On average, a family that spends $50 on seeds and fertilizer will produce $1,250 in produce!

Growing vegetables in the home garden and patio containers is more than just fun and healthy. As food prices rise, homegrown produce becomes even more of a bargain. The gardening experts here at Park estimate that a $50 investment in vegetable seeds can yield, on average, $1,250 in delicious produce. Even factoring in the cost of purchasing a seed starting system such as the Bio Dome, soil amendments, garden tools, and more, economists tell us that growing one vegetable plant costs less than $1.50 . . . and can yield many pounds of delectable, nutritious fresh produce over a long season.

And even if you've never grown a plant from seed in your life, producing vegetables can be one of the easiest of all gardening experiences! All you really need is some soil that receives lots of sunlight. You might want to start with seeds that can be sown directly into the warm spring soil: Kentucky Wonder Bean Seeds , Green Arrow Pea Seeds , Bicolor Mirai 301BC Corn Seeds, and Black Beauty Organic Squash are all very eager to take off in your garden! Follow the simple instructions on the seed packet, and before you know it you'll see little green shoots poking out of the ground. You're on your way to your first bumper crop!

You don't need a big garden or fancy equipment to grow vegetables, especially with today's compact container varieties. Find a few big flowerpots and hanging baskets, and try your hand at Maskotka Hybrid Tomato Seeds on the patio, Red Knight X3R Hybrid Pepper Seeds on the deck, and even Black Beauty Organic Eggplant Seeds on the porch!

Other vegetables, like tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, and beets are easy to preserve with home canning or freezing.

The savings you will reap by growing vegetables go way beyond the supermarket bill. Bean and pea plants are legumes, which contain nitrogen-fixing properties that greatly improve the soil in your garden. After harvesting the veggies, be sure to chop up the plants and till them back into the soil. Next year's garden will need less feeding and will grow bigger, healthier crops! Then there are the birds, butterflies, bees, and "good bugs" that vegetable plants bring into your garden to eat destructive insects and other pests. You may find that when you grow Walla Walla Sweet Onion Seeds near the Don Juan Climbing Rose , for instance, you suddenly have healthier foliage and bigger blooms!

And while we're talking about intangibles, what about the sunshine, fresh air, and exercise you gain by spending just a few minutes in the garden several times a week? There's no doubt about it: growing vegetables not only makes great economic sense, it's one of the best things you can do for your health. Give it a try this season, for just pennies a plant!