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Vegetable Gardening Trend Will Continue in 2010

According to the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) in November, over 41 million U.S. households (38%) grew a vegetable garden in 2009. More than 19.5 million households (18%) grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households (15%) grew fruits during the same period.

Did Edibles Gardening Grow in 2009?
There was definitely a growth in edibles gardening in 2009 from both experienced gardeners and an influx of new gardeners. Among those that grew edibles gardens this year, 92% had previous experience and 7% (7.7 million households) were new to edibles gardening. One-third of the experienced gardeners reported growing more edibles in 2009 than in the previous year, while 46% reported they grew about the same as 2008, and 19% grew less than the previous year.

Will Edibles Gardening Continue to Expand in 2010?
When asked if they planned to continue their garden for 2010, 37% of households reported plans to increase their edible gardens, 29% reported they planned to plant about the same as 2009 and only 1% reported they would plant less than this year. Although a significant number (15%) remained undecided regarding their 2010 plans, the strong response for growing more edibles next year should carry the market to a new level of activity.

The main reason given for increasing or maintaining edible gardening for next year was to supplement household food supply. The most common reasons given for planting less next year were: lack of success in 2009 (14%), cost (13%), loss of interest (8%) and time involved (4%).

Consumer Information Sources
With over 7 million households becoming new edibles gardening participants in 2009, the GWAF investigated where consumers were getting their gardening information. The top response was friends, which has been the leading response in almost every past survey. Having magazines, books, retailers and newspapers in the third through sixth positions was also not a surprise. However, websites now listed as the #2 information resource were #5 as recently as March 2009. Garden blogs were used by 9% of respondents in March, but listed by 7% of respondents in November.

Other Interesting Data

  • Households doing vegetable gardening were highest in the South and lowest in the West.
  • Vegetable gardening was also highest with the 25-44 age group and lowest with the 18- 24 age group.
  • First-time edibles gardeners came mostly from the South and least from the Northeast.
  • The more experienced edibles gardeners came mostly from the South and least from the West.
  • Consumers who planned to grow more edible plants in 2010 were mostly in the West and least in the Northeast.
  • Using the Internet for gardening information was most popular in the South and least popular in the Northeast.

The 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report is the fourth and final trend report of the GWA Foundation for 2009. The study was conducted by Technometrica Market Intelligence of Oradell, N.J., in November. Copies of the report summary are available at no cost to GWA members. Non-members may purchase a copy for a nominal fee. For further information, contact the GWA office.

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