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People choose to grow their own over lockdown - National Gardening Week

With National Gardening Week around the corner (27th April - 2nd May), Uswitch has discovered the weird and wonderful things we've been attempting to grow in our gardens and outdoor spaces since the first lockdown. They've uncovered what amateur gardeners are learning to grow by analysing what people have been searching for online.

Some key stats:

  • "Grow your own liquorice" has seen a staggering 752% increase in online searches since lockdown.
  • March 2021 saw 27x more online searches for "grow your own loofah" than in March 2019.
  • People have taken to growing their own houseplants with over a 4x increase in interest since restrictions started.
  • People have attempted to grow their own birth flowers (flower associated to month of birth) 350% more than pre-pandemic.
  • Christmas saw people Google "Grow your own catnip" 2.5x more than average, perhaps as a present for their pets while shops many were closed.

Top 15 plants people have been learning to grow at home:

  1. Bonsai Tree
  2. Christmas Tree
  3. Flower Kit
  4. Venus Fly Trap
  5. House Plants
  6. Succulents
  7. Cactus
  8. Birth Flower
  9. Sunflower
  10. Terrarium
  11. Lavender
  12. Wedding Flowers
  13. Amaryllis
  14. Roses
  15. Palm Tree

Biggest increase in interest since the first lockdown (March 2020):

  1. House Plants - 419%
  2. Birth Flower - 348%
  3. Roses - 340%
  4. Bonsai - 191%
  5. Lavender - 187%
  6. Flower Kit - 155%
  7. Succulents - 127%
  8. Venus Fly Trap - 108%
  9. Amaryllis - 100%
  10. Terrarium - 90%
  11. Christmas Tree - 54%
  12. Cactus - 32%
  13. Palm Tree - 11%
  14. Wedding Flowers - 9%
  15. Sunflower - 9%

Top 15 foods people have been learning to grow at home:

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Herbs
  3. Vegetables
  4. Chillies
  5. Potatoes
  6. Avocado
  7. Garlic
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Strawberries
  10. Liquorice
  11. Peppers
  12. Pumpkin
  13. Lemons
  14. Ginger
  15. Carrots

Biggest increase in interest since the first lockdown (March 2020):

  1. Liquorice - 752%
  2. Coriander - 319%
  3. Strawberries - 299%
  4. Lemons - 243%
  5. Carrots - 223%
  6. Vegetables - 220%
  7. Tomatoes - 217%
  8. Herbs - 217%
  9. Cucumbers - 198%
  10. Potatoes - 191%
  11. Lettuce - 186%
  12. Ginger - 180%
  13. Onions - 170%
  14. Peppers - 169%
  15. Garlic - 163%

As these stats confirm, lockdown has led to many of us attempting to be more self-sufficient. So David Robinson of Sutton Seeds offers some simple advice for those looking to benefit from their garden/balcony for the first time:

1. “Growing herbs is a great way to begin your self-sufficiency endeavour, and not just for flavouring food. On your balcony or even just your windowsill you can grow Moroccan mint or lemon verbena for your herbal teas. The flavour is definitely better than the shop-bought alternatives, and will save you some money.” 

2. “The easiest things to grow are things like lettuces. Within 3 - 4 weeks you can begin picking the leaves and they can be grown in a small container.”

3. “For those with small spaces it’s worth considering a wormery. You can keep it in your kitchen and put tiger worms inside. They’ll eat most of your kitchen waste to create compost. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell!”

4. “Tomatoes and cucumbers are some of the best items to grow to take the dent out of your grocery bill. Mini star cucumbers can give you a 3-4-inch fruit daily for several months and tomatoes can be used so diversely.”

5. “For those feeling unsure of growing your own, I recommend that you find something that will give you quick success. That satisfaction is likely to spur on a new passion and will prevent you from becoming disheartened. Herbs, cress, and microgreens are the perfect plants to get started with, often sprouting quickly. No more need to buy bags of salad!”

Read more on the research via www.uswitch.com.


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