Sheds cash in on grow-your-own

Treble-digit growth in the sales of gardening equipment and seeds has prompted B&Q to dub "green-it-yourself" the new do-it-yourself as retailers Homebase and B&Q are tapping into the new craze.

Homebase says it is the first retailer to launch a dedicated grow-your-own brand, adding that the company is "set to grow a million more plants this year to help cash-strapped customers 'grow their own' to save money on groceries".

The retailer says it has seen a 100 per cent uplift in sales of grow-your-own products such as strawberries, with seeds up 121 per cent and potatoes up 106 per cent.

Homebase garden trading director Amy Whidburn said: "Initially, it was environmental and health factors creating the grow-your-own trend but this is now coupled with the economic situation.

"It can be extremely simple to grow your own and you don't need much space. For example, you can grow herbs on your windowsill, strawberries in a hanging basket and even potatoes in a patio pot," Whidburn added.

Meanwhile, B&Q has launched a Sunday Lunch mix (£3.98), a pack containing 12 vegetable plants from its Organic Living range, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and calabrese.

B&Q's strip vegetables include strawberries and courgettes among 39 varieties at £1.78 per strip (five plants per strip) or four packs costing £5.

B&Q has also developed a free grow-your-own calendar.

B&Q trading manager Steve Guy said: "Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a trend that is really gaining momentum.

"In the past it tended to be a hobby just for the older generation but now we're seeing a surge of popularity for growing your own across the whole population and increasingly with the younger generations too," Guy added.


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