As we mark a year since the pandemic lockdowns began in the U.S., we take a look back – and forward – to one of the biggest trends, and a subject that is near and dear to our hearts: home vegetable gardening. Research reports show that the industry had a record year in 2020 and picked up between 16-24 million new gardeners in the U.S. (1)
What were the reasons for the surge? And do we expect the interest in home gardening to continue? Let’s look further at some of the factors that kicked of the gardening craze:
Extra Time for Hobbies
- With many people working from home or furloughed, and many social activities, dining, and sporting events cancelled, people found themselves with unexpected free time that they could put into a new hobby or interest, and gardening must have been on quite a few bucket lists!
Interest in Family-Friendly Activities
- Parents with children at home found gardening to be a family-friendly activity, and one that could also encourage better eating and nutrition. And what a great educational opportunity gardening was – teaching kids how plants grow is a lifelong skill.
Enjoyment of Nature and Physical Activity
- Research studies have long shown a link between being outdoors and health. And some people have observed that with Covid restrictions (less ability to hug loved ones), the prospect of plunging our hands in the soil has gained extraordinary appeal. Gardening allows us to immerse our bodies in the physical world, making use of our muscles and activating our senses.
Importance of Self-Reliance
- As supermarkets began to see shortages, many people had anxiety over the food supply chain and took to growing their own as a matter of self-reliance. The side benefits also included less time spent in crowded grocery stores and cost savings.
Discovering an Outdoor Oasis
- With people homebound and foregoing vacations, many people began to see the potential to turn their backyards into an extra room outdoors. Gardens became the hotspot for socializing and enjoying a staycation.
As a result of the increase in first-time gardeners, Yard2Kitchen had a very strong year as well and we were happy to be able to help our customers with some of their biggest gardening challenges! Many first-time gardeners simply didn’t know how to start, and we were thrilled to create the garden of their dreams. Our relationships with seed suppliers were also very helpful, as seeds were a hot commodity in 2020 and there were many shortages on the retail level (Burpee Seeds sold more seed than any time in its 144-year history). And our deer and squirrel-proof fencing also ensured protection as the greatly anticipated vegetables began to grow.
As we look to the future, we believe the backyard vegetable gardening trend is here to stay! And we wish everyone a success growing season. As always, we are here to provide support, instruction, and encouragement. Feel free to Contact Us with any questions. Let the Good Times Grow!