Why do so few people plant vegetable gardens these days?

Recent data from the USDA shows vegetable gardening at an all time historical low in the US, down 15% from 2004 to 2005.
(Anyone who thinks that it would be a good thing to have more food gardens in this world is invited to join some like-minded folks at ww.kitchengardeners.org . Thanks.)

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20 Responses to “Why do so few people plant vegetable gardens these days?”

  1. gravefinder Says:

    In my own experience? The whole process is too ‘costly’, in today’s techno world. . .

    Bug populations are difficult to control –
    Climate conditions seem to be changing very rapidly –
    So many seeds are now engineered to not ‘reproduce’, meaning – one has to repurchase them each year, rather than grow/store your own –
    Canning/storing excesses cost a lot in materials (and one needs large areas to work with and store grown foods).
    Planting/maintaining and harvesting a garden can be a full time job – not possible when one works/commutes 40+ hrs.

    In short – people no longer have adequate time/energy/space/$ to enjoy the fruits of this kind of labor!!!

  2. blacklablover Says:

    I’m afraid that in this day and age, people don’t have the time, and really don’t care…..how very sad, isn’t it? When you and your spouse work full time jobs outside of the homes, and children are involved in all kinds of activities (sports, clubs, camps, etc.), it’s not very convenient to take care of a garden. It takes time and care, and people are just too busy….going to the grocery store, or a fast-food restaurant is much quicker when you’re on the go all the time….do you think this could be a reason that so many Americans are obese?? They are lazy……I could go on for a very long time, but am interested if you agree??

  3. pamm c Says:

    time constraints. gardening is work, and all of our time is valuable. there’s only 24 hrs. in each day (rats!!!) i would love to cultivate a lovely veggie garden, have done so in the past, but gotta work to make a living (so i can buy imported who- knows-from-where produce) i think that’s where the problem!

  4. gypsy Says:

    Sadly many peoples priorities have changed, we now live in a " I want it and I want it now " society. Growing plants, especially vegetables is so rewarding, just to plant seeds and watch them grow and mature into something we can eat, so much cheaper than buying from the superstore and much tastier. Peope would rather spend their spare time in front of the television or on the computer, no wonder there are so many obese people.

  5. bigrob Says:

    How sad for them…I always have a vegetable garden, my family always did when I was growing up. I can’t imagine not having my tomatoes. Those wads of cardboard they sell at the grocery store may look like a tomato but the most assuredly are not. So far I have had fresh squash everyday for three weeks and the tomatoes (cherries, Celebrities, and Brandywine) are just starting to come off. The okra, eggplant, red bells, and Jalapenos are close behind and I’ve already had a couple of good batches of green beans. Fresh from your own garden tastes SOOOOOO much better!

    Even city dwellers, even apartment dwellers can grow something. Container growing works well as long as you research it and prepare for the slightly different needs of the plants in those conditions.

  6. Janet A Says:

    Because its a lot of hard work. You have to water, weed, and pick. None of its easy but I still plant 100 ft. rows every year. (I live on a farm) Have a nice day

  7. heather k Says:

    I agree, people are not willing to put in the extra work. Of course they watch 5 hours of TV a day.

    It’s amazing how many people I know who want to do NOTHING during the weekend "it’s my time!". I agree, it’s your time, so use it!

  8. georgetableau Says:

    It’s because "city folk" decide they want to live in the "country" so they build subdivisions in the middle of perfectly good fields and there is no more room to garden! I grow a 3/4 acre garden for fun…maybe I’m making up for 3 people…

  9. Garfield Says:

    There are a variety of reasons for this. Vegetable gardening does require a fair amount of time, which most people don’t have enough of anyway. Then there’s the cost. Some things are actually cheaper bought at a store (although, admittedly, not as great tasting). Getting the right type of fertilizer, compost, bug sprays, etc., plus the cost of raising your own seedlings or buying transplants can be expensive. My mother-in-law used to plant a vegetable garden. It wasn’t very big but she found it got more expensive every year.

    Some people also don’t have enough room in their yard (or a yard at all) to make one. They may also not have the proper sunlight requirements. Vegetables do need a fair amount of sunlight to grow properly. They also need water and this can be a problem in some areas if there are water restrictions because of a drought. Too much rain can also cause problems. Plants can actually rot with too much rain.

    So with all that, it’s no wonder not too many people plant vegetables.

  10. itwillbeme2@sbcglobal.net Says:

    it’s a lot of work people don’t want to do it the expense is more then you would think

  11. luvnuttydog Says:

    i love gardening, my favorite to grow is pumpkins. Then in the fall i give them to the neighborhood kids for halloween to carve and to neighbors to decorate with. i also grow indian corn and gourds too. zucchini is yummy as is the green beans. we have 40 tomato plants this year and over 60 hills of cucumbers. its fun to watch a seed grow into something edible. actualy it is amazing. people should try it, i bet they would get hooked!

  12. judy3107711 Says:

    most people are to busy,there’s so much you can buy at the stores now days, people don’t know how or where the veg s come from.or they are big on eating meat

  13. white_liliy Says:

    I don’t know and don’t see why people don’t do it anymore. I personally like gardening and my parents try to always have a garden. I know a lot of people who have vegetable gardens. It really is healthier food and hobby. I think older generations should have gardens because its exercise for them; I noticed that old people live longer if they are active… (duh…)

  14. cricket Says:

    We are the "instant gratification" generation and a garden is a months long project. If you can’t see the rewards now, it’s not going to happen for most of the members of this generation.

  15. atom ant Says:

    most property now is concrete…go out to the toolies and have fun at it..

  16. sheila c Says:

    I think it’s a time issue.

  17. Rainbow Says:

    Time and space are much smaller than they were in the yesteryears. Not so long ago, working outside the home meant working in the garden for women. Most housewives and/or their children had time to tend to large gardens. Most homes had a significant amount of land attached. Now many houses are built so close together that it is difficult to raise flowers. The houses were larger, too. Older homes had large walk in pantries with lots of shelves for storing home canned veggies. Almost everyone had a large freezer (deep freeze).

    We no longer have the time to garden. We no longer have the space for a garden. We no longer have the room to store vegetables if we did have a garden.

    It is sad, really. Gardening can be an art, and it was often the only creative outlet that women had when they were domestic engineers.

  18. deere535 Says:

    its good food without the chemicals

  19. Here I Am Says:

    We have a very short growing season where I live here in Montana.
    You battle late spring freezes and early fall freezing as well.
    The cost of water has tripled in the last few years as well as the cost of live plants for those of us without enough room for a green house.
    I can not afford the water bill for what little ground I have and the few vegetables I can get from it.
    Other people around here have good ground with some protection. I do not.

  20. eddie9551 Says:

    I wish I had the yard to grow something. There is something spiritual about tending your farmette and eating what you grow

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