With recent reports of salmonella and e.Coli infecting grocery store tomatoes and other vegetables, consumers have become concerned about the safety of store-bought vegetables. Also, the tough economy has forced people to find cost-cutting measures on their grocery bills. These two factors have combined to drive increased seed sales this year.
Seed Sales Up
USA Today reported last week that vegetable seed sales are up substantially at the nation’s biggest seed sellers this year. The article stated that the National Gardening Association, a non-profit organization for gardening education, predicts “the number of homes growing vegetables will jump more than 40 percent this year compared with just two years ago,” adding that at W. Atlee Burpee, the world’s largest seed company, seed sales will jump 25 percent this year. In addition, Wal-Mart has stated that their sales of herb gardens and tomato and pepper seeds are up, indicating shoppers are making an effort to save money by growing their own food.
Popular Vegetables to Grow
Choosing which (and how many) vegetables to grow in your garden depends on the space you have available, how quickly you will use (or sell or give away) the veggies you are growing, and what your food preferences are. Tomatoes are one of the most popular veggies to grow, as are different types of peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, onions, squash, and corn (which requires a lot of space.) If you like salad, experimenting with different types of lettuce plantings is something to consider.
Other Home-Grown Produce
Other popular produce to plant in a vegetable garden are strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, and gourds or pumpkins. Fruit tree sales are up as well, as folks are experimenting with apple, pear and peach trees to grow their own fresh fruit. Many people choose to plant fresh herbs that can be used as seasonings for food, for various medicinal purposes, or for bath scents. Lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint, basil, oregano, parsley and sage are just a few of the most popular herbs to plant.
Container Garden Alternative
Often people are limited by a lack of garden space available for vegetable planting. Also, planting large vegetable gardens can be very time consuming. One alternative that allows people to grow fresh veggies without a lot of space or time is the trend in container vegetable gardening. The Garden Patch home garden container company is one company that has created a simple, effective system that can be used in tight spaces and with little maintenance. Their grow boxes arrive ready to start, and include a water indicator so you know exactly how much water they need.
The old saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ certainly applies to industrious folks willing to experiment with growing their own food in uncertain times.