Whether you’ve got a garden, balcony, window box, or yoghurt pot, you can take part in our new national fundraising initiative and have some fun along the way!
It couldn’t be simpler to get involved in Grow to Give this summer. All you have to do is grow as many plants, flowers and veggies as you like, or perhaps even make a few preserves, and in doing so provide a neighbourhood service of fresh homegrown food.
It’s all about small acts of kindness, for example leaving a basket of lettuce on an elderly neighbour’s doorstep, or giving someone in your community a bunch of homegrown flowers and some jam and asking that people donate to the charity as a thank you.
The best part? Everyone can join in. It doesn’t matter if you’re a horticultural expert or a green-fingered beginner – whatever you grow will bring joy to both you and whoever you gift your homegrown produce to.
Below are a few seasonal ideas to get you started, inspired by this month’s Head Gardeners’ Tips:
It is now officially Spring and the perfect time to get sowing. Some seed suppliers are still posting out seed packets. All the suggestions below are easy to grow and can be sown indoors on a light windowsill (not in direct sun all day). Seeds can be sown on a multiple of mediums, below are just a few ideas;
• Beansprouts (Mung Bean) – A quick and very easy sprouting seed, nutritious ‘super food’
Firstly wash the seeds to be sprouted in cold water, then soak in water for 8 hours. Drain the water then place seeds in a jar and cover with a cloth or an old plastic pot with holes in the lid, place on a light windowsill. Thereafter, twice each day rinse well with tepid water and drain. Ready to harvest as sprouts in 5-6 days.
• Wheatgrass – Another sprouting seed, again hailed as a ‘super food’
Place a double layer of kitchen paper in a shallow dish or tray, thoroughly wet with cold water, drain off excess water. Sow the Wheatgrass seeds over the wet kitchen paper. Place in a warm, light position. Keep the kitchen paper moist (maybe with a mister) but not saturated. Ready to harvest with a pair of scissors 5-10 days after sowing.
• Peas – For pea shoots to be used as microgreens in salads, as a tasty garnish or in stir fries
Soak your pea seeds in cold water for 8-24 hours. Then drain off the water. Fill a shallow seed tray (3-5cm deep) with compost. If growing in your kitchen you could use a decorative bowl if you wish, just be careful to not allow the compost to become waterlogged. Evenly scatter pea seeds, not touching each other, in a single layer on the compost. Cover with approximately 1.5cm of compost. Water to dampen all the soil, but try not to let the compost become waterlogged, or the seeds will rot. Place on a sunny windowsill and keep compost moist. Pea shoots will germinate in approximately 3-4 days. Continue to keep compost moist and rotate the bowl to allow even light distribution. Harvest with a pair of scissors once the pea shoots reach 10-12cm. If you are lucky you may get a second crop from these pea plants. Otherwise, plant in succession with a second batch.
• Beetroot – For shoots to be used as microgreens in salads or as a tasty garnish
Beetroot seeds can be sown in the same way as peas above but there is no need to soak the seeds first.
• ‘Magic Beans’ – Runner or French Beans
This is a great activity for anyone! You could have a ‘tallest bean’ competition or just grow them for fun! You will need; a large clean jam jar or plastic bottle with the top cut off, some 6 beans, kitchen paper, water and a sunny windowsill. Firstly using two sheets of kitchen paper fold in half then making a cylinder shape with them insert them into the jar or bottle, hugging the inner curves. Then infill the centre of the kitchen paper cylinder with scrunched up kitchen paper. Evenly place your six beans between the glass and the kitchen paper cylinder. Water the centre paper so that all the paper is soaked but not flooded. Place on a warm windowsill and watch the germination in approximately 5-7 days. Once large enough, they can be planted outside. Taking care to protect from frosts.
Our garden designers, head gardeners, knowledgeable volunteers and charity ambassadors are all going to get involved in Grow to Give and it’s a brilliant opportunity to encourage children to get back to nature. Whilst some may want to shoot for the stars by growing the tallest sunflower, others may fancy feeling accomplished by growing herbs, cucumbers and tomatoes. Absolutely anything goes and we’ll be eagerly awaiting your stories and photos to see what you’ve been up to.
In these uncertain times, patients with spinal injuries are going to need a safe garden sanctuary and will be seeking the calm of nature more than ever before. Your continued generosity is vital, so please consider helping us in any way you can.
To register your interest in Grow to Give, please click here to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A handy ‘Grow to Give Pack’ will be available for everyone soon.