- 75% are spending more time in their gardens, with many embarking on new projects
- Supermarket shortages see a revival of home-grown fruit and veg
- 98% say spending time in the garden improves their mood
In the wake of coronavirus-related social distancing measures it seems that Australians have embraced their gardens like never before.
Three-quarters of people say they are spending more time in the garden than they did previously, with around 30% clocking in excess of 10 extra hours (or 90+minutes per day) outdoors each week, according to a national survey conducted by Richgro.
A desire to stay productive has also seen 7 out of 10 respondents embracing isolation-inspired garden improvement projects since early March, with establishing new gardens high on the agenda.
The results suggest that supermarket shortages and movement restrictions have triggered renewed appetite for home-grown food, with the majority (57%) of those surveyed indicating that they are growing more fruit and vegetables now than they did at this time last year.
Other popular outdoor projects included replacing or top-dressing lawns, repotting existing plants, tackling weeds, pruning and starting worm farms. Households with children were also more likely to be using the garden as an outdoor classroom, tracking the growth of plants, observing the movement of animals and insects and even teaching kids how to use tools.
Between mid-March and mid-April 80% of respondents say they made garden-related purchases, with products such as soil improvers, fertilisers, compost and weedkiller making up almost half of these purchases.
In a time of unprecedented health concerns and general uncertainty it is heartening to see so many people heading outdoors and getting their hands dirty, according to Richgro ambassador and Better Homes and Gardens presenter Charlie Albone.
“Almost all of the survey respondents agreed that spending time in the garden improves their mood,” he said.
“I love that so many people are using their time at home to get out into the garden. We know that being outdoors and close to nature can also have wide-ranging health benefits, so it makes complete sense that in times of uncertainty our backyards, front yards and even balconies should become a place where we take solace and regain a sense of purpose,” Albone added.
But, he warns, spending time in the garden is a routine that should be maintained long after social distancing restrictions are lifted.
“You’ll see the greatest results if you stick to it, just as you would an exercise routine. A little bit every day is amazing if you can spare the time, but even an hour or so every weekend will deliver great benefits – for your garden and for you.” he said.
For more handy hints straight to your inbox, sign up to the Richgro Newsletter at the bottom of this page.