The National Gardening Association recently conducted a survey showing that about one out of five households nationwide spent more time caring for their lawns and gardens last year and 16 percent less money in total than in previous years.
The survey goes on to indicate that, while most of the 83 million households that participated in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities last year spent about the same amount of time on their lawns and gardens, 22 percent spent more time food gardening, 19 percent spent more time flower gardening, 19 percent spent more time container gardening, 14 percent spent more time on lawn care, and 13 percent spent more time on yard and landscape maintenance. Only about 1 out of 10 households spent less time on lawn and garden activities last year.
These recently published results found in the Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey and 2010 National Gardening Survey show how more Americans are tightening their belts while benefiting from their own lawn and garden maintenance, said Mike Metallo, President of NGA.
"It makes perfect sense that people are spending more time on do- it- yourself lawn and garden activities during this great recession because it's a simple and direct way homeowners can maintain and improve the appearance of their property and save money by doing more for themselves," Metallo said. "It’s clear that food gardening is a significant priority for many people because exercise, health and nutrition, along with food safety, are on the forefront of their minds, along with the dollars they spend on produce in stores.”
According to NGA's 2010 National Gardening Survey, household participation in all types of do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities increased by 2 million households last year, to 83 million households from 81 million households the previous year. The average annual amount spent per household on all lawn and garden activities decreased by $81 from $444 to $363. And the total amount spent on all lawn and garden activities decreased by 16 percent to $30.121 billion last year from $36.060 billion the previous year.
"While the amount consumers spent on their lawns and gardens was down a little, it did not approach the level of the decline seen in their discretionary spending, which is good news," said Bruce Butterfield, NGA Research Director.
Food gardening was the only category of lawn and garden activity that saw a significant increase in household participation and spending last year. Participation in food gardening increased by 5 million households or 14 percent, to 41 million households last year from 36 million households the previous year. The total spent on food gardening increased by $520 million or 21 percent, to $2.989 billion last year from $2.469 the previous year. Food gardening includes vegetable gardening, fruit trees, growing berries, and herb gardening.
A majority of households said they plan to spend the same amount of money or more on do- it- yourself lawn care, food gardening, flower gardening, and container gardening this year. Fifty-four percent of households that hire lawn and landscape services said they plan to spend the same amount or less to hire services this year.
For more information about the Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey and the 2010 National Gardening Survey or to purchase a copy, please visit www.gardenresearch.com.