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Top 10 Reasons To Get Growing This National Gardening Week

12th April 2017

fruit, gardening, grow your own, horticulture, vegetables,
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1. Keep the cost down

By growing fruit and veg, you will spend less money in supermarkets where it is common to pay premium prices for particular types of crops. For example, the retail price of purple sprouting broccoli is astronomical when compared to the seeds that can be bought and cultivated at home, creating plants which produce far bigger yields than you could ever fit in a shopping bag.

2. Know the provenance of your food

When propagating crops, you can choose whether to grow them organically or not. You will know exactly what has been used to ensure the harvest of your edibles, unlike the fruit and veg bought in stores, which usually incorporate the use of chemicals.

3. Stay fit while gardening

A particularly strenuous activity such as digging will burn more energy than simply pottering about, but any type of gardening still contributes to better health. As with many other forms of exercise, outdoor work can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing your stamina and endurance.

4. Connect with nature

It can be argued that human contact with plants gives us a sense of place in our complex world, and provides a way for humans to connect to their environment and their role in life, which is critical for mental wellbeing. Growing your own provides an extra appreciation of a biosphere dependent on a variety of organisms and processes. This in turn allows gardeners to gain perspective on their own ways of life.

5. Social interaction

Friendly contact with other like-minded people on the plot will vastly improve your state of mind. Not only will you get enjoyment from making new friends, but meaningful connections can be made that increase your knowledge of growing plants, reiterate your purpose in the garden or allotment and bring greater perspective outside of everyday roles in employment or at home.

6. Gift gluts to family and friends

You will definitely become a popular family member or neighbour when you start producing your fruit and veg! Whenever you enjoy a bumper harvest, you can give some away to your loved ones. Growing your own also allows you to make fantastic preserves, which can make a perfect gift for any occasion.

7. See your hard work come to fruition

It takes a lot of patience, but it is a great joy to see your seeds germinate and develop over time into delicious crops due to all of your hard work. Horticulture is a hands-on activity which rewards you with very visible, tangible results from your efforts – something that is increasingly rare in our modern culture. It is a hobby to be relished – by handling greenery straight out of the soil, you gain an innate sense of connection to the earth.

8. Superior taste and quality

When food is delivered to your local store, days pass between harvesting the edibles and the arrival of them on your table. All foods taste better when they are freshly picked, and some flavours might surprise you. For example, the taste of sugar snap peas dramatically changes the longer they are stored after picking, converting sugar to starch and therefore losing their sweetness. Plus, any gardener will tell you that nothing tastes better than a freshly-picked tomato!

9 . Greater choice

You can choose the exact crops that you wish to grow on your plot. Unusual varieties that are nearly impossible to find in the shops can be sown in your space to suit your individual tastes and will contribute to a variety of meals. You can also experiment with a huge range of varieties for each plant by exploring seed catalogues and cultivating whatever takes your fancy, eventually narrowing down your choice to favourite types.

10. Helping the planet

The processing, transport, packaging and retail of food causes 20 per cent of global emissions, while food waste accounts for another three per cent. Eating this out-of-season food shipped from abroad is killing our planet. When you grow some of your own fruit and veg, you are helping to reduce the demand for such products, and by picking your harvests fresh, you can control the amount that you eat per day, helping to eliminate wastage.

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