Video: High-Value Crops & Varieties for Your Garden • Tutorial with Niki Jabbour

Award-winning gardening author-educator Niki Jabbour, on how to maximize your savings by growing high-value crops: productive, easy-to-grow varieties that you love a lot and use a lot, but also cost more to purchase.

I'm often asked if you can save money by growing your own vegetables. The answer is yes, but … how much you save depends on what you grow (and, of course, the initial investment when you made the garden).

To maximize your savings, concentrate on high-value vegetables. Those are the ones that cost a lot to buy but are easy to grow and productive.

You should also consider growing the vegetables that you like to eat, because these are the ones that can really save you money. My favorite high-value crops to grow include fresh herbs, salad greens, snap beans, summer squash, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes. All of these are easy to grow in a home garden but can cost a lot when bought from the supermarket or a farmers market.

'Seychelles' pole bean, for example, is a high-yielding snap bean that produces a generous crop of tender green pods for weeks. I grow my pole beans up trellises and tunnels, planting one crop in late spring and another 3–4 weeks later, for a nonstop harvest.

As for cherry tomatoes, look for varieties like 'Jasper', 'Sun Gold', and 'Apple Yellow'.

High-yielding cucumbers include 'Cool Customer', 'Corinto', and 'Diva'.

And as for herbs, grow the ones you use the most. My essentials include Italian parsley, cilantro, rosemary and, of course, basil.

To learn more, read 8 Great Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners, from Seed to Harvest, with Niki Jabbour…

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Happy Growing!