The finding was first unearthed in the early spring report on gardening trends conducted by the GWAF in early February. More than two months later, the public interest in growing their own edible plants continues to top the list of gardening activities for 2009.
According to the 2009 Late Spring Gardening Trends Report, 44 percent of American households with a yard or garden plan to add or expand a vegetable garden in their yard this spring or summer. That represents an increase of 12 percent in just the past year. In comparison, 42 percent reported plans to increase perennials (up just 1 percent from 2008) and 34 percent planned to add more annuals, up 2 percent from 2008. The second largest growth category was herbs, with a reported planned increase by 19 percent of respondents, up 8 percent from last year.
"It's reassuring that we have new confirmation that home gardeners see herb and vegetable gardening as a practical solution to health, safety and economic issues," says GWA Foundation President Steve Dobbs of Fort Smith Arkansas. "We believe the latest trends report shows public interest in edible gardens goes well beyond current economic issues and points to a significant growth in sustainable living that will carry vegetable gardening to new heights for years to come."
Other findings from this newly released national consumer survey include:
Reasons to Garden - Over one third of Americans (35%) say that their primary reason for gardening is better mental health, nutrition or fitness.
Concerns About Environmental Impact - Most gardeners (70%) are either very (36%) or somewhat (34%) concerned about the environmental impact of the gardening-related products that they are purchasing. Sixteen percent say that they are neutral about the issue, while 12% are unconcerned.
Recycling - This year, more gardeners plan to recycle plastic nursery pots & trays, mulch/compost grass clippings and waste than they did last year. Over half (51%) said they always recycle plastic nursery pots/trays (vs. 48% in 2008); 49% said they always mulch or compost grass clippings (vs. 48% in 2008); and 44% said they always mulch or compost garden waste (vs. 41% in 2008).
Planned Lawn Activities - Weed control (53%) continues to be the number one activity Americans are planning for their lawns this year, while insect control (33%) and over-seeding with new seed (20%) capture second and third place, respectively.