Consumer Barriers to Gardening
We found demographic data about American gardeners with regard to age, education, income, location, employment status, and children. Two factors that are impacting the rising interest in gardening among Americans are the COVID-19 pandemic and container gardening. We found data illustrating consumer barriers to gardening involving insufficient information/knowledge, lack of interest, and lack of time about such.
American Gardener Demographics
- We found numerous insights about the demographics of gardeners in the U.S. and categorized those insights below by source. We provided as much recent demographic information as we could find, though much of it was from several years ago (which we provided as supplementary information to our more-recent findings).
- The results of a survey published by Statista identified the percentages of 4,180 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 64 who gardened "in the last 12 months." A screenshot of the bar graph showing that data is provided in this Google Doc.
- Among those between the ages of 18 and 29, 11% gardened "in the last 12 months."
- Among those between the ages of 30 and 49, 21% gardened "in the last 12 months."
- Among those between the ages of 50 and 64, 29% gardened "in the last 12 months."
2. Masters of Horticulture
- According to a 2014 article, 54% of home gardeners were female, 68% were ages 45+, and 79% either had some college experience or had graduated from college.
- Per that same article, five hours was the "average [amount of] time spent per week [on] food gardening."
- The article also stated that 29% of food gardeners in America lived in the South region of the U.S., 26% were from the Midwest, 22% were from the Northeast, and 23% lived in the West.
3. Greenhouse Management
- In 2011-2012, the "percent[age] of gardening homeowners" who were employed full-time was 47%.
- The "percent[age] of gardening homeowners" who were retired was 22%.
- Back in 2011-2012, the "percent[age] of gardening homeowners" with "an annual household income of $100,000 or more" was 26%.
- American homeowners who garden "are 25 percent more likely to pay more for eco-friendly products and donate money to environmental causes."
- American homeowners who garden are 26% "more likely to buy locally grown food."
- Over one-third (37%) of American homeowners who garden "who have Internet access spend 10 or more hours per week online" and 57% had used social media within "the past 12 months."
- U.S. cities that had the most "adult homeowners who have gardened in the past 12 months . . . [were] Seattle (63 percent are homeowners who have gardened); Portland, Ore. (63 percent); Salt Lake City (62 percent); Milwaukee (58 percent) and Columbus, Ohio (58 percent)."
- U.S. cities that had the fewest "adult homeowners who have gardened in the past 12 months" were "St. Louis (43 percent); Mobile, Ala. (40 percent); West Palm Beach, Fla. (40 percent); Miami (38 percent); and Las Vegas (37 percent)."
4. National Gardening Association
- In 2013, 15 million American households that had children gardened food.
- Among American households that participated in food gardening, 37% "were college graduates", 29% had some extent of college education, and 34% had "a high school education."
- Among Americans households that participated in food gardening, 35% had $75,000+ income, 17% had incomes between $50,000 and $74,999, 14% had incomes between $35,000 and $49,999, and 26% had income below $35,000.
Factors Driving Gardening Interest
1. COVID-19 Pandemic
- The COVID-19 pandemic is a factor that is driving interest in gardening in the U.S.
- Two factors that contributed to the early increase in the gardening interest amidst the pandemic were filling time with a hobby during quarantine and ensuring "access to fresh food after panic buying led to shortages in grocery stores." Thus, the uncertainty that the pandemic has created has influenced some "people to want to take their food security into their own hands."
- Interest in gardening has continued as the pandemic has persisted in the U.S. In fact, some American families that have canceled vacations due to the pandemic have used that money instead on their gardens.
- Scotts Miracle-Gro conducted surveys of Americans amidst the pandemic and found that 55% were "currently gardening or caring for their lawn." Of those people, 54% were doing so to keep busy, 49% were doing so to feel accomplishment, 48% did so to lower their stress, and 33% were doing so "to access fresh food."
- Reducing the number of "trips to the store" was a reason why 21% of Millennials, 22% of Gen Zers, 21% of Gen Xers, and nine percent of Baby Boomers were gardening amidst the pandemic.
- Four hours was the average amount of time each week that Americans were spending "gardening or caring for their lawn" during the pandemic.
- Cooking at home also increased during the pandemic and "(67%) of adults are growing or plan to grow edible plants, including vegetables (52%), herbs (33%) and fruits (31%)."
2. Container Gardening
- Container gardening is a factor that is driving interest in gardening in the U.S.
- A May 2020 article stated that "[c]ontainer gardening is on the rise in the United States."
- Container gardening generates $1.3 billion in spending from American consumers.
- In 2018, approximately "24.3 million U.S. households participated in container gardening activities."
- The source Market Research identified "container and small-space gardening" as a key gardening trend in 2019.
- The four main factors driving interest in container gardening among Americans are the many people who reside "in cities with smaller lots or apartments with no lots", the lack of time many people have including for complex gardening, interest in organic and local food (including the strong interest among many "[p]eople [who] want to know where their food is coming from"), and the fact that the containers make excellent decorations.
Consumer Barriers to Gardening
1. Insufficient Information/Knowledge
- A survey of Americans who were "gardening or caring for their lawn" during the COVID-19 pandemic found that 44% of them obtained information about gardening/lawn care from websites pertaining to gardens and homes, 40% obtained advice from their families, 19% obtained advice from mobile apps (among Gen Zers that percentage was 25% and among Millennials the percentage was 29%), and 37% obtained advice from hardware store/garden center experts.
2. Lack of Interest
- Among Americans in the 18-29 age bracket, 10.79% had gardened at some point within the past year.
- Statista published data from a survey of 20,409 American adults assessing their gardening interest based on their incomes. The survey found that among Americans with high incomes, 32.9% "were interested in gardening", as were 30.4% of those with medium income, and 28.39% of those with low income. We also provided a screenshot of that data graph in this Google Doc.
3. Lack of Time
- According to results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2019 survey about how Americans spent their time, the average number of hours each day that an American spent on "lawn and garden care" was 0.17 hours. Among women, that average number of hours was 0.11 and among men it was 0.24.
- The percentage of time that Americans spend either in a vehicle or inside is 93%.
- In 2018, almost 50% of Americans never went "outside for recreation at all."