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Save money with a garden

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I’ve been reading a lot about how people are coping with the current economic downturn. I’m sure you have, too. One thing that always happens when the economy’s bad and food prices are rising to the stratosphere is that many people decide to save money by planting a vegetable garden.

Can you really save money by growing cukes and corn, peppers and tomatoes? Quite a bit, says Bob Westerfield of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service . He estimates that you can save about three-fourths over grocery-store prices – provided you don’t factor in the cost of your labor. (I always try to think of it as exercise, not work.)

Which veggies make the most sense for inexperienced gardeners? The ones your family likes best! It doesn’t matter how great they look or how easy they are to grow, the idea is for people to eat and enjoy them.

So take a poll of family favorites. Tomatoes will probably top the list. They’re not hard to grow, but you’ll need tomato cages or strong stakes, and the plants will take up space in the garden all summer.

Choose varieties that are disease-resistant. And do have at least one cherry tomato plant. My recommendation: Sweet 100. It will produce early, long, and late. And it’s prolific in just about any climate. You’ll find that its tasty little tomatoes just perfect for tossing into a salad.

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