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Gardening Food For Thought This Winter

When the winter starts to get you down, think spring. It will come; it always does. Knowing what’s in and what’s out in gardening can make your yard the most beautiful and the most stylish on your street.

Two surveys were our sources for this blog. One was conducted by the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the other by the Garden Media Group.

According to the Garden Media survey, lawn & garden expenditures are the third highest non-essential purchase category after Christmas and weight loss methods. The Garden Writers Foundation interviewed a random sample of homeowners who said that they planned to spend an average of $100 more on their yards and landscapes in 2013 over their 2012 expenditures. In fact, they spent about the same – $500. In 2014, however, they plan to spend even more – $615 on average. The total expenditure in all of North America in 2011 was $58 billion with $28 billion spent on plants, shrubs and bulbs.

There was also a change in where they said they would buy their gardening material and supplies and where they did. Last spring, mass merchants were the preferred destination. The post season survey found that 39 percent bought at garden centers while 37 percent went to mass merchants.

Technology is entering the garden as well. One in 10 respondent to the Garden Writer Foundation survey use their smartphones in their gardening activities. This survey also asked about two social concerns – water conservation and interest in organic gardening.

When it comes to conserving water, 28 percent used more mulch, 17 percent used drought-tolerant plants, another 15 percent used drip irrigation and 12 percent used rain barrels. Thirty percent of consumers say they don’t water, while slightly over one-quarter (28%) haven’t made any plans to conserve water.

The Garden Writers Association Foundation also asked respondents to rate their interest level in organic gardening. Food gardening, earth friendly gardening, organic gardening, native plants, web-based gardening information and garden blogs were mentioned in that order.

I hope this information is helpful as you plan for the 2014 landscaping/gardening season. It gives you the data you need to either follow the trends or do your own thing.

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