Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Groceries from the Backyard: A Harvest of Savings

(ARA) - Food gardening will jump 19 percent this year over last year, according to a new survey by the National Gardening Association (NGA). Homeowners with shrinking household budgets are looking for help in their own backyards.

Can planting a veggie patch really save you money? Government agencies and gardening organizations say yes.

Every $100 spent on vegetable gardening yields $1,000 to $1,700 worth of produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That's a serious hedge against skyrocketing food prices, expected to jump another 5 percent this year.

You'll get a half-pound of edibles from every square foot of ground devoted to backyard crops, NGA experts say. Even a modest garden (15 by 15 feet) can produce more than 100 pounds of garden-fresh tomatoes, salad greens, vegetables and herbs.

Smart food gardeners appreciate the tried-and-true. Bonnie Plants, available coast to coast, are time-tested varieties selected to suit regional conditions. For best results you'll need to choose veggie and herb varieties suitable to your geographical location. Because Bonnie's varieties are distributed regionally, you will automatically have suitable varieties available to you at retail locations in your area.

Look for Bonnie Plants in eco-friendly biodegradable pots that not only keep tons of plastic pots from ending up in landfills, but also reduce transplant shock. Just tear off the bottom, set the pot in the ground and water.

For gardening tips and to learn about herb and vegetable varieties, visit

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