Grow your own veg sales boom at garden centre

RECORD SALES: Simon Slinger with young tomato plants under glass. SG290513-122TW
RECORD SALES: Simon Slinger with young tomato plants under glass. SG290513-122TW
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Gardeners growing fruit and veg are helping garden centres recover from months of poor plant sales.

Last summer’s washout and this year’s freezing spring saw buyers stay away, but they are now returning in droves to buy bedding and other plants.

Birchgrove Garden Centre at Pinchbeck has notched up record spring sales of young fruit and vegetable plants, which gardeners are growing on at home.

Managing director Simon Slinger said: “We have sold more of it this year than we have ever sold before. We have sold every kind of vegetable plant that you can imagine, peas, cabbage, cauliflowers and runner beans to the more exotic things like aubergines.

“It’s also one of those areas where people have become scared of where their food is coming from these days and decided to grow more themselves.”

Mr Slinger said Birchgrove celebrates its 40th birthday this year – its business is diverse, selling pet, aquatics and equine products, so it is less dependent on fair-weather.