• Grow the 7 most profitable vegetables in your garden

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    Saving money by growing the most expensive veggies

    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!

    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.

    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.

    Dill harvest to last a year!

    Dill harvest to last a year!

    Over $16 dollars per square foot in your grden is what you’ll save. Use dill in quick breads, salads and with fish. Cajon 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.

    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.

    Chives, Italian parsley, purple sage, dill and thyme fit in the basket

    Chives, Italian parsley, purple sage, dill and thyme fit in the basket


    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!


    More on easy edibles:

    10 Flea Market Seed-Starting Tips

    Volunteer dill peeks in window

    My galvanized wash tub garden

    My green onion farm

    A culinary herb basket

    Galvanized tomato garden for one


    Share and Enjoy


    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 manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.


    1. Marie Niemann says:

      Loved this article Sue! My top two choices every year are tomatoes and peppers! Then Cukes and Zukes and salad greens, carrots, and radish. I am going to plant chives and dill for the first time this year in containers. Now that I have the garden space it’s so much fun to go out to pick dinner!

    2. Jeanne Sammons says:

      Sue … I found that Cilantro self-seeded & came up in many places … but very easy to pull in it’s early stages! My staples are tomatoes & cucumbers … radishes, so easy to grow & onions … I never buy any of these except in the middle of Winter! Great article! I’m going to borrow your idea & dig some ‘chives’ this Spring & plant in a basket! Love that! TFS!

    3. Shirley F. says:

      Great ideas Sue! I began growing shallots this year after paying nearly a dollar for one (yes, just one) at the store back in January. I don’t know the actual savings calculation but It’s a bunch of bucks. Another big ticket item is garlic at more than two dollars a pound and I’m adding that to my garden this year too. I can also pick just what I need, no waste.

      In my climate lettuce and cilantro are winter crops and worth growing wherever you live.

    4. Liz Davey says:

      I grow all of the above. I dry or freeze the herbs or make pestos to freeze for winter use. and I store the garlic in a cool spot for use all winter. I also would add kale and spinach, both of which we love to eat in many ways. Raspberries are also a great crop to grow if you want to save money. I pick by the quart from July to September and in the stores a half pint is about $4.

    5. Myra Glandon says:

      Loved this Sue. I plan to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, arugula, mixed salad green and zuccini. I rarely eat iceburg lettuce anymore. I love the mixed greens and I have converted my hubby too. In the summer I eat tomatoes and cucumbers daily. They are my favorite and I am always disappointed when frost comes and I can no longer pick fresh veggies. I have never found a tomato in the store that tastes like home grown. I love eating them fresh off the vine.

    6. Rita Mars says:

      I have a half barrel of chives that I ‘inherited’ from my mom….they never fail and reproduce about twice or three times a year…just love them and hope they will be there forever! Loved the article!!