(Union Springs, Alabama) – As Americans hunkered down in their homes to flatten the COVID-19 curve, many took up new hobbies, and a new national survey by Bonnie Plants found that edible gardening was a popular choice. The survey found that 30 percent of those who plan to grow their own food are gardening for the first time, and 65 percent of those gardeners listed the pandemic as the number one reason they chose to grow their own herbs or vegetables.
“It’s an easy way to safely get outside and stay active,” said Amy Enfield, a horticulturist for Bonnie Plants. “There are some people who also may be a little worried about food shortages, and growing your own food is a great way to make sure that you have what you want later in the season.”
The gardening trend has grown particularly quickly among younger generations, with the survey revealing that nearly two in five Americans under 35 now grow their own herbs or vegetables. Because young people are moving into city centers where space is limited, the gardening industry is shifting to accommodate them. For example, Bonnie Plants’ Foodie Fresh and Harvest Select collections are specifically designed with the modern-day gardener in mind. The collections include vegetables and herbs that are vibrant and full of flavor with some varieties specifically designed to produce high yields in small spaces.
“A lot of people don’t have the room for the large, in-ground gardens of the past, so we’re focusing more on compact spaces where people grow container and vertical gardens.” Enfield said. “I also encourage novice gardeners to start small, choosing a few varieties you like that are easy to grow, like snacking peppers, compact tomatoes and summer squash.”
Enfield says sharing the extra vegetables from your harvest with your neighbors or a local food pantry is a great way to give back and create a sense of community as we all find ways to support each other through this difficult time.