Retailers reach out to new gardeners

Retailers reach out to new gardeners

"We’re trying to make it simple for those who are just starting out in gardening, so that they feel like, ‘OK, I can do this.’" —RITA PETERS, Hy-Vee

Retailers and home garden suppliers have watched with delight as the ranks of food gardeners have grown — and grown — over the past few years. According to the National Gardening Association, the number of people growing their own fruits, vegetables and herbs has increased by 17% since 2008, to 42 million.

That’s the highest level in more than a decade. But with this growth comes new challenges — like how to educate a large crop of novice gardeners.

“There’s a fear factor

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