Gardening Trends Gardening Trends

Agriculture and gardening has been around virtually since the beginning of time, and while the primary purpose of gardening was to grow food, gardening has evolved and there are at  least three identifiable trends emerging among gardeners in North America. One trend is towards home (or kitchen) gardens to grow an increasing amount of a family's food. At the same time, in line with many people's desire to live in a more environmentally friendly way , gardeners are looking for ways to make their gardens more "green" and organic. Finally (again perhaps in an effort to get more in touch with nature), there is a trend to making gardens a place to enjoy nature, not just grow food.

Kitchen Gardens

  • More and more gardeners are deciding to grow food for their families in their home garden. According to research from the National Gardening Association, vegetable gardening was up more than 20% in 2010 compared to 2009.
  • While fast growing salad type vegetables (radishes, lettuce, spinach) are the most common crops, gardeners are also trending towards growing so called "calorie crops". Foods such as potatoes, corn, beans and squash are becoming more common in home gardens, perhaps for a number of logical reasons.
  • These crops are nutritious and will actually fill you up, (a cob of corn or a potato will provide much more nutrition than a plate of salad).
  • Calorie crops are relatively easy to grow. Once planted, occasional watering and some weeding then harvesting are all they require.
  • They are versatile. For example, potatoes can be stored for up to a year and served in countless ways while corn can be eaten fresh, dried, canned or even ground into corn meal.

Organic Gardening

  • While it may seem strange to describe gardening as becoming more organic that is the case. A prime example is since organic actually means using living organisms rather than chemicals, more and more gardeners are using non chemical fertilizers such as
  • Compost - easily made from yard refuse and home vegetable peelings,compost is inexpensive, easy to use and totally organic.
  • Compost teas - made by "steeping" compost, the liquid "tea" provides an effective, easy to use (simply water your plants with it) and truly organic fertilizer.
  • Manure from cows, sheep and horses. While fresh manure will burn plants, if allowed to compost or rest for about a year, animal manure provides a great source of nutrients for gardens.

Feel Good Gardens

  • Many gardeners are looking to their gardens as a source of "good feelings" or a place for calm, quiet reflection. This trend towards "Feel Good" gardens is leading to the creation of different types of gardens such as
  • Sand or "Zen" gardens - some are small enough to place on a desk or table, most include different types of plants, rock and sticks to duplicate a natural environment on a sand base that can be sculpted to form images reflecting nature.
  • Water gardens - whether it's a backyard pond, a waterfall or a synthetic babbling brook, moving water has the ability to make people feel calm and relaxed.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer whose work has appeared on numerous web sites, as well as in newspapers and books in both the US and Canada. He has been quoted as an expert on home related topics in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal.

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