In Greenhouse Management, a gardening trade bulletin I get via email, the September cover story is about who gardening consumers are and what we want. I use the terms “we” advisedly, because with most surveys of this nature I always end thinking “Who are these people?”
Not that all the results were that unexpected. Conducted by Ball Horticultural Co. and Proven Winners, the surveys were aimed at average garden consumers.
How old is the average gardener? Most range between 35-55 (67%), with the largest percentage (26%) in the 45-55 range. No surprise there. There was a tiny uptick in ages 25-34, who went from 14 to 17%. Maybe food growing accounts for that.
Women make up 93% of PW’s customer base. No surprise, but kind of disappointingly predictable.
Most people (41%) said they were weekend gardeners, with 13% claiming “avid,” and 12% “new.”
There were two results that did surprise me. According to the Ball survey, 73% of vegetable and herb gardeners purchase them as plants. Really? A lot of edibles aren’t even available as plants, so this did seem strange. And the top plant color is purple. See, I would have thought pink. (Though personally, I like white and yellow.)
Finally—as was reported before all this—a new National Gardening Association survey shows that considerably fewer households participate in gardening now than they did in 2005, 11% fewer (with the decrease including the couple years before the recession hit). You have to figure that if even the NGA has to report a decrease, things must be bad.
Oh well. Who are these people anyway?