The study involved households and volunteers on the Master Gardener mentoring programme launched by the charity Garden Organic in 2010. Almost three-quarters of households grew more food than before while even experienced gardeners increased their produce. A quarter of households said they had cut their food bills.
Coventry University researcher Dr Moya Kneafsey said: "A key finding was on social impact - people felt more part of the community and built up relationships."
Two-thirds felt their sense of community had increased. Average life satisfaction scores for volunteers and households rose and people ate more fresh produce.
Garden Organic project manager Philip Turvil said: "We don't want to just teach our volunteers the best way of growing a cabbage. We want to teach them how to pass this information on to others in their community."
For further details, see www.mastergardeners.org.uk.