A Reason To Embrace Vegetable Production

Vegetable gardening continues to grow among Americans, according to a new report from the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF).

More than one-third of the households surveyed reported plans to increase their edible gardens, while 29 percent said they would plant about the same as 2009. Only 1 percent said they would plant less than last year, based on the survey.

Last year was a banner year for edibles, with more than 7 million households diving into the trend without prior experience. The more experienced gardeners also embraced the trend, with one-third of the experienced gardeners growing more edibles in 2009 than the previous year. All told, more than 41 million households grew a vegetable garden in 2009, while 19.5 million households grew an herb garden.

Why The Increase?

The main reason gardeners are increasing or maintaining edible gardens for 2010 is to supplement household food supply. The most common reasons for planting less in 2010 included lack of success (14 percent), cost (13 percent), loss of interest (8 percent) and time involved (4 percent).

Gardening Sources

GWAF also asked about where gardeners got their information, because so many new people were getting into veggie and herb gardening. The top response was friends, while the second favorite source was the Web. The third through sixth spots were magazines, books, retailers and newspapers, respectively.

The study points out that as recently as March 2009 the Web ranked fifth among resources for new gardeners.

Other Data

- Vegetable gardening seems to be most popular with households in the South, and least popular in the West. It’s highest with the 25 to 44 age group and lowest with the 18 to 24 age group.
–First-time edibles gardeners are more likely to come from the South, and least likely to come from the Northeast.
–More experienced gardeners are likely to come from the South and least likely to come from the West.
–Consumers who plan to grow more edible plants in 2010 are mostly in the West. The fewest are in the Northeast.
–Using the Internet for gardening information is most popular in the South and least popular in the Northeast.

The full report for can be found here. It’s free for GWA members, while non-members may purchase a copy for a nominal fee.

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