Monday, January 12, 2009

Home Gardeners Can Reap Huge Financial Rewards Growing Veggies

/PRNewswire/ -- A recently completed cost-analysis by America's leading home gardening company reveals major savings for people who grow their own vegetables.

According to W. Atlee Burpee & Co. (, a well-planned garden will result in a 1 to 25 cost-savings ratio, meaning $50 in seeds and fertilizer can produce $1,250 worth of groceries purchased at a supermarket. "And all you need is a small, sunny plot to enjoy these big savings," says Burpee Chairman, George Ball.

For the coming year, 2009, Burpee is planning a new seed packet offer, appropriately termed, The Money Garden. Each Money Garden packet will contain packages of six easy-to-grow varieties capable of producing $650 worth of vegetables. The Money Garden will have a special $10 price and will be available on the company website ( ) exclusively.

The Money Garden packet will include the following varieties: Bell Peppers, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, French Green Beans, Butterhead Lettuces and large Nantes-type carrots. If purchased individually, the six items would retail for $20.

Crucial to attaining enormous savings is succession planting, Mr. Ball says. "Too often home gardeners plant an item such as lettuce early in the season and then leave the site fallow after harvesting a month later." Much of the success in The Money Garden results from extending the season from early planting to late harvesting, according to Mr. Ball. Burpee will help gardeners learn "staggered sowing" and the best vegetables to plant in succession in their locale and when to start for maximum results. Also, which varieties actually do better in colder weather. The Money Garden can be cultivated in a relatively small garden of approximately 200-225 square feet.

To make it easier for home gardeners to plant The Money Garden, Burpee plans to post information on the company website, A toll free Money Garden hotline has been established, 1-800-333-5808, to answer questions customers may have about planting their Money Garden.

It should also be noted, Mr. Ball points out, that in addition to cost savings the taste of homegrown vegetables is vastly superior to store-bought and their nutritional value far exceeds vegetables that line the shelves of supermarkets a week or more after being picked.

To arrive at the 1 to 25 ratio, Burpee planted a series of test gardens during 2008 at its main research facility, Fordhook Farm, in Bucks County, PA. "A hundred dollars will produce $2,500 in groceries", Mr. Ball concludes, "that's $2,400 a family can save in five months."

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