Whether you’re creating summer patio displays, sowing crops on the veg plot or allotment, or planting a cutting garden to produce beautiful flowers to pick and bring indoors, there are plenty of exciting projects to start this month.
Gardening and growing your fruit, herbs, crops and cut flowers are beneficial to health and wellbeing in many ways. It’s rewarding and productive, provides exercise, and helps feed the family with freshly picked homegrown, organically grown produce – the perfect way to keep you healthy and save money too!
So, get set and grow, with help from the HTA’s (Horticultural Trades Association) ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.
DID YOU KNOW?
Perhaps gardening and growing your own could reduce the million prescriptions for anti-depressants issued every week. Picking your own fruit and crops can give you a harvesting high! Researchers have found that seeing, smelling and picking fruits and berries can release dopamine from the brain’s reward centre, resulting in a feeling of mild euphoria and wellbeing.
For a healthy balanced diet, aim for a rainbow of colours on your plate – both raw and cooked – as different coloured fruits and crops contain varying beneficial ingredients. For instance, it’s anthocyanins that give beetroot, blackberries, red cabbage and purple and blue crops their colour, while the distinctive orange/yellow colour of carrots, peppers and squash comes from carotinoids, used in our body to form Vitamin A.
RED: Tomatoes, Red Onions, Rhubarb Chard, Sweet Peppers, Chillis, Strawberries, Rhubarb.
ORANGE: Carrots, Squash, Pumpkin.
GREEN: Asparagus, Spinach, Peas, Beans, Mangetout, Rocket, Lettuce and salad leaves, Kale, Romanesco, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cucumber, Pak Choi.
PURPLE: Beetroot, Broccoli, Aubergine, Purple Beans, Purple Asparagus, Red Cabbage, Radish, Kohl Rabi, Plums
WHITE: Cauliflower, Celery, Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Spring Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Celeriac, Turnip.
PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTS FOR SUMMER DISPLAYS & CROPS
Now is the perfect time to plan and plant for bright, colourful displays and productive plots.
Flowering plants available now for immediate colour include Nemesia, Poppy varieties, Pinks (Dianthus), Polemonium, and shrubs including Berberis darwinii AGM, choisya, ceanothus, weigela, lilac and many viburnum.
Young plants of many crops including tomatoes, peppers, chillis, cucumbers, strawberries, courgettes and squash can be planted directly into large pots or growing bags in the greenhouse or on a warm, sunny patio.
Dozens of other crops like salad leaves, beans, rocket, spinach, beetroot and carrots can be grown from seed, so check the full range at your local garden centre now.
Follow ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ at www.hta.org.uk/gigfy
The HTA’s new campaign celebrates a simple message… Gardening is Good for You!
By taking a fresh approach to gardening through the context of health and wellbeing the campaign provides a broad opportunity to promote both plants and gardening.
Supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers, the campaign covers the full sensory value and experience of plants, like their fragrance and flavour, plus topics including growing your own, encouraging wildlife, relaxation and mindfulness, and connecting with the natural world outside your own back door.
‘Gardening is Good for You!’ keeps gardening on the agenda throughout the year with monthly themed articles, written by gardening consultant and journalist Adam Pasco.
The campaign is an evolution of HTA’s Plant of the Moment campaign and will run for two years. Content, images and other useful resources will be available for use by the trade and media at www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou