Research suggests that sales are likely to return to normal levels, but some buyers will be hooked
Most would say the COVID-19 pandemic has not been a few good years. But for the green industry, like nurseries and greenhouses, it has been a blessing.
But will the increase in gardening last once the last coronavirus restrictions are lifted?
Probably not to the same extreme levels, according to new research from the University of Georgia. But for some, the introduction to gardening may have been just what they needed to dive into a new hobby.
Of its more than 4,200 participants are examination found about one in every three people started working in the garden in 2020 because they were more at home. Many also put in new lawns and made outdoor renovations, such as installing new plant beds and other landscaping.
Gardening not only gave people something to do, but it also gave them a little more happiness. “—Benjamin Campbell, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
“You had low interest rates, so you got a lot of people to refinance, which gave them money to invest in their homes,” he said. Benjamin Campbelllead author of the study and an associate professor in College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “You had people at home looking for something to do, either alone or with their children. This led to a huge demand for plants.”
Just under half of respondents said they had no plans to have the garden in the future, even though they had in 2020. But one in 10 said they made garden in 2020 and planned to continue it going forward, including 11% of Gen Xere and 13% of millennials and younger.
“We saw a lot of younger consumers enter the market because of the pandemic and because they had to stay home,” Campbell said. Plants have been shown to help with many different things related to people’s psyche. Gardening not only gave people something to do, but it also gave them a little more happiness. “
Food insecurity can drive gardening for some
Some respondents had a more practical reason for choosing gardening: food.
About 14% of participants said they planned to have the garden in the future because they were concerned about food shortages. As supply chain problems and labor shortages continue to cause problems, these empty grocery shelves may not be full to their pre-pandemic level right now.
If I’m thinking of building a bunker in the backyard, I’m buying seeds. —Benjamin Campbell
Food costs are generally rising, in part due to inflation, which may be another driving force for people to take up gardening. But fertilizers and plants are not immune to inflation and are rising as well.
“Plants are not really a necessity, but if I’m thinking of building a bunker in the backyard, I’m buying seeds,” Campbell said. “If I go and buy a tomato plant, I have to keep it alive. If I have a seed, I just leave it in the bag until I need it. ”
Published by the American Society for Horticultural Science, the study was co-authored by David San Fratello, a graduate in agribusiness from the University of Georgia; William Secorassistant professor i Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics; and Julie Campbellassistant researcher in Department of Horticulture.