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  • Writer's pictureJohn Chapin

The Great American Gardening Boom

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Gardeners start the new year with great hope and excitement in

anticipation of spring. Although midwinter, now is the time to start planning

for the new gardening season. Just the excitement of sourcing new

introductions of beautiful perennials and tasty vegetables drives away the

winter blahs for those of us itching to work outdoors. With perfect timing,

gardening catalogs appear in our mailboxes!

There was a dramatic increase in the number of people gardening in 2020,

the first year of the pandemic. Burpee, one of the world’s oldest and

foremost home garden seed and plant companies, saw sales increase

more than 60% - a first in the company’s 145-year old history. 2021 was a

repeat, with sales up double digits over the previous record year.

Everything indicates that 2022 will continue this phenomenal growth.

This very welcome, but unexpected, situation for commercial growers over

the past two years resulted in shortages of everything garden related. This

year, growers are well-prepared, but rising costs due to supply chain

issues, labor shortages, and inflation all indicate that it’s best for gardeners

to order seeds and supplies as early as possible.

When ordering, be sure to compare prices and shipping charges which can

vary wildly among companies. Looking to order seeds of the heirloom

“Mortgage Lifter’ tomatoes, a wonderful producer for me last year, one

company listed a packet of 30 seeds for $3.10 plus $5.95 shipping, while

another listed a packet of 125 seeds for $4.95 with only $3.95 shipping.

Since, with proper storage, tomato seeds are viable for up to four years, I’m

set for the next few years at a great savings!

If you don’t get many seed catalogs in the mail, search online for the best

selection and prices. Raising vegetables and flowers from seed is a fun

way to save big bucks, and your selection of varieties is much, much

greater compared to buying plants later this spring.

Happy gardening!

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