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Stretching Your Dollar: How growing your own garden can save you some cash

Growing your own vegetables this summer will help you eat healthy and save money at the grocery store.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Maybe you have a green thumb, or maybe you don’t. 

But why not try to grow your own vegetable garden this summer? You’ll eat healthy and save some cash at the grocery store.

"Toledo Grows" is a program that sponsors 125 gardens around the metro area. They raise produce year round. Some is donated, but a lot of it’s sold to consumers. 

With the greenhouse, members of "Toledo Grows" can watch vegetables grow from seeds to feeding thousands in Toledo.

Do you need lettuce mix? You can grow it all summer in a patio container.

“Once it gets three to four inches tall, you can go out and clip it off. It’ll grow again three to four times. (In) probably four to six weeks, you can have a planting and a packet costs just $1.99 for seeds — enough seeds to last half the summer,” Sister Rita Wienken said. 

Make sure you plant your garden where it gets plenty of sun.  

If you are planting tomatoes, find a garden location; a bucket or pot where it’ll get lots of sunshine.

“What I’m gonna do first is pick off the first few layers of leaves I want to give it more stability this won’t hurt at all. Plants will grow roots anywhere it’s underground," said Alan Lueth from "Toledo Grows." "Using a five gallon bucket with soil and compost mix, you want to have holes in the bottom. Make a pretty big hole, with tomatoes you can’t plant them too deep, especially if it’s windy you can’t plant them too deep. Some people rough up the roots before they do it, you don’t have to unless they’re really root bound.”

A tomato plant may cost around $3, but during the summer, you might get enough off that one plant to save you $50 at the grocery store.

If you keep your garden protected from frost in the fall, you may even get produce into late October.