65 garden centres across the country are taking part in a new campaign, Gromór, to get the country growing their own food and flowers.
Supported by Bord Bia, GroMór will make gardening accessible to everyone by offering practical advice on how to make the most of your space, whether it’s an allotment, an apartment balcony, or even a herb garden for the kitchen table.
Gromór is to target gardening novices who are looking to grow their own food and flowers but might not know where to begin.
Fergal Doyle, Chairman of the Retail Excellence Ireland Garden Group, says that absolutely anybody can learn how to grow, but with all the information out there it can sometimes be hard to know where to start.
“GroMór will help beginners find fun and easy ways to get involved. Growing your own flowers and food is a great, healthy way of getting outdoors, and now is the perfect time to start,” he said.
Bord Bia says that the health benefits of gardening for both adults and children are well documented. Gardening can improve strength, endurance and flexibility, and can even help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, it says.
“45 minutes of gardening burns as many calories as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and studies have also shown that simply being in the presence of plants can reduce stress and increase wellbeing – office plants can even boost productivity by up to 15%,” it says.
Doyle says that with the longer evenings and warmer weather, April is the perfect time of year to get started.
“Herbs planted on a window sill today will be ready in three weeks, and can be cut right through to September. Strawberries are also great for beginners, and children love to help out. Fresh strawberries will grow in pots on the patio, in hanging baskets or even in a window box, and will be ready to eat in mid-summer,” he said.
GroMór is an initiative of the Retail Excellence Ireland Garden Group which sees nurseries and retailers in the horticulture sector come together with the government, via Bord Bia, to promote growing.
The initiative is jointly funded by Bord Bia, garden centres and nurseries, and is sponsored by Bord na Mona and Westland Horticulture.