Consumers Are Gardening More and Less? By Tim Hodson

Did you know that in 2009 more than 83 million households participated in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities? That is an increase of 2 million households compared to 2008. Seventeen percent of those homeowners also said they are spending more time on lawn and garden activities than they have in previous years.

These are the findings in the National Gardening Association's 2010 National Gardening Survey. Unfortunately, even though homeowners are spending more time gardening, the economy has had an impact on them because they also said they were spending less money on lawn and garden related activities — approximately 16 percent less than they did in 2008.

In a tough economy it's easy to see why homeowners turn to do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities. They still want their homes to look nice and they are looking for ways to save money, so they get the self-satisfaction of doing it themselves.

One of the bright spots (and really no surprise) in the NGA survey is the increase in homeowners who are growing their own edible products. According to the survey, 41 million households said they were growing herbs, fruits and vegetables — 5 million more than in 2008!

Many growers and retailers have felt the impact of the latest recession as these consumers have spent less on their products. But this month, Stan Pohmer's article, "Creating Relevance & Consumption," looks at what growers and retailers can do to help consumers understand the value and benefits of their products so these consumers will buy more. Check out his article on page 34.

You can learn more about the National Gardening Association and the 2010 National Gardening Survey at

The Clock is Ticking

We will be accepting applications for the GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year until Oct. 25. If you know of a special student who has recently completed an industry-related internship, please let him or her know about this program. Turn to page 47 to learn more about the 2011 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year scholarship program.

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