stock fertile growing organic market

April 2021
A Fertile — and Growing — Market By Teresa McPherson

New and existing gardeners want products that are both safe around their families and pets and effective.

Some 16 to 20 million new gardeners dug in the dirt in 2020, thanks to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders across the U.S. and an increased interest in the “grow your own” movement.

As such, through 2024, organic fertilizer sales are expected to outpace gains in conventional fertilizers, according to “Lawn & Garden Fertilizers,” a spinoff of “Lawn & Garden Consumables,” a study from The Freedonia Group.

Organic fertilizers are also projected to increase their share of the $3 billion U.S. fertilizer market to 7%, supported by:

  • Growing interest in food gardening, as participants in this type of gardening are more likely to purchase organic fertilizers.
  • An increasing share of millennials participating in gardening, as they are more likely than other demographics to use organic products.
  • Increased availability and education about organic products, both in retail channels and via professional service firms.
  • Rising public awareness of the potential effect of agricultural chemicals on user health and the broader environment.

“Since the pandemic started, people are home more and planting gardens. It makes everyone feel better when they play in the soil, and see things grow,” says Ann Molloy, sales director, Neptune’s Harvest.

“When growing your own, why wouldn’t you want to grow organically? Garden centers should take advantage of this huge demand for organic fertilizers,” she says. “Products like Neptune’s Harvest not only increase yield, but they increase the quality of the plants, making the garden center look really good, when their plants thrive.

“They also grow very nutrient dense food, which everyone wants. ‘Regenerative’ agriculture is the buzzword these days. Take advantage of it, look good and feel good!”

According to the Freedonia study, the best growth opportunities are expected for products targeted to specific applications — e.g., vegetable cultivation — or that emphasize convenience.

In addition, organics also represent a key growth area. Though expected to remain a relatively small portion of the fertilizer market, organics are expected to increase penetration as the selection of products continues to grow.

The Freedonia Group, a division of, is a leading international industrial research company publishing more than 100 studies annually. Studies can be purchased at and are also available on and

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].