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Vegetable Gardening Trends And Statistics in 2022

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Vegetable gardening has become increasingly popular in the USA in recent years. More and more people are growing their own food as a way to save money, eat healthier, and get outdoors. And it's no wonder! Gardening offers a host of benefits that are hard to beat. 

For one, you have complete control over what goes into your food. No more worrying about pesticides or other harmful chemicals. You can also be sure that your vegetables are fresh – nothing beats the taste of a freshly picked tomato!

Well, all of these benefits have always existed, but why this sudden interest in getting their hands dirty and growing their own vegetables. To answer this and many other questions about gardening in the United States, including spending habits, gardening popularity among age groups, trends, popular plants, etc, we have compiled 15 exciting vegetable and home gardening statistics in this post.

Let’s get started! 

Main Gardening Statistics And Facts 

But before we dive in detail, here is a quick summary of highlights for vegetable gardening statistics:

  1. More than 50% of American households partake in gardening.
  2. Millennial gardeners increased by 39% in the last 5 years.
  3. Tomatoes are the most commonly grown US vegetable.
  4. California leads the US in cannabis cultivation.
  5. Children with gardening experience are linked to higher cognitive skills
  6. Global sales for gardening supplies doubled during the COVID 
  7. 35% of kitchen gardeners are from households with an annual income +100K USD.
  8. 3% of Americans grow food in community gardens.

27% of Gardeners purchase their plants from local nursery centers

27% of American gardeners prefer to buy plants and gardening supplies from local gardening centers and nurseries followed by Home Depot (24%). (Source Axiom)

In today's digital age, it's easy to assume that e-commerce is taking over the retail world. However, when it comes to purchasing plants and gardening supplies, most people still prefer to visit local gardening centers and nurseries. 

According to a recent survey by Axiom, only 4% of respondents said they had purchased plants online in the past year. 

There are a few reasons for this preference. For one thing, many people want to see and touch the plants before they buy them, to ensure that they are getting what they expect. In addition, buying plants online can be risky, as there is no guarantee that the plants will arrive healthy and in good condition. 

Finally, many people simply enjoy browsing the selection at their local garden center and talking to the staff about plant care. Though online shopping is convenient, it is clear that when it comes to plants, most people still prefer the personal touch of a local store.

Facebook is the most popular platform for learning about gardening 

A whopping 34% of gardeners say they rely heavily upon Facebook when it comes to learning new gardening techniques – with Youtube being the second go-to site in search of plant knowledge for 25% of gardeners!  (Source Axiom 2021 survey)

In a world where people turn to Facebook groups and online communities for advice on everything from cooking recipes to fashion choices, gardening has become no exception. 

In 2021 younger generations are taking things even further by turning towards TikTok videos which provide easy access to information about plants as well tips for their proper care. Upto 5% of millennials are using tik toks to learn about gardening and plant care.

In 2021, One-Fourth of Gardeners Bought Gardening Tools From Home Depot

For 25% of people who garden, the Home Depot is often their go-to destination for new tools and fertilizers. (Source Axiom)

For one, Home Depot offers a wide selection of gardening tools, making it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they need. 

In addition, the store's competitive pricing and generous return policy make it an attractive option for budget-minded shoppers. 

Working from home led 39% more people to garden in 2021

Working from home has led to a sharp increase in the popularity of gardening, with 39% of people saying they have taken up the hobby since the pandemic began. 

Due to the shift towards remote working culture, people are spending more time at home and are looking for ways to occupy their time. Gardening can be a therapeutic and rewarding hobby, providing people with a sense of accomplishment and a chance to relax in nature. 

In addition, working from home has given many people the flexibility to the garden during the day, when they would otherwise be at work. With more time and fewer distractions, gardening has become a popular pastime for people in the past year.

In the last five years, households growing their own food have increased by 16%.

1 in every 3 households in America has a vegetable garden.  (Source: National Gardening Association)

A comparison of their surveys from 2018 and 2021 indicates that households participating in food gardening increased from 36 million to 42 million.

Interestingly, search engines like Google saw a surge in queries related to gardening during 2020 (100 searches per day) as people looking for information on how to get started.

With the pandemic raging, people were looking for ways to occupy their time and keep themselves busy. For some, it meant getting back to nature and starting a vegetable garden. Moreover, the onset of the pandemic brought to light the importance of keeping healthy.

However, as we move forward to 2021, it appears that interest in gardening has somewhat cooled off.

This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the return of more traditional hobbies as the pandemic begins to wind down and the fact that many people found out that gardening is actually a lot of work! 

Whatever the reason, it's clear that interest in vegetable gardening ebbs and flows with the times.

What are America's favorite vegetables to grow? 

1 in every 3 American households grow vegetables in their backyard garden. (Source: National Gardening Association)

Here are top 10 homegrown vegetables in USA (ranked highest to lowest):

  • Tomatoes (86%)
  • Cucumber (47%)
  • Sweet Peppers (46%)
  • Green Beans (39%)
  • Carrots (34%)
  • Summer Squash (32%)
  • Onions (32%)
  • Hot Peppers (28%)
  • 28% Lettuce
  • 24% Peas

Looks like we love growing greens and salad vegetables. The majority of these vegetables can be grown in containers and are low maintenance, which may explain why they are so popular.

Millennial gardeners are the fastest-growing segment of the gardening population from 11% to 29% in three years. 

Millennials are driving the food revolution. It seems like everyone is interested in developing green thumb these days—or at least, that’s what the popularity of kitchen gardening suggests. 

And it’s not just retirees who are interested in this activity. According to the National Gardening Survey 2021, 29% of American gardeners are senior millennials (aged 18-34).

However, their previous survey (2018), reported only 11% of U.S. gardening demographics were millennials.

On the other hand, the proportion of older demographics (aged 60 and above) is steady at 35%. 

A possible explanation for this trend is that container gardening has gained popularity in recent years, eliminating the need for a large garden, as millennials are more likely to live in urban areas, where space is limited.  

50% of active gardeners report that ”an attractive backyard” is their main motivation for a vegetable gardening 

Recently we conducted a survey among 300 gardeners, asking their motivation behind starting a vegetable garden. 

The majority of the respondents said that the desire to add beauty to their outdoor spaces led them to start a garden.

Here is a chart describing the results of our survey:

  • An attractive backyard 53%
  • Growing their own vegetables  45%
  • Saving on grocery bills    41%
  • Having a healthy hobby  39%
  • Being physically active   25%

Overall, the results of the survey suggest that people value lawns for a variety of reasons and that they continue to be an important part of many homes.

The average outside kitchen garden covers 600 square feet

  is 600 square feet (National Gardening Association)

The following is a breakdown of food gardens by region in the USA:

  • 23% West
  • 26% Midwest
  • 29% South
  • 22% Northeast

Approx. 32% of US households grow vegetables in containers 

32% of the gardeners use containers to grow their vegetables. Container gardening is becoming especially popular in urban areas where people often live in small apartments and condos. (Source: Axiom)

Container gardening, which involves growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs in containers, is a great way to get fresh produce without having to deal with the hassle of a traditional garden. 

Container gardening is a great option for those who want to grow plants but don't have a lot of space. Containers are portable and can be placed on patios, balconies, or even indoors, making them perfect for small apartments or homes.

In 2021, Americans spent a total of 47.8 billion dollars on gardening supplies

As of 2020, the global gardening market was valued at approximately 104 billion U.S. dollars, exceeding the 100 billion mark. (Source: Statistica)

An average American household spends $153 annually on purchasing gardening supplies and yields a produce worth $600 each year.

Klaviyo recently published global e-commerce insights for the year 2020 to 2022. According to their report, since 2020, there has been a 100% increase in global sales for gardening-related products.
This surge in the demand of gardening supplies implies an increase in their prices as well.

Oregon has the highest number of kitchen gardens in the USA

We took a look at data from Google search trends to find out. Turns out, the answer depends on a lot of factors – climate, geography, and even what counts as a “kitchen garden”. 

But based on our trend analysis, here are the 10 states with the most kitchen gardens from highest to lowest.

  1. Oregon                 
  2. Alabama
  3. Minnesota
  4. Georgia
  5. Kansas
  6. Utah
  7. Nevada
  8. California
  9. Michigan
  10. Connecticut

So what makes these states so garden-friendly? Well, it probably has something to do with the climate. Most of the states on our list have mild winters and long growing seasons – perfect for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. And of course, having access to fresh produce is always a plus!

Households with an annual income over $100,000 are more likely to engage in kitchen gardening

Is gardening an expensive hobby? To answer this question, we surveyed 500 individuals asking them their annual household income and the average amount they spend on gardening supplies each year.

The survey suggests that households with annual income greater than 100,000 US Dollars have the highest percentage (35%) among kitchen gardeners. (Source: Axiom Marketing) 

Here is a chart summarizing the results from the survey:

  • <=$100,000                   35%
  • $75,000 – $99,999         21%
  • $50,000 – $74,999         22%
  • $25,000 – $49,999         16%
  • >= $25, 000                    6%

This is likely due to the fact that gardening can be a costly hobby especially due to the recent hike in gardening supplies, therefore those with higher incomes are more likely to be able to afford the necessary supplies and equipment. 

Additionally, gardening is often easier for those who have a dedicated space for it, such as a lawn or garden. 

Gardening is a great way to help kids improve their cognitive skills

Gardening is a great way to foster creativity in kids. Kids who garden have better motor skills, spatial awareness, and problem-solving abilities. (Source: Journal of Environment and Behavior)

And it's not just the physical act of gardening that helps; the process of planning and caring for a garden can also give kids a boost in executive functioning skills like working memory, flexibility, and inhibitory control.

So why does gardening have such a positive effect on cognitive skills? It may be because gardening allows kids to use multiple senses at once. They're touching the dirt, smelling the flowers, and listening to the birds – all while keeping an eye on the progress of their plants. This multi-sensory experience can help kids learn more effectively and build strong brain connections. Read our article on gardening and houseplant statistics to know more interesting trends about houseplants in 2022.

Over 1 million individuals grow food in community gardens

Community gardens can be defined as a plot of land that is divided into small sections. Each section is assigned to a gardener, who is responsible for planting, watering, and maintaining their plot.

Community gardens are usually located in urban areas, where there is little space for traditional gardens.

In addition to providing healthy food and saving money on groceries, these gardens offer a unique space for people to interact and connect with others. Due to these health and communal benefits, community gardens are becoming increasingly popular.

3% of the American population grows food in community gardens that make upto 1 million individuals (Source: National Gardening Association).

Urban farming is responsible for one-fifth of our food production 

Urban farming is a rapidly growing trend that is responsible for a significant portion of our food production. 

The United Nations found out that more than 800 million people grow their own vegetables and raise animals within the city, which accounts for about 20% of our global food production!

More than 50% of millennials are interested in growing cannabis

As of 2022, recreational cannabis use is legal in 18 states of the USA, suggesting a higher tolerance for its cultivation.

California is the state with the most cannabis cultivation licenses, with over 7000 permits issued until 2021.

As per the National Gardening Survey 2021, the following chart shows the willingness of individuals to cultivate cannabis according to their ages:

  • 18-44    50%
  • 45-55    37.5%
  • 55+       12.5%

This could be due to the fact that many millennials have grown up during a time when the stigma surrounding cannabis use has begun to dissipate. As a result, they are more likely to view cannabis as a legitimate hobby or even a potential business venture.  

Home Vegetable Gardening Stats: Round-Off

To wrap it up, over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in vegetable gardening. This trend is likely due to a combination of factors, including the rise in popularity of organic produce, the increasing cost of groceries, and the desire for greater self-sufficiency. Whatever the reasons, it is clear that vegetable gardening is here to stay.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of vegetable gardening statistics for the US in 2022. To read more statistics, head over to our breakfast statistic page or see get to know more about the cooking trends of Americans

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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