Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Gardening Trends Report

The 2008 Summer Gardening Trends Research Report from GWA is now out. A few choice results:

~ On average, consumers are planning to spend about $771 on their yards and gardens this year, where expenditures include making improvements and doing maintenance.

~ Almost half of American households (43%) grow vegetables in their gardens. The top reasons households gave for not growing vegetables in their gardens include:
No time (29%)
No interest (21%)
No space (20%)
Lack of knowledge (8%) and
Not enough sunlight (6%).

~This year, about two out of five (39%) consumers say that they participate in container gardening. This is down from 47% last year.

I picked these three out as the most surprising. I think the $771 is very low as it includes lawn maintenance. Just paying a weekly lawn mow would account for that amount. Are people including their water bill? Mulch? Leaf bags? Heck, if you are DIY, one lawnmower blade sharpening per year and the gas/electricity will still set you back for a good chunk of that.

As to the reasons not to veggie garden, I find 6% for lack of sunlight not reflective of what I hear in my area. I'd say that and lack of space are the only two reasons I ever hear. Many DC-area residents try tomatoes with enthusiasm and give up due to the lack of light. We'd see many more veggie gardeners if apartment rooftops and sunny public spaces were given over to those who want to grow their own produce.

Finally, container gardening went from 47% to 39% in one year?! I think something is way off there. Maybe the terminology - is "patio gardening" better? I can't think of anyone I know who does not have at least one pot at their entrance steps, balcony, or patio -- the majority of whom do not consider themselves gardeners.

Not sure I can use any of this for shaping our magazine content. Interesting, yes. Fun to know. But in the end not much real world application.

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