Garden nation: 80% of people are growing their own fruits and veggies to cut food bills

NEW YORK — Things are looking very green in the land of red, white and blue. A new study finds eight in 10 Americans have grown their own produce over the past year.

Researchers asked 2,000 people about their thoughts on gardening and 65 percent say they’ve tried it themselves at some point over the past year. Of those respondents who’ve dabbled in gardening, 76 percent claim it’s their new hobby and 86 percent have eaten the fruits of their labor.

Six in 10 say that witnessing panic buying at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic inspired them to get their shovels out. In fact, two in three respondents believe more people should consider taking up gardening to have greater control over their food.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tower Garden, the survey also finds that half of all garden-curious respondents have considered finding a community garden to join so they don’t have to rely on supermarkets as much.

Look how much you’ve grown!

Gardening BoomOf those who’ve tried gardening over the past year, 65 percent made room in their backyard and 41 percent found nooks and crannies in their homes to grow a small herb garden. Some of the top thoughts around growing produce at home include saving money on produce (39%), reducing food waste (32%), and adding a new life skill (22%).

Tomatoes top the list of produce items on people’s “to grow” lists (71%), with herbs (52%), flowers (49%), and cucumbers (47%) following far behind. Thirty-two percent of these respondents have also tried a gardening cheat code by trying to grow more produce from what they’ve purchased at a grocery store.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) want to grow greens to save money, as the average American currently spends $45.25 per person on fruits and veggies each month. In addition, 62 percent believe a garden would help improve their overall diet and wellness, while 71 percent feel it would benefit their mental health.

Gardening Boom“Given the past year, it’s not surprising that 65 percent of those surveyed have turned to gardening as we’ve seen more consumers purchase gardening products,” says David Henard, Senior Director/GM of Global Tower Garden, in a statement. “We’re discovering that more people are finding ways to take control of their own food supply, and one way of doing so is by growing your own food at home.”

Taking gardening to new heights

Of those who haven’t attempted to garden, 55 percent wish they could learn how but 42 percent worry they won’t know what to do. Furthermore, seven in 10 (72%) see a lack of space in their home as a barrier to starting or expanding their gardening hobby.

“A common misconception is that gardening requires plenty of space and soil, or having a full backyard,” Henard says. “Growing flowers or produce is more accessible than people think, and by growing vertically you can save both the space, water, time and energy that traditional garden growing requires.”


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