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.