PlantforLife champions the next phase of Grow Your Own

Posted on: October 25th, 2009 by Rob

New research from PlantforLife reveals the trend for ‘grow your own’ has more than doubled, with over half (54%) admitting they now choose to grow their own, compared to just one fifth (22%) two years ago. Yet, despite this growing phenomenon, the research shows less than two fifths of UK gardeners (36%) grow fruit trees and shrubs, preferring vegetables and salad crops instead.

This is why PlantforLife and the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) have teamed up with celebrity plantsman, Chris Collins to champion the next phase of ‘grow your own’ gardening by educating people with simple tips on how easy it is to plant and grow fruit trees and berries.

Forgetting the fruit

Whilst the research highlights a lack of fruit growing in the UK, when asked, almost two thirds (62%) agree they would like to grow their own fruit trees and berries. From the list, strawberries were deemed the fruit of choice (24%), followed by apples and raspberries.

But, when asked why people didn’t plant fruit trees and berries in their gardens, the research reveals that:

* 39% don’t think they have enough space to plant

* Almost a third (29%) confess they haven’t considered fruit trees and berries when growing their own

* And, almost a quarter (23%) admit they just don’t know what varieties they can grow in their garden.

Commenting on the findings, David Gilchrist from the Horticultural Trades Association says:

“Despite the surge in grow your own gardening, many people still overlook the possibilities of home grown fruits and berries. But, there is an increasing number of tasty, unusual fruit such as gooseberries and loganberries that will happily grow in the UK climate. Growing your own fruit can be very rewarding – not only does it taste better, but is friendly to the environment and more importantly, you know where it’s come from”.

The time to plant

Not only does the research highlight a lack of planting, but it also shows that people aren’t sure whether or not certain fruits can be grown in a UK garden, with just 31% knowing they could grow currants, 27% peaches and just 22% apricots. Over two fifths (41%) also mistakenly believe that fruit trees and berries should be planted in spring, whilst in actual fact autumn is the key time to do so.

Celebrity plantsman, Chris Collins comments, “Small fruits and berries are nutritious, easy to grow at home and relatively low-maintenance, but planting them is a long-term commitment and it can take several seasons before fruit is seen. As the greatest abundance of fruit tends to appear in late summer and early autumn, it’s important to plant them during the autumn and early winter”.

Visit to download Chris’ top tips on how to grow and maintain your favourite varieties of fruit trees and berries.

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