Gardening can be a fun summer hobby, add curb appeal to your home, and even help you save money on groceries, but despite making big investments in plants… a new study finds that not everyone has a green thumb.
A nationwide survey of more than 1,000 homeowners by Tree Triage finds that 87% plan on gardening this summer, and the average amount they’re spending on plants tops $170! With 39% of Americans saying they are delaying home repairs for financial reasons, they may be placing their efforts and investment in their garden instead.
With a financial commitment to the hobby and a growing number of people breaking out their shovels and soil this summer, the survey found many lack the know-how, time, and/or effort to make their gardens thrive. 1 in 6 Americans say they are unable to keep any plants alive despite their best efforts, and that number jumps to nearly 1 in 4 among Gen Z respondents! This disparity may be attributed to varying levels of exposure to gardening practices and a difference in priorities or lifestyles.
Digging deeper into the reasons behind these struggles, 52% attributed their gardening woes to a lack of knowledge. So while many Americans aspire to develop green thumbs, they often lack the necessary understanding of plant care and maintenance. Sometimes the problem is as simple as not having the time or energy to put toward gardening as 60% blame neglect as a major factor in the demise of their plants.
These issues aren’t just happening in certain regions either. By analyzing Google search data, the report also ranked the top 30 cities most likely to kill their plants. Spokane, Washington, tops the list. Richmond, Virginia, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Boise, Idaho, and Chesapeake, Virginia, round out the top five.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the garden, though – those who have hit their stride are trying to turn their investment into savings! One in three Americans says they garden to try and reduce their grocery bills. By growing their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, the average monthly savings is $65! It may not sound like much at first, but that amount can add up. This is especially important as 31% say they’d be willing to take on debt to afford groceries, and more than 1 in 10 say they rely on bonuses to make ends meet!
Beyond the financial and personal motivations behind gardening, there’s also a sustainability aspect. More than one in four (27%) engage in gardening as a means to contribute to the environment. These environmentally conscious gardeners partake in activities such as composting, planting trees, or selecting native foliage to promote sustainability and biodiversity. Furthermore, 54% are choosing organic or natural alternatives to pesticides.
With America’s love of gardening and the hobby’s growing popularity, many are also hoping to take their skills out of their own yard, craving options to garden with others and contribute to the neighborhood. Nearly 60% wish there were more community gardens near them, and just 4% of homeowners currently belong to one. With 67% of Americans saying technology has made it harder to make meaningful connections with others, communal gardening spaces can help foster neighborhood engagement, shared resources, and the opportunity to collaborate with others.
Despite the challenges faced by many, Americans remain unwavering in their determination to embrace gardening in 2023. The desire to cultivate beauty, lower grocery costs, and connect has inspired many to dig deep and nurture green spaces, one plant at a time.