2020 was a very difficult year, no doubt about it. But it is good to try and look for the positives in any situation. One positive of COVID is that it has dramatically increased the amount of people that are interested in gardening! It turns out that working from home and staring out the window all day, encourages people to put more thought into gardening & landscaping. There is also an increase in people hoping to be more self-sufficient and grow their own food in case there are shortages at the grocery store, and to make less trips out to the public and avoid crowds as much as possible. Too bad there isn’t a way to grow your own toilet paper!
Gardening Interest Over Time
Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.
Gardening Searches in Google Previous 5 Years
As you can see in the chart above, gardening related searches reached over 20M searches in 2020, which is much higher than the previous years of 8.7M searches in 2019, 8.3M in 2018 and 6.7M in 2017. Some of this growth can be attributed to population growth and growth of internet users over time. But that is around 1-2% growth each year for internet usage and less than 1% population growth over the past 5 years according to Pew Research Center and Datacommongs.org.
Certain gardening searches have grown more year over year than others due to COVID. Here is a look at some of the most popular gardening searches online 2019 compared to 2020:
|Keyword||Total 2019 (Jan-Oct)||Total 2020 (Jan-Oct)||Var %||Var #|
|raised garden bed||969,500||2,628,500||171%||1,659,000|
|plant nursery near me||1,111,000||2,009,500||81%||898,500|
|greenhouses near me||482,500||904,000||87%||421,500|
|zones for planting||342,700||490,500||43%||147,800|
|plants for sale||135,400||277,300||105%||141,900|
A few things that stand out from this data the most. Searches that would be used for growing your own food grew at a much larger rate than the trend. These include searches like "raised garden beds", "tomato plants", and "potting soil". One striking stat from this data is annuals. Searches for those plants actually decreased YoY. This is likely due to the fact that annuals are most popular in early spring, when COVID was just getting started and people didn't know what to expect. At that time, having pretty annuals was clearly a lower priority than ensuring your families were safe. We anticipate that demand to climb back to 2019 levels in the spring of 2021.
Gardening Trends After COVID in 2021 & Beyond
There were many people who tried out gardening for the first time ever in 2020. Most definitely a lot of those attempts failed, as gardening is all about trial and error. The good thing is that it appears that most new gardeners have not given up and plan to continue and build on what they did during quarantine! Several large well-known plant brands & growers are predicting a 50%-100% growth in 2021 OVER what happened in 2020. So that is fantastic news!
There are so many benefits of gardening, and the more people that experience those benefits the better off the world will be. Many studies, including one from Princeton University have listed several benefits of gardening, which were needed in 2020 more than any other year to help with emotional wellness.
- Gardening supports high emotional well-being
- Increases produce consumption, especially in low income households
- Encourages physical activity
- Social distancing is easy when gardening
And gardening after-all is a very addicting hobby to have!
Google Keyword Planner
Princeton University, Civil & Environmental Engineering, 41 Olden St., Princeton, NJ 08544, United States
Foodtank.com, Home Gardening Promotes Mental Health During COVID-19, Katell Ane
Pewresearch.org, Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet