Monday, June 06, 2011

Garden Writers Early Spring Survey Results: Garden Spending Drops But Retailers Maintain Head-to-Head Competition

Looks like we may have spent more on our gardens this year. According to the 2011 Early Spring Gardening Trends Research Report from Garden Writes Association Foundation, we planned to spend 23% less -- from an average $600 in 2010 to a projected $469 for 2011.

GWAF says it's a sign of the economic times. But it was a pretty cool, wet spring in the northeast this year, which may have dampend enthusiasm in the early part of the year.

These are just projections, and I’ve always wondered who spends only $469 on their garden. I spent way more than that just getting my veggie garden refurbished – and that doesn’t count plants, soil or other goodies!

Anyway, there are some other interesting trends I saw that are not in the report I thought I’d share:

  • Front yard gardening is up 3% from last year. It appears there’s a slight shift as backyard gardening is down 3%. GMG predicted this trend several years ago in our annual Garden Trends Report.

  • Container gardening is up 5% from 2009, but slightly down (1%) from last year.

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those who have a garden plan to grow their own vegetables this year, but it’s down 2% since last year.

  • And the size of the vegetable garden is shrinking. Some 6% more are opting for smaller 10’X10’ plots while 9% are opting out of 20’X20’ or bigger gardens.

  • Almost twice as many grow their own veggies for quality, taste and nutrition (86%) not because they feel it is cheaper than buying them in the grocery store (46%).

  • GWA also discovered the competition between independent garden centers and mass merchants is expected to remain evenly split this spring. When GWAF first started tracking consumers gardening preferences in 2005, only 40% planned to buy most of their spring plants at garden centers compared to 51% who favored mass merchants. Today, the April survey found garden centers have a slight edge over mass merchants (46% to 44%).
For more results, check out the 2011 Early Spring Gardening Trends Research Report, the first of four national consumer attitude surveys on gardening to be conducted this year by the GWAF. The survey statistically represents the attitudes of over 100 million households with an accuracy of 95%.

Suzi, Garden Media Group


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