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How much time do you spend each week gardening?

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    How much time do you spend each week gardening?

    I want to garden to save money. But it takes so much time I can hardly justify it. Am I doing something wrong? How many hours per week do you spend gardening? Is it financially worth it?

    #2
    If you set it up right, like with raised beds and a biointensive growing method, a square foot gardening method, or something like the mittlieder growing method, and put in irrigation (just drip hoses and splitters) so you just have to flip switches to water, there is very little maintenance work involved. The plants grow close enough to shade out almost all weeds. I spend about 5 minutes a week pulling weeds and turning on or off the irrigation. I spend about an hour a week harvesting produce (unless the blueberries are ripe and then I spend about 30 minutes a day picking those). A row garden is pretty much nothing but lots of work and wasted space, but any of the 3 methods I listed above are time and work saving types of gardening, once the initial set-up work has been done, which can be quite labor intensive.

    Spend some time reading about those methods. Get books from your library and do searches online and on youtube. Really figure out what you want to do and get ready to do it for next year.

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      #3
      I have four large raised beds approx. 4' x 16' each and grow all the green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, onions, peppers etc. that the two of us can eat, plus usually have some leftover beans or tomatoes for freezing or canning. The initial soil prep and planting takes a little time, maybe (4) hours, then after that, a daily walk around of a few minutes, pulling weeds, watering, etc. plus harvest time. 2-4 Hours per week max.

      Building and filling the raised beds, and building a deer proof fence around things were sizable projects, but once you get things set up nice, it can be maintained pretty easy. I really don't consider it work. To me its a pretty relaxing small chore to do each evening.

      If you really want to stock groceries out of a garden, you'll need a bigger area, and the raised bed thing is likely impractical. A 25' x 75' garden properly set up and cared for will produce a bunch of produce to eat fresh and put up for later use. Lot's of little tips and tricks to learn to make things easier.
      * You need a handy water source to run a sprinkler.
      * If you set up rows the proper width you can run rototiller between to take out weeds and cultivate periodically.
      * Mulching some plants works well and eliminates weeds.
      * Bug control is something you have to keep tabs on.
      * Good tomato cages and trellis' for some plants to grow on make life easier.

      It's a great hobby and you get a bunch of healthy food out of it. I would strongly encourage anyone to try gardening.

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        #4
        I have a lot of garden space, actually four separate gardens. Including travel to and from the two not in my own yard, I would say I put in 10 minutes to 5 hours per day, depending on what needs to be done. Some tasks are light work but slow. Some are heavy work. Picking produce takes more time than you might imagine if growing a lot. The only power tool I use is the lawn mower. Wait, I take that back. I use electric clippers on a hedge that is 9 feet high and 24 feet long, with both sides needing clipping. Got those clippers when I developed ligament pain form using the manual clippers on that.

        I don't have a job to go to, so I can space out my work during the day and in accord with the weather I often check in on savingadvice during breaks, which in the last three years have become frequent. ;0
        "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

        "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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          #5
          This forum is awesome! I never realized gardening could be so hands-off. I know it still takes dedication but I'm happy to hear there's not so much time needed for weeding!

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            #6
            I'll be watching this thread carefully!

            There is a section of our yard that is "wild" that I would like to tame and convert into a garden. It will require cutting down about 3 small trees, grinding the stumps, pulling out and chipping a 8x8x4 pile of dead branches, tilling (need a tiller!), and adding about 6 yards each of soil and manure just to establish a bed. Then since we have deer and woodchucks, a fence will have to be put up.

            So the first year effort will be huge, but I am encouraged by the smaller time investment once things get rocking.

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              #7
              JoeP, The plants and trees that are growing where you want to garden would seem to be good evidence that the soil that is already there can support a garden nicely. I would not be surprised if you do not need to bring in more soil or manure. Probably you would be better served by a mulch on top of the soil once you've planted. Those trees and dead branches there, you have the resources for a style of gardening called "hugelkultur". Read about that, watch youtube videos, and see forum photos, to see if it is something you would want to try.
              "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

              "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                #8
                Update:

                I wrote about 7 months back about wanting to start a garden, and the first steps have been taken! I cut down a tree, and found a very nice old rototiller on CL for a low price. It needs work, and since I am handy with mechanicals and small engines, it will become a fun job getting it running again.

                We plan on planting tomatoes, peppers (hot and bell), beans, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs in some small pots that can be moved around. With the deer and woodchucks, I'll need to construct a fence.

                The time investment will be large the first year, and then wane the following years. We're eager to learn, work the earth, and enjoy the wholesome food, even if the net expense is more than going to the store.

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                  #9
                  That's terrific, Joe. I hope you enjoy gardening.
                  "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                  "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                    #10
                    Time to garden

                    Generally I spent at least 3 hours a week in the garden but of course it depends on the garden's size and your free time.

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                      #11
                      I plan on spending a lot of free time outdoors this summer.

                      Last summer was the first year in our new place, so there were too many projects to focus on a garden. I did do a fair amount of landscaping however. I put in several mulch beds and did a lot of planting. We have a little over 2 acres, so there is plenty of space. This summer I'm going to plant a small apple orchard, put in a garden, and maybe plant some berry bushes.
                      Brian

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                        #12
                        Back in 2015 when this thread was created, I didn't spend anytime gardening. My time gardening has been consistent over the years.

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                          #13
                          We grassed over our veggie garden this past fall, so we won't be gardening this year. I would have thought a garden would be a selling point, but my realtor says no. I'm kind of sad about it.

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