​Shift in Gardening Approaches Represents Industry's Biggest Challenges AND Opportunities

Jul 11th 2018

The 2018 What Gardeners Think Survey conducted by GardenResearch.com reveals important information about the types of gardeners in America, their attitudes, and what motivates them. The survey contains a mass of data pointing toward a fundamental shift in consumers’ approaches to gardening, especially among the younger generations.

There are strong indications that gardeners of all generations want how-to-succeed information, along with first-time success in their home and garden projects. Consumers are researching online and looking for advice for a short project that fits their lifestyle. According to industry analyst Ian Baldwin, “Today’s consumer is hungry for gardening how-to. In-store classes are a sell-out and the 2018 National Gardening Survey shows a big uptick in households purchasing gardening information with millions of them acquiring gardening apps.” They want retailers to sell the exact specifics of what they need, while providing simple, quick, “how-to-succeed” information.

Another shift in approach is the current boom in “Do it for me” (DIFM) gardening. “Anecdotally, we hear many reports of consumers expecting gardening to fit into a one-and-done approach, much like resurfacing kitchen counters or replacing a carpet,” states Baldwin. “They don’t mind the one-time investment in money and time, but do not like having to learn about and invest more time (and money) in the resulting upkeep.”

In terms of people’s attitudes towards gardening, there is an increase in overall enjoyment/happiness in gardening. While Americans enjoy gardening more, they are still facing the same challenges and dislikes as year’s prior. Weeds, insects and soil conditions top the list of challenges and while they have not changed since 2012, their importance to gardeners has increased. The main dislikes about gardening include “gardening takes too much work”, “costs too much money”, and “takes up too much time”.