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Digitization helps new gardening and growing enthusiasts

Interest in cultivation and gardening is considered to have increased in recent years and is expected to increase further in 2023. The trend began to grow steadily since 2019 and now there are signs that the Swedes’ willingness to cultivate and tinker in the garden continues to increase further. One of the driving factors is the situation in the outside world and the progress of digitization, which has contributed knowledge on the subject.

There is no doubt that more and more people have developed an interest in gardening and cultivation. Nor is it unusual for the topic to come up during coffee breaks with friends, around the dining table with colleagues at work, or at the hairdresser’s where even gardening magazines are now found.

In the media sphere, people often talk about three reasons for the Swedes’ increased interest in gardening and cultivation. Interest is said to have increased the most during the pandemic when more and more people stayed at home and needed to find a new hobby to occupy themselves and pass the time. Then came the unrest in the world, followed by the energy crisis, which further increased interest in gardening and farming. Many statistics made in Sweden indicate that more and more people want to learn more about farming and gardening, especially growing their own food.

In line with the situation the world is in, new channels have also flourished that can help and support new growers in their new interests in one way or another. Ahead of this year’s season, many nurseries in the country are now planning to deploy double resources. According to Emma Knutsson, one of the hobby growers we spoke to, many go to nurseries to learn more about how to grow things like potatoes, chili, tomatoes, cucumbers and salads – even on balconies.

But in parallel with the physical nurseries, it is impossible to close our eyes to the fact that the internet has also begun to offer similar channels and media for spreading knowledge. For the benefit of those interested, there are now apps, blogs and channels on YouTube that cover most things in gardening and cultivation. Two years ago, trade in garden products amounted to a value of SEK 8.5 billion. The online shops generated 15 percent of these billions.

In line with development, trade and import of seeds has also increased, both among fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants. Stock hedge is one of the plants that is seen more and more often, even in Swedish gardens. The plant originates from the Mediterranean area and is an evergreen shrub or tree that usually grows between five and fifteen meters high. In Sweden, it is used today as an ornamental plant.

However, the common stock hedge is not to be confused with laurel caucasica, which is also a popular plant but different from the regular variety. Caucasica is fast growing and easy to maintain. It thrives in most environments and can cope in Scandinavian climates which are often characterized by colder winters, humid and cloudy climates.

Among the other most common types of seeds procured are dill, parsley, radishes, carrots, lettuce, sugar snap peas, beetroot, arugula, spinach and wax beans. As far as fruits are concerned, apples, pears, plums and cherries are the most common to grow in Sweden.

There is no doubt that the interest in cultivation and gardening also benefited the seed trade. One of the country’s leading players in seeds in particular increased its sales from 600,000 seed bags in one year to 12 million in just one year.

Within the industry, experts are now predicting that Swedes’ interest in cultivation and gardening will continue to increase in the coming years. According to surveys that have been carried out, it is believed that the Swedes would like to become more ecological, self-sufficient but also richer in knowledge in the subject, for example soil improvement, composting, choosing pots, watering, dosage of plant nutrition and everything in between. But it is not only in Sweden that a rising interest is noted. Similar surveys conducted in other EU countries point to the same trend. And with the EU, digital media, internet and free trade, there is no doubt that the Swedes will import more interesting seeds and methods to build on their new interest.

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