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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Consumer Trend Survey Offers Insight Into 2012 Gardening Plans and Opinions

Edible plants and interest in organic and natural garden products lead the trends.

A new consumer survey shows edible plants will be a large part of their gardens this year. The survey of 600 gardeners nationwide shows that 75 percent of respondents plan to grow vegetables in their gardens and 50 percent indicate they will be growing fruits and herbs.

Gardeners cite better taste, fun activity and cost savings as the primary reasons to grow their own produce.

As the garden-to-table or gardening for food trend has grown in popularity over the past several years, so have gardeners' appetites to branch out beyond the traditional garden staples and try their hand at growing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Additionally, while long seen as a rural and suburban hobby, food gardening is now actively embraced by people living in urban areas. Decks, roofs and small city yards now play host to productive personal gardens.

Pest management also was noted as an important issue by the majority of those polled. 75 percent of the respondents believe that natural products are just as effective, if not more, than chemical pesticides.

In recent years, consumers are becoming more environmentally friendly and gardeners are seeking naturally based alternatives to manage pests and weeds. Retailers have responded to this buying trend, with retail garden centers expanding shelf space and in some cases, creating special store sections for natural and organic gardening products.

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