Save Money, Grow Raspberries

August 22nd, 2006

RaspberriesFor many people edible gardening isn’t just about having fun, its about saving money.

However what can you really grow that is going to cost you less in time and effort than at the grocery store? Well, what tends to be quite expensive at the grocery store? Things that do not keep or ship well, like berries.

Strawberries are everyone’s favorite of course, but they’re a short lived perennial and are in my opinion a pain to grow what with all the stooping and watering and the fact that they grow near the ground by all the critters.

My favorite high value plant to grow is raspberries. Raspberries are bushes, they live a long time, might near forever, they produce like you wouldn’t believe, and every time you pick a handful you’ll be saving yourself a couple of bucks.

I started with 2 small raspberry plants 3 years ago. I now I have a 4 foot by 6 foot patch and it would be bigger if I let it. Raspberries, like all bramble berries, spread like mad with underground runners. For best results I recommend planting them in atleast a one foot high, possibly two foot high, raised bed, to stop lateral spread (unless you want them to spread that is. For a cheap raised bed consider an old tractor tire or old unneeded drain pipe scrap (the big pipes) place it on the ground, anchor it into the ground with some rebar pounded into the soil, and you’ve got a cheap and easy raised bed. Just fill with dirt. Speaking of rebar, a cheap way to provide support for the raspberries, which they will need, is to pound rebar into the ground until stable and then string twine or wire between the rods. Instant cheap trellis.

Raspberries, atleast the kind I have, will fruit on both new and old wood, so you get two main harvests, or really one very long harvest from late June until September with peaks in July and August. During the peak times with my little patch I can pick nearly a pound a day, depending on the prices in your neck of the woods that could be as high as $5-$10 worth of raspberries per day.

Once established your berry bushes will thrive on neglect, the only maintenance will be maintaining the support/boundaries and doing the picking.

Blueberries are another option, however they can be finicky to grow for some because they require very specific conditions.

In the vegetable world, I think red or other non-green bell peppers are one of the most worthwhile plants for the garden, considering the prices of their counterparts at the store. Asparagus is also a good choice, not because it is expensive at the store, but rather because it is a perennial it will keep paying you back your investment for many years to come.

2 Responses to “Save Money, Grow Raspberries”

  1. Andy Prior  Says:

    To me eating your own grown veg just shows me i have achieved something, i have a cherry, apple and pears tree at the back garden. And when its time to eat it pleases me very much.

  2. Peggy  Says:

    I love to grow my own fruits and vegetables. As you stated it is not always cheaper or faster than going to the store but the fresh taste is so much better. We grow tomatoes, peppers, okra and squash every year. There is local farm here where you can go pick your own strawberries and peaches (cheap) and the taste is amazing.

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