Most Canadians cultivating an curiosity in gardening, finds ballot


With summer officially starting, Canadians are turning their attention to activities they have had to avoid due to either the weather or the pandemic. At a time when nearly four in five adult Canadians have received their first vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine, planning an outdoor barbecue or get-together is more plausible than it was a few months ago.

Victoria Day weekend in May marks the start of the gardening season across Canada. When Research Co. and Glacier Media asked Canadians about their habits, more than three in five respondents (63%) said they currently grow or cultivate plants indoors or outdoors.

Women are more interested in home gardening (68%) than men (57%). While a little more than two thirds of Canadians aged 55 and over grow or cultivate plants (68%), the proportion falls to 63% for 18 to 34 year olds and to 57% for 35 to 54 year olds.

Interest in home gardening diminishes the further east we travel. While 67% of British Columbians and Albertans currently grow and cultivate crops at home, the numbers are slightly lower in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (65%) and Ontario (64%), but are significantly lower in Quebec (59%) and Atlantic Canada back (53%).

In the early stages of the pandemic, Canadians confined to their homes found various new ways to entertain themselves. Some of these activities involved groceries, as demonstrated by hundreds of social media posts showing pictures of baked goods, the stores unexpectedly running out of flour bags, and the addition of the term “sourdough starter” to our vocabulary.

We could have expected the number of Canadians growing vegetables at home to be greater this year, but that’s not the case. Across the country, just over one in four Canadian home gardeners (27%) say they primarily grow crops for consumption. A larger proportion (39%) say they grow or grow plants at home primarily for ornamental purposes, while a third (34%) say they are equally interested in both.

There is an interesting inter-ethnic variation when it comes to our main motivations for gardening. More than half of home gardeners of East Asian descent (52%) are primarily concerned with flowers and leaves, while 44% of South Asian home gardeners focus their attention on vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Interest in growing food at home – but not flowers – is particularly strong among Canadians aged 18-34 (32%), Atlantic Canadians (40%), and Quebecers (31%).

A matter of investment reveals some differences in what Canadians consider to be a reasonable expense for this hobby. One in four Canadian home gardeners (26%) say they spend less than $ 50 on gardening tools, plants, and / or seeds each year, while more than a third (37%) spend between $ 50 and $ 100 annually.

Some Canadian home gardeners seem to have deeper pockets: 23% say they spend between $ 101 and $ 199 a year, and 14% spend more than $ 200 each year getting their garden going – a proportion of 23% among those in the highest income bracket.

There is also the problem of boasting. Just over three in five Canadian home gardeners (61%) describe the plants they grow or cultivate as “about the same” as most of the others in their neighborhood. Around one in five (23%) consider their own garden to be “better” than most of the surrounding areas, while 7% acknowledge that it is “worse”.

Atlantic Canadians are more likely to consider their own home garden to be the envy of others (34%). In Quebec, only 20% feel that way.

Yet investments seem to determine the perception of our own gardens. Only 15% of Canadian home gardeners who spend less than $ 50 on their hobby say their plants are better than most. The percentage of overly satisfied home gardeners rises to 21% in those who spend $ 50 to $ 100, to 28% in those who spend $ 101 to $ 199, and 36% in those who spend $ 200 or more output.

The results are based on an online study conducted among 1,000 adults in Canada from June 12-14, 2021. The data was statistically weighted for age, gender, and region by Canadian census figures. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 out of 20.