I can’t help but think that 2015 is going to be a banner year for planting and growing vegetable gardens. Over the last several years I’ve watched as more people have expressed an interest in harvesting vegetables from their own gardens. Lately I’ve seen encouraging signs that even more folks will want to start growing their own vegetables at home.
Here are the five vegetable gardening trends I’m seeing that will help support their efforts:
Smarter gardens. Everything is getting smarter these days, and gardening is no different. Smartphone apps tell gardeners what to plant, when to plant and how to take care of what they planted. Garden products, like pre-packaged seed pods or the Seedsheet, will make vegetable gardening easier for those who have never gardened before.
Plant-aware people. With every new gardener there’s another individual who will be more mindful of the environment. With all the growing interest, I can see more conversations around the issues of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) versus growing organically. With more plant-aware people, there will be more help in the ongoing efforts to protect honeybees and the new movement to save monarch butterflies by planting milkweed plants.
Garden-ready communities. New housing developments are being built with gardeners in mind. Now community gardens are part of the initial design process instead of an afterthought. These “garden ready” planned communities will make fresh food easily accessible because the garden beds are ready and waiting just steps outside the door.
Hyperlocal seeds, plants, products. The grow local movement is here to stay, but I can imagine the movement becoming even more localized. Right now I’m seeing vegetable seeds being packaged for growing at a certain altitude. It won’t be long until climate-adapted vegetable transplants are grown in local nurseries and greenhouses. There will also be more cities changing rules to allow gardeners to sell their home-grown fruits and vegetables right from their front yards.
More neighborly. In 2014 gardeners continued to donate their extra home-grown produce to soup kitchens and food pantries in record numbers. Gardeners representing one collaborative group in the Denver metro area donated more than 40,000 pounds of vegetables alone. Just think what a difference growing and giving could make when multipled among more gardeners and groups across the country.
What encouraging vegetable gardening trends do you foresee for 2015?