FISHERS, Ind. -- If you want to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on fruits and vegetables, experts say grow what you can at home!
You don’t need a big garden to do it.
“My grandma grew vegetables, my mom grew vegetables so I love to do it. It saves me money and it saves me time,” said Michele Bundrant.
Bundrant doesn’t go to the grocery store any more than she has to. She shops frequently at Allisonville Nursery in Fishers.
Bundrant buys plants to grow her own food. The experts at Allisonville Nursery say it’s easy to do and very inexpensive.
“Just a head of lettuce at the store can cost you $3. But for less than $2 you can buy a packet of seeds and grow lettuce for an entire summer.
FOX59 went to a local grocery store and bought a variety of fruits and vegetables. The small table of produce contained enough to feed a large family for dinner.
The cost was $28. Our experts tell us, you could grow the same amount for under $1 in seeds. But what if you don't have a garden or your soil is rock hard clay?
“You can build or buy a cheap wooden box with legs, and fill it with organic soil. It looks like a small table and you can put it anywhere inside that gets a little sun,” said Jeff Gatewood, owner of Allisonsville Nursery. “And you can control the weeds, drainage and moisture. You'll have a bumper crop out of a container in no time.”
And if you don’t want to build or buy a small wooden container, you can use a variety of used or recycled containers. It’s only limited by your imagination.
“Use those padded packages you get in the mail which are lined with plastic. Just put some soil in it, plant a strawberry plant in it, or whatever you choose. Just put a few little holes in the bottom and sit it in a dish and you've got a very useful strawberry plant in a little brown bag,” said Sharon Hadden, a container gardening expert at the nursery.
You can do the same thing for coffee cups from Starbucks, milk jugs or tin cans. You’re also saving those containers from ending up in a landfill.
There are many reasons why people choose organic. By growing your own, there are fewer chemicals in your food, and there’s also the convenience factor.
“I like the fact that if I want to make a salad and have items like a tomato or basil for my kids, I can just walk out to my garden,” said Bundrant.
Not everything can be grown in small containers. For bigger items like potatoes, you can use a burlap bag that held coffee beans.
“You can take several potatoes and put them in the dirt contained in a burlap bag. Fold the top of the bag over a few times so sunlight can get in. Just dig a hole in your soil, pop the potato in, leave the little shoot poking out and put more dirt over them as they start to pop out of the soil. It’s simple, you’ll
get potatoes growing in a sack,” said Hadden.
You can also plant an herb pot in your kitchen or somewhere convenient so you can always have fresh herbs. That’s a big money saver because organic herbs are great, but they can be one of the most expensive items to buy that you can easily grow yourself.