Step aside lawn and grass. You're no longer the number-one spending priority for gardeners in the United States.
Yes, I understand you've held this position since 2003. But you've been replaced by vegetables and fruit this year. Pure and simple.
If you don't believe me, just look at the 2009 Early Spring Garden Trends Research Report released this month by the Garden Writers Association Foundation.
We know you did your best, lawn and grass. In fact, consumers are expected to spend the same on overall lawn and grass expenditures as they did last year.
It's just that spending for vegetables and fruit is expected to grow eight percent in 2009. How do you like them apples?
Why the rapid growth? One reason why so many gardeners are growing their own food is concern about the economy, according to Anne Van Nest, president of Garden Writers Association.
"But it also speaks to their worries about food safety and how far food has to travel from the fields to our tables," Van Nest said. "Consumers want fresh food that tastes good and there's nothing more local than the backyard."
In fact, 3 out of 4 gardeners said "better quality, taste and nutrition" were the main reasons that vegetable and fruit plants were getting the lion's share (35 percent) of their gardening dollars this spring.
But don't despair, lawn and grass. When you combine gardeners' first and second most important spending priorities, you're still number one.
How long you'll stay in that position, however, there's no telling. Once gardeners get a taste of home-grown vegetables and fruits, it often becomes a lifelong love. Consider yourself warned -- there's less room in the garden for lawn and grass this year.
Images credit: These photos were shot by Isabel Gomes a couple years back in my California garden.
Are you growing more vegetables and fruit in your garden this year?