Looking at it from a economic standpoint The National Gardening Association says a well maintained garden could yields an average return $500 per year. A study by Burpee Seed Company says $50 spent on vegetable seeds and gardening supplies can yield up to $1,250 worth of produce a year.
While I can not personally guarantee that either of these statements are true I can tell you that I spend about $60.00 to $75.00 a year in gardening supplies and vegetable seeds By the end of April till the first two weeks of November I am harvesting something from the garden. Salad greens in early spring right through to early summer and again in the fall. Snow peas at the end of May, green onions for cooking tons of fresh herbs. Green beans, green peppers. cucumbers, pickles, and tomatoes in the summer and the list goes on.
By the fall aside from supplying what we eat during the growing season, the pantry is filled with dozens of jars of pickles salsa and tomato sauces. The freezer is packed with green peppers,spinach, snow peas, and green beans. Not to mention the bags of shredded zucchini waiting for baking days and those glorious muffins. The point I am trying to make here is simple I know that i receive more than 10 fold what I invest and maybe this is the year that I keep a count on the harvest. Or maybe not depends how lost I get in my gardening.
Now to the heart of the matter which vegetable seeds to use hybrid or non-hybrid vegetable seeds? Lets take a look at both hybrid or non-hybrid vegetable seeds so we have an understanding of the Pros and Cons of each type of seed.
Hybrid Vegetable Seeds
Hybrid seeds are a the result of breeding 2 different parent varieties that have good traits the breeder is trying to instill in the new plant . The advantage even though the seed cost more is that plant and fruit is many times stronger to fight off disease and pest, the fruit is more uniform in shape, it may store better, ripen all at the same time and sometimes can be harvested earlier.
A big disadvantages of using hybrid seeds is that you can not save the seed from that plant to use in next years garden. Plants grown from hybrid seeds will not produce seed of the hybrid that are true and they will not produce the same plant next year.. This means having to buy new seed every year to plant these varieties. The other big thing for me is that while they breed all these good traits in the flavor and texture most times seems to suffer as a result.
Heirloom seeds produce true copies of their parents as the genes have not been blended artificially. Heirloom seeds can be saved from year to year to allow you to collect your own seeds to produce next years crop. The value here is that you do not have to purchase new seed each year thus saving money and making your return on your gardening supplies even larger.
Through natural selection Heirloom seeds have their own built in resistance to insects and diseases,Built up over the years these plants have become hardy and able to adapt well to local conditions.
Now that you know the difference between these two types of seeds you will have a better understanding of the choices you can make. Personally I use both but have gotten away from Hybrid and I am moving towards all Heirlooms
No matter which you choose I would urge you to plant a vegetable garden this year. There is some work involved but the satisfaction of growing healthy safe food and saving money make it all well worth it.