The nation’s biggest celebration of gardening – Edible Britain for National Gardening Week 2019 – returns from Monday 29 April to Sunday 5 May 2019 as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) encourages everyone to get involved in grow-your-own. The theme for this year is Edible Britain, with the RHS calling on gardeners up and down the country to share their love of home-grown produce.
Now in its eighth year, the annual event has grown in popularity every year with National Gardening Week 2018 seeing hundreds of events taking place around the country and thousands of people sharing their ‘passion for plants’ on social media.
In 2019, the RHS hopes even more people will get involved and has created a brand new website so people can find out how to take part: www.rhs.org.uk/nationalgardeningweek. Registration is now open for this year’s event, with everyone invited to upload their events and activities to the website and discover hints and tips for taking part.
For this year’s Edible Britain theme, the RHS will aim to demonstrate that everyone has space to grow something delicious to eat, whether it’s a single pot of herbs on the windowsill or an allotment overflowing with courgettes and potatoes.
RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter says, “After it was reported earlier this month that the RHS has seen sales of fruit and vegetable seeds outstrip flowers at its Plant Centres over the last year, it’s clear that people are keen to reconnect with where their food comes from. We’re supporting this burgeoning interest by encouraging garden centres, nurseries, clubs, societies and other organisations to showcase their edible expertise, as well as highlighting grow-your-own at our RHS Gardens and Flower Shows.”
Guy offers the following top tips to those who are wondering what they can grow this National Gardening Week:
- There is still time to sow seeds of hardy plants like carrots, coriander, beetroot and parsley. In fact, clay soils may not be dry and warm enough for good results until this time.
- Sowings of salads such as lettuce and radishes, and peas and broad beans, can be made now, and sow again every three weeks until early July for a continuous supply.
- Cold-sensitive but quick-growing plants such as basil, courgettes, French beans, runner beans and sweetcorn can be sown indoors now for planting out in a month’s time (six weeks in the north).
- Although it is too late to sow slow-growing tender plants such as aubergines, chilli peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes, they are widely are widely offered as potted plants: buy them now to grow on in greenhouses, and set them out later when the risk of frost has passed.
For more ideas and advice on what to grow and how to grow it, see the National Gardening Week website.
The aim of National Gardening Week is to raise awareness of the difference that gardens and gardening can make to the lives of everyone in the UK, and to inspire more people to experience the joy of growing and visiting beautiful green spaces. The four RHS Gardens will be leading the campaign, with other gardens and organisations across the nation encouraged to take part.