Passionate Brits becoming nation of ‘super growers’

With temperatures on the rise, Wyevale Garden Centres expected the growing season to officially start over the May Bank Holiday weekend, with the nation’s rising passion for edible plants driving a new breed of gardener – the ‘Super Grower’.

According to a new report from YouGov, commissioned by Wyevale Garden Centres, the top reason why people are growing their own food in the garden is the sense of satisfaction they get when a tiny seed grows into something they can eat.

Wyevale Garden Centres buyer and horticultural expert Duncan McLean commented: “It is no surprise that the nation’s love of gardening has spurred the need for 45% of Brits to seek out a horticultural equivalent of the babysitter for their beloved fruit and vegetables when away on holiday. We have seen the Grow Your Own movement reach new heights, from how gardeners are tending to their crop, growing more exotically to sharing their produce with family and friends.”

Duncan continued: “The Grow Your Own trend is in the midst of a growth spurt itself. People are starting with herbs in plant pots on the window sill, progressing to salad leaves, tomatoes and chillies and, once the passion kicks in, moving on to vegetable patches and allotments, full of increasingly exotic veg. We are truly becoming a nation of ‘super growers’.”

tomatoes77% of ‘super growers’ say that eating their own produce is what makes them happy about growing their own and this has brought more people satisfaction than saving money (28%). More than a quarter (27%) have said it’s become a hobby for them and increased their knowledge of gardening.

44% of super growers are growing enough at home to share their crop with friends and family. Such is their passion, people who grow their own are so protective of their gardens almost half (45%) enlist a trusted ‘tomato sitter’ (family member, neighbour or friend) to keep an eye on the garden while they are away.

Poppy, of the PoppyLoves lifestyle blog commented: “Since all my plants died during last year’s holiday, I’ve recognised the need for a garden babysitter when I’m away! Usually my boyfriend takes care of them while I’m away, but if we’re both away it’s a bit tricky. My plants become so much a part of the family I can’t bear for them to be left unattended.”

As well as tasting better than food that can be bought in a supermarket, home grown food saves money and has become the much loved hobby of almost a third of Brits surveyed. According to Wyevale Garden Centres, tomatoes are the nation’s most popular fruit amongst growers of those listed, with a vote of 73% among those who had ever grown herbs, fruit or vegetables. Salad leaves come next at 55%, followed by potatoes (52%), beans (42%) and peas (37%). The sophisticated super growers amongst us are increasingly moving to the wild side when it comes to gardening with a long list of exotic produce reported by the survey that includes Climbing Blue French Beans, Dwarf Bananas, Goji Berries, Kohlrabi, Jerusalem Artichokes, Oca tubers and Kumquats.

Although the majority of us grow produce in our gardens, not having one doesn’t stop the nation’s budding super growers. Other top places to grow herbs, salads and vegetables are patio pots and window sills and many determined gardeners use their balconies, stairwells and conservatories to grow their own.