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Rising Trend in Vegetable Gardening Expected to Continue

Consumers thinking about growing vegetables, herbs or flowers from seed should pay an early visit to their local retail garden centers and make their selections.

Americans are slowly getting back to Mother Earth on a family-by-family basis, according to Ron Smith, North Dakota State University Extension Service horticulturist.

“According to a questionnaire by the Garden Writers Association Foundation, more than 41 million U.S. households (38 percent) grew a vegetable garden in 2009,” Smith says. “Also, more than 19.5 million households grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households grew fruits during the same period.”

There was a definite growth in edible gardening in 2009 by both experienced and new gardeners. Among those who grew edible gardens last year, 92 percent had previous experience and 7 percent were new to edible gardening.

One-third of the experienced gardeners reported growing more edibles in 2009 than in the previous year, while 46 percent reported growing about the same. More than a third of the households say they will increase their vegetable gardening efforts in the 2010 growing season, with the balance responding as undecided, maintaining the same level or will plant less (1 percent) this year.

“The main reason given for increasing or maintaining this vegetable gardening interest for next year was to supplement their food supply,” Smith says.

The newcomers reported getting most of their gardening information from friends, followed by Web sites, magazines, books, retailers and newspapers.

Demographically, the southern part of the U.S. led the nation with the most participants in vegetable gardening, while the west was the lowest. As for age groups, the 25-to-44 age group was the highest in vegetable gardening.

“In spite of the mountainous snow our region is under, seed displays are starting to show up in retail garden outlets,” Smith says. “Consumers thinking about growing vegetables, herbs or flowers from seed should pay an early visit to their local retail garden centers and make their selections. Then follow the directions on the packet for getting the seeds established. Waiting until all the snow melts may result in some disappointment because the seed selection will be greatly reduced.”


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Ron Smith, (701) 231-8161, ronald.smith@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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