Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vegetable Gardens Way Up This Year

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 But you've been replaced by vegetables and fruit this year.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?


  1. Yes, we are. I think for us it's the inspiration I see online.

  2. Yay, keep off the grass.

    Lawn Eliminator

  3. It is the best I think! I do wish people opened their eyes and mind for growing more veggies. It is fun, beautiful and so good for you.


  4. What a great trend - I'm in on it, and when I heard on the news that groceries in the supermarket had gone up almost 10%, I was vindicated! Now I'm so glad I started 300 onions from seed, and ordered 20lbs of seed potatoes. Also growing, lots of garlic, (already up)chinese greens, lettuce, collards, get the picture!

  5. I really need to make the space to grow veggies. I often have thought about digging up my entire front yard and making a garden...who cares what the neighbors think!

  6. Thanks everybody for the comments! Tyra, I agree veggies can be beautiful in the garden.

    Blue Fox, I'm impressed by your growing list.

    Dirt Princess, I say grow those veggies in the front yard. The neighbors might actually like it...

  7. really great information. hey, come write for me!:)

  8. Thanks! Urban Farming Mag, I'll consider it. ;) Hope you'll come visit again.