Gardening trends are often affected by the economy, and an increase in vegetable and edible gardening historically coincides with a downturn in the economy and increasing prices. Two survey sources suggest we're starting to see that trend again.
For more than 25 years, the National Gardening Association annual survey has tracked participation levels and money spent in a variety of lawn and garden categories. In 2007, while the participation level or money spent in many gardening categories such as flower gardening and landscaping stayed the same or declined, vegetable gardening increased. According to the NGA Survey, an estimated 25 million households participated in vegetable gardening in 2007. While that number is not significantly different from the previous year, the amount of money spent on vegetable gardening increase 22 percent to 1.421 billion dollars. Money spent on berry growing increased 19 percent to 144 million dollars.
The Garden Writers' Association produces surveys throughout the growing season that track current trends in home garden activity. In the early spring 2008 survey, the amount of people who said they would be vegetable gardening this year was 39 percent. That's an increase from 32 percent in early spring 2007.