cubic yard.
  • 1 cubic yard weighs 1,080 pounds. One cubic foot weighs 40 pounds.
  • We need 1,280 pounds (32 cubic feet needed x 40 pounds).

Local Soil Costs

  • BAG: (70 lb) – $15.00 including tax
  • BAG: (70 lb) SCREENED – $52.00 w/tax/pre-order/pre-pay
  • SCOOP: (980 lb.) (BEST DEAL) – $155.00 including tax
  • 1/2 SCOOP: (490 lbs) – $80 including tax

Based on the prices above, soil is 16 cents per pound ($155 divided by 980 pounds = $0.16 per pound)

$6.40 for one cubic foot (40 pounds)

At $6.40 a cubic foot that’s $202 for one raised bed.

Square Foot Garden Planting

  • 4 squares of lettuce, 16 lettuces ($3 for a pack of four) – $12
  • 4 squares of chard, 16 chards ($3 pack of seeds) – $12
  • 4 squares of tomatoes, 4 tomatoes ($3 for a pack) – $12
  • 4 squares of pepper, 4 peppers ($3 for one) – $12
  • 3 Square of broccoli, 3 broccoli ($3 for one) – $9
  • 3 square of cabbages, 3 cabbages – $3 for seeds
  • 4 squares of squash, 4 squash ($3 each) – $12
  • 4 squares of cucumber, 2 cucumbers ($3 each) – $6
  • 2 squares of melon, 1 melon – $3

Total Plant/Seed Costs: $78

Wholefoods Grocery store values:

  • 1 bunch of swiss card is $2.49, 16 chards – $39.84
  • 1 Lettuce head is $1.99 each, 16 lettuce – $32
  • Tomatoes are 2.99/pound (8 pounds per plant) – $95.68
  • Peppers are $3.99/pound (3.5 pounds per plant) – $55.86
  • Broccoli are $2.49/pound (2.5 pounds per plant) – $18.68
  • 1 Cabbage weighs 2 pounds at .99 per pound – $6
  • 1 Zucchini squash 10 pounds per plant. $2.49/pound – $99.60
  • 1 Cucumber $1.49, 10 per plant – $29.80
  • Melon $6.99 per melon (2 melons per plant) – $13.98

Total Value: $391.44

Gardening Supplies

  • Tomato cage – $3 per cage (Lowes)
  • Dewit Right-hand Cap Cod Weeder – $43
  • Dewit weed barrier – $62
  • Organic garden lime – $8 for 7 pounds.
  • Gypsum – $15 for 6 pounds
  • Compost – 10 cubic feet, $9 per foot

Putting It All Together

Depreciate raised beds, tools and soil and cages, it’s $57.80 per year.

Or spend $90 on compost, $5 on weed barrier, $10 on amendments we’re looking at $105!

One planting based off of square foot gardening, average yields and Whole Foods pricing $391.44.

In 10 years, you’ve put in $656 plus $78 in seeds every year (total of $1,436) and you’ve gotten nearly $4,000 worth of produce.

So for EVERY dollar you spend, you could get $2.73 in value.

Spend $1,000 and get $2,730! That’s what I call a win!

Now that you see how valuable Gardening can be, it’s a no-brainer from a financial perspective. You could save even more by forgoing the raised beds and planting directly in the ground!

These are the numbers, but you’ll need some guidance to help make this a success.

I’ve thought thousands of people how to grow their own gardens and homesteads and I can teach you.

Inside my Abundance Plus Member Area, you’ll find step-by-step video instructions on how to build and maintain your garden.

JOIN Abundance+ here and let’s build a Garden Together!

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Hi, I'm Justin

I share from a love of teaching and the sustainable movement. Here, you’ll find exhaustive permaculture articles, plentiful photos, cinematic educational films and business tips and tricks.

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