Home Gardening

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Gardener Demographics

Research reveals both males and females of varying age groups have turned to gardening as a COVID-19 pandemic activity. Although wide-scale, the spike is being reflected more in urban areas.

Age

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a re-emergence of gardening as a hobby among the more mature age groups, as observed by home and garden stores.
  • This is attributed to the fact that Generation X, as well as Baby Boomers, find it difficult to isolate themselves. Therefore, persons between 40 and 75 entertain themselves the best way they know-how. Thus, this re-enlivened the age-old hobby of gardening.
  • Prior to the pandemic, statistics showed that Millennials were increasingly becoming garden consumers." In fact, it was reported that approximately 20% of the populace ages 18-34 reported gardening as a hobby.
  • Therefore, it was not surprising that with the stay at home orders attributed to the COVID-19, the percentage of millennial home gardeners is surging.
  • A direct quote from a 22-year-old Millennial who has sought comfort in gardening describes the new experience as "fulfilling."

Gender

  • As the corona virus sweeps across the nation, both males and females are becoming engaged in gardening. Usually, it is being done as a pastime activity or an option of beating the impending food supply disruption.
  • Families are doing what is necessary to survive. As such, the male and female demographic are equal when it comes to going into a garden for the first time. They even harvest the food to feed themselves and family.
  • There is no gender discrimination when it comes to home gardening during the pandemic. However, it was found that females found more comfort in gardening. With digital devices becoming overused and monotonous and the physical distancing protocols in place, females are exploring other ways of feeling connected. Gardening fills that void.
  • As a matter of fact, CEO and founder of Seedsheet Cameron Mackugler is quoted by one source as stating that their leading consumer is an “old woman.
  • According to one female university student “more time on her hands” doing gardening is a way to practice simple living.

Location

  • The vast amount of new home-gardeners arising during the COVID-19 pandemic resides within the urban area. This has led to urban residents seeking smart solutions and new ways of re-inventing the way in which gardening is done. This is especially true for urban dwellers with limited yard space.
  • Some residents in urban areas have been forced into gardening as a matter of survival and not because they want to do so. At one community garden located in Riviera Beach, Florida, the food is available to anyone. This was done on the premise that each family will harvest their own food.
  • In other urban areas such as Colorado Springs, there has been a dramatic spike in demand for home gardening resources and a vast increase in sales. This has forced home gardening centers such as Good Earth Garden Center to become more innovative in delivery options.
  • On a larger scale, all locations considered, there is a massive spike in seed orders to the extent where there is a backlog in getting orders out. This was reported by Walmart, Target, and Lowes.
  • The main commonality among all seed suppliers interviewed by MarketWatch is there is a vast demand for fruit and vegetable seeds. This has either resulted in insufficient stock to fill orders or a slowing down of delivery timeline.

Home Ownership


Research Strategy

The research approach used to analyze age groups were also used to determine gender. We visited websites that had direct interviews with new home gardeners or made any mention at all about gender within the same context. The contents were then dissected for similarities. On websites such as Pix and Komu that had direct interviews, the research team made note of “who was being interviewed” and formulated an analysis based on this. We also sought to determine from the various materials “who” were doing the most buying of resources related to home gardening.



Part
02
of four
Part
02

Gardener Psychographics

Home gardening is a hobby that many Americans have taken up during this COVID-19 pandemic. People who have taken up home gardening tend to exercise on a day to day basis. These habits, values, hobbies, and spending habits are used to form psychographic profiles.

Habits

  • Home gardeners during the COVID-19 pandemic tend to be persons who have the habit of caring for their physical environment. They groom their home spaces, so it becomes easy for them to engage in home gardening given more time on their hands.
  • Besides caring for the non-living environment, these individuals also care for animals. They are male sure that small animals like birds are taken care of and home gardening gives them an opportunity to do this.
  • Active individuals take this time to exercise their energy on home gardening. They are unable to leave their homes, so they use gardening to stay active.
  • Persons who have the habit of going on nature walks to observe plants and animals no longer have the opportunity to leave their homes. They instead create their own home gardens to continue this habit.
  • A habit of persons who have taken up home gardening during COVID-19 is that they generally keep track of their everyday activities. As such, they create garden journals to be aware of their progress and responsibilities in this area.

Hobbies

  • Home gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic has become a replacement hobby for persons fond of outdoor activities. Persons in the US who are now home gardening usually use their down-time to hang out at local bars or go to restaurants.
  • It is also common for sports enthusiasts to use gardening to occupy their time. Sporting events that would air during the days were canceled. So, home gardeners use these hours to get involved in cultivation.
  • People who love nature and usually do basic outdoor activities have become interested in home gardening. It gives them a chance to substitute these activities and at the same, gives them the same connection with nature they desire.
  • Many parents also have taken up the habit of home gardening. Since schools have closed and the children are stuck at home, parents include them in gardening.
  • This encourages family bonding. It was also a great opportunity for parents to let children become involved in Easter preparations.
  • Persons who live in cities enjoy sporting activities such as horseback riding or playing lawn tennis are now into home gardening. They usually depend on rural areas for food. But, they are beginning to practice subsistence farming.

Spending habits

  • Statistics from a recent study conducted showed that approximately 23% of Americans have reduced their spending on junk food. The study also shows that they have started to eat their homegrown food.
  • People are spending more on gardening items like seeds, flowers and small tools to start home gardening. Jenny Nelson, the owner of 'Ever-Green Greenhouses Ltd,' states that they have seen an increase in sales since the beginning of the pandemic. This is connected to the fact that people are becoming more interested in home gardening.
  • Although it is still a necessity, people are taking fewer trips to supermarkets. They are replacing some items that they would buy with their homegrown products. As a result, there is a 20% reduction in the amount being spent at the supermarket.
  • Americans are unable to go to restaurants and other food facilities. As such, they cook their meals. They have become more interested in producing food items in their home gardens that are not usually available to them.
  • The price of a pack of seeds is almost equal to the cost of a single fruit. Persons who have taken up home gardening as a hobby have realized this. As a result, they are making a shift in the way they budget their money.

Values

  • People who are family-oriented started home gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic. They use the time to involve their family members in activities such as garden planning, sowing, and reaping of crops. This is being done to instill good life values in the younger members.
  • It is also important to note that persons who are frugal or do low-budget spending have also ventured into home gardening. Vegetable-produce such as cucumber, peppers, squash, among others, have risen in prices due to the pandemic. Therefore, people find that it is cheaper to produce their own food.
  • Goal-oriented individuals also become involved in home gardening. They are usually focused on reaching a specific goal or completing a set task. Gardening is one such task as it gives persons something to look forward to.
  • Gardening, even on a small scale, is no easy venture. It requires attention and patience. Consequently, it is those individuals who possess the levels of patience required to do home gardening that has taken up this hobby.
  • Home gardening requires hard work. Hardworking persons tend to be more likely to take up home gardening.

Research Strategy

The information presented in this research was gathered from several sites. Most of the information on these sites was published as recently as a month ago. Additionally, the statistics used were from experts in the field. Our focus was placed on individuals who were new to home gardening or those who have revisited the hobby due to the pandemic. In-depth information was provided on their personality traits and habits that drive them to go into home gardening. Sources such as Reuters provided widespread information about the individual’s hobbies and values. '13 New Snow' also provided information on hobbies, which were incorporated with those found in Reuters. Other sources used include We Forum, Life Hack, Komu, Self Inc and Life is Just Ducky. Adequate information was found on home gardening. Therefore, it was deemed unnecessary to look at other hobbies such as sewing, baking, and painting.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Gadening Motivations

People have started new gardens in the wake of COVID-19 and for good reasons too. Three of the top reasons for doing so include the benefit to psychological health, food security, and putting free time to good use.

The Benefit to Psychological Health

  • Gardening is the perfect therapy for adults and children. It is believed that gardening has the ability to increase learning.
  • With the rise of the pandemic, more people are at home experiencing increased stress levels and have resorted to gardening to reduce it. Not only is it a great stress reliever, but it can also be used to bond families together.
  • The literal and metaphorical ‘fruits of one's labor’ help to keep the mind at ease. It is the ultimate therapy, especially in times of crisis.

Food Security

  • Food security is considered the most practical of the reasons motivating gardeners during the crisis. History has shown the importance of gardening during these times to avoid food shortages.
  • There were food shortages in World War I, the 1930s Great Depression, and again in World War II. In all instances, individuals were encouraged to engage in gardening to ease the burden of food scarcity.
  • Considering the food uncertainty, the motivation would be to increase the food supply. With no potential cure surfacing and the economic duress that the virus brings, experts suggest starting gardens. This they believe could ease the issue of food shortages going into the summer and fall.
  • Vegetables in short supply include peppers, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes. These can be preserved through freezing or canning.
  • Many individuals have already grasped the practicality of this trend and have started their own household gardens. Some shop owners have confirmed increased vegetable sales as the trend grows.
  • Individuals have been very cooperative and are quite interested in starting their own gardens. The main reason for this has been to ensure food security.

Extra Spare-Time

  • The corona virus has left many people unemployed, working less, or not attending school. This means they have more spare-time.
  • Social media is being used to convince individuals that since they have some extra time is a good opportunity to develop a new skill. As suggested by master gardener Karen Palmer, one can consider research into what, when, and where to plant for the best results. For example now would be a good time for peas, onions, and brassicas such as chard and spinach.
  • Many have been trying home gardening because they have the time and want to keep busy.
  • For others who wanted to but did not have the time, they can use this opportunity.


Part
04
of four
Part
04

Old World Hobby Products

AeroGarden and Gardenate are two companies that have launched an ‘old world’ activity product. Both of these companies have products and applications in the gardening industry.

AeroGarden

  • AeroGarden offers many indoor gardening products facilitating ease, speed, safety, and convenience. With AeroGarden products, plants are grown without the soil. In addition, users are provided with reminders for watering and fertilization.
  • The AeroGarden Bounty is one of the company’s most popular products. It is a larger unit and facilitates the growth of various vegetables, herbs, and flowers at the same time.
  • The product provides instructions on how to garden, making it easier for users.
  • The bounty comes with a full season's worth of nutrients, and a seed kit with basil, thyme, dill, parsley, and mint. It also has an advanced LED grow light system, allowing plant growth up to 24 inches and a mobile app to control indoor features.
  • The mobile app allows users to control indoor lighting conditions and provides care reminders and tips for gardening.
  • Liquid plant nutrients, a six-inch tall trellis, and a power adapter is also included in the AeroGarden bounty package. The LED lights are very cheap to operate, and the device has an easy to use touch screen control panel.

Target Market

  • The AeroGarden Bounty targets persons who do not feel like they have the time to put into gardening. This is because the device takes away the need for constant care, facilitating a hands-off approach to gardening.
  • It can be used by persons who think they do not know enough about gardening to succeed at it. Once users can follow the instructions, they will succeed.
  • AeroGarden Bounty is usually used by persons who have some experience with the company’s indoor gardens. These are people usually looking for an upgrade with extra features.

Metrics of Success

  • On the company’s website, the AeroGarden Bounty has a rating of 4.8 out of five from seventy-one reviews. Home Depot gives the product a 5 out of 5 ratings.
  • According to Backyard Boss, the AeroGarden Bounty gets the positive reviews it does because of how great it works for vegetables.
  • AeroGarden’s Bounty is one of the best smart products for 2019 by technology magazines, and gardening platforms.
  • The company has offered many lines of products, indicating that consumers trust its products. This can also be seen as a measure of success for the company.

Product Marketing


Gardenate

Target Market

Metrics of Success

Product Marketing


Research Strategy

To find the two case studies used, we visited review, industry, and technology websites. These provided us with lists of top-rated products in the gardening division of old-world hobbies. From these lists, we selected one product and one application to evaluate.

A description of the product used was found on the company’s website as well as the industry website Backyard Boss. More descriptions were found on the technology blog HelloTech. The product’s target market was also found on Backyard Boss, with ratings provided by Home Depot, and the company reviews. Ratings were used as a metric of success because no sales information could be found on the product. We also noted that the company had many lines of products showing longevity and consumer trust in the industry. The marketing of the product was found by examining all the company’s social media pages, as well as YouTube. Advertisements for all AeroGarden products were also found on iSpot TV.

The description for the gardening application used as the second case study was found in the online magazine, CNet, and rating websites Apple App Store, and Google. A description of the application was also found on the company’s website. The product’s target market was also found here. We used product ratings to measure the success of the app. Ratings were found on Apple App Store, and Google, which also provided customer reviews. Online magazine, CNet also rated the application as one of the best in the industry for 2019. Since the company was in operation for over ten years, we thought this was a good measure of longevity and success. Other than Facebook, no other social media pages were found for the application. However, it has been recently advertised on the company’s Facebook page, with a video advertisement also found on YouTube. When we searched iSpotTV for the company, no matches were found.


Sources
Sources