National Gardening Week, 2024

This National Gardening Week, 29 April to 5 May, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is celebrating the theme of ‘Knowledge is Flower’ with a week-long exploration debunking the biggest gardening myths, answering the most asked questions and celebrating green fingers up and down the UK.

To mark the occasion, plant lovers can visit the RHS gardens, get hands-on planting with the Big Seed Sow, and receive expert, evidence-backed advice from the nation’s gardening charity to demystify the wonderful world of horticulture.

​This year, National Gardening Week runs with the RHS Big Seed Sow, a community-growing campaign designed to get people sowing and sharing seeds, connecting with their communities and celebrating the start of a new growing year.

​Over 13,000 schools, groups and individuals have signed up to participate in the initiative from 29 April to 12 May. Participants are encouraged to hold events, run workshops, and deliver seeds to neighbours to spread the joy of growing.

​Various activities will also take place across the five RHS Gardens, including a week of fantastic activities, exhibitions, and fairs for gardeners to get hands-on and unlock horticulture secrets. At RHS Garden Wisley, gardeners can get stuck into workshops, tours and displays, including the fantastic Winning Against Weeds and the much-awaited 2024 Bonsai Show, to enjoy the beautiful spring-themed displays, join talks and gain expert advice whilst at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire, those wanting to explore the gardens with an expert can participate in the Garden Managers Alpine Walk for the ultimate inspiration. Those looking to capture the beauty of gardens and hone their artistic skills can also participate in the gardens Photography Master Class. RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex, is providing a guided seasonal walk with a knowledgeable garden volunteer to explore the beautiful grounds. For those wanting to try something new, RHS Garden Rosemoor will host The Great Hobby Weekend, with hands-on workshops, such as sketching, flower arranging, and creating clay leaf bowls.  

​Throughout National Gardening Week, members can also take full advantage of on-site advisory teams, open at selected times across the gardens. The teams will continue to offer advice over the phone Monday through Friday for members’ biggest gardening questions.

​As part of ‘Knowledge is Flower’,  the RHS is sharing and debunking the top five myths most commonly received by the RHS Advisory Team from gardeners:

  1. Digging for soil fertility  – Many gardeners believe you need to dig to improve soil fertility. This is false, and digging releases soil nitrogen, damaging soil bio. It is best not to dig when planting, which fits the current best approach to feeding soils.
  2. Pot Planting –  There has been a long-time misconception that growing plants in a pot is better, but pot planting also causes limited root spread and increases the need for watering and feeding. With some exceptions, it is better to plant in soil. 
  3. Crocks in pots improve drainage –  Gardeners have long believed that crocks in pots improve drainage, but this is false. Disrupted capillary action and reduced soil volume mean they don’t help. Instead, gardeners can use a crock to prevent the compost from dropping through the hole at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Not watering in the sun – A long-held misconception is that watering in the sun scorches leaves. Though it is best to water at ground level, scorching does not happen. Scorching to new plants from lack of hardening off is far more common.
  5. Planting holes in clay soil – A common myth among those planting in clay soil is that it is best to make a large planting hole to fill with grit. However, this creates a sump, so the roots get waterlogged and rot, harming the plants.

For more information on National Gardening Week, please visit:  www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/national-gardening-week

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