JUNE 1, 2011: More than one in every three adults in Britain aim to grow most of the vegetables and fruit they need this year, in the latest sign that Britain is becoming increasingly green fingered.
The grow-your-own trend, which was boosted by the recession and fears about the rising price of food, shows no signs of calming down, according to the survey. As many as 37 per cent of the adults questioned said they would grow half, or more, of all the produce they needed this summer, either in their own gardens, allotments or even window boxes – a significant commitment to their veg patches. The figure comes as queues for allotments continue to grow and the sales of plant seeds outstrip the sale of flower seeds. Helped by celebrity chefs, such as Jamie Oliver, imploring consumers to try growing their own, has seen sales of seeds for tomatoes and beans, as well as aubergine and purple-sprouting broccoli, all shoot up in popularity. The survey, undertaken for B&Q, the DIY and garden retailer, also found that consumers were starting to garden at a younger age, with 72 per cent of people saying they had fallen in love with gardening by the age of 30. Gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh said: “I’m not surprised that people are getting the gardening bug younger. Everywhere I go I see new enthusiastic gardeners of every age who are passionate about their own personal plot. ” The most recent figures for allotment waiting lists found 91,500 people waiting for an allotment – up from 76,330 the previous year. The figures indicated there are around 60 people waiting for every 100 plots in 2010, up from around 50 people in 2009 and just four people in 1996. The revamped Gardeners’ World on the BBC, with Monty Don back presenting the show, gained 2.5 million viewers, when the new series was broadcast recently, adding 700,000 viewers to the previous series.