• Grow the 7 most profitable vegetables in your garden

    by  • March 6, 2013 • Edibles

    Sowing smart!

    What vegetables can you grow this year to save the most money at the grocery store? Yields per square foot and dollar value and of that (organic) produce at harvest in the supermarket were considered to form this list.

    Here are the ones to grow that will save you the most. Of course, only grow those that you’ll really eat!

    Glavanized tub garden

    Galvanized tub garden

    You either love it or hate it but if you pay for it,..you may want to consider growing it. At over $20 per square foot in your garden, you’ll save quite a bit for all your summer salsas and soft chicken tacos.  Grow cilantro in and around other taller vegetables to shade it in the warmer weather.

    Arugula or Roquette,  Eruca sativa, is a member of the mustard family. The spicy bite compliments the sweeter lettuces and dressings in your summer salads. The entire plant may be harvested, or individual outside leaves may be cut from the plant. Grow like cilantro, in between taller plants to shade it as summer progresses.

    Five galvanized tubs with cherry tomatoes, onion and red romaine

    Five galvanized tubs with cherry tomatoes, onion and red romaine

    Green Salad Mix
    Lettuces or mesclun is a standard salad ingredient.  Once you get used to eating the really green lettuces, you may save iceberg lettuce for baloney sandwiches only.  (Everyone knows these must also be made with the forbidden white bread.) Mesclun salad with Gorgonzola, a hint of garlic, walnuts and Kalamata olives is a flavor combo that shouldn’t be missed.

    Chives in cottage cheese, on a baked potato or chopped into scrambled eggs? You must have this in your garden. Easy to grow in a container or in the ground,…many don’t know that chives can over winter easily in the Sierra Foothills.  Deer don’t touch it.

    Over $16 dollars per square foot in your garden is what you’ll save. Use dill in quick breads, salads and with fish. Cajun seasoning and dill is a favorite seasoning for baked salmon. Try tuna pasta shell salad, with dill, green pepper and a bit of chopped garlic.

    Any lettuce, from salad bowl to Romaine can save you over $16 dollars per square foot in your garden.  Many varieties can be grown from seed and far into the summer if you grow it where it gets afternoon shade.

    Sweet 100s

    Sweet 100s

    Cherry Tomato, small & medium
    Try Red Cherry, Sweet 100 or Sweet Million.  Sweet Million is prolific with thousands of tender, really sweet tomatoes that can be washed and popped into salads with no slicing.  The skin is thin and yummy.  You’ll save over $15.00 per square foot.

    The next ten veggies to save money growing?:

    • Turnip
    • Tomato, large
    • Squash, Winter
    • Tomatillo
    • Cucumber
    • Basil
    • Radish, Red
    • Pumpkin
    • Chard, Swiss
    • Celery

    You’ll save between $6 and $10 dollars for each square foot.  That’s something to get excited about!


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.