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Gardeners and Gardening Trends in the United States

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The United States is home to a large population of avid gardeners who view gardening as an enjoyable leisure time activity. More than 82 million households in the USA participate in gardening activities. Characterization of the US gardener is important to manufacturers and distributors of home garden products as well as to educators seeking to develop and provide outreach on pests and appropriate pest management for this audience. In this paper, we characterize the home gardener by highlighting national trends, by using regional examples of activities conducted by homeowners and by reporting their knowledge of pests, pesticides, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) associated with gardening. Retail sales associated with gardening activities account for more than $35 billion annually. Gardeners in the USA are concerned about the environment and actively seek information on environmentally responsible approaches to pest control. Unfortunately, many gardeners fail to diagnose problems correctly; select environmentally-friendly pest management practices; and follow directions for safe use of pesticides. Traditional forms of information delivery such as books are being supplanted by electronic sources of information such as the internet. Master Gardener volunteers sponsored by Cooperative Extension play an important role in delivering high quality information to gardeners in the USA.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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