What you need to know about food home growing and some trends to look out for in 2018. By Andy Baxter

Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are growing rapidly, with an increase of 360 per cent in Britons alone choosing the vegan life. With this and supermarket prices constantly rising, people are opting to growing food right in their back garden. It’s convenient, cost effective and a very useful hobby to undertake. This article looks at what trends are currently hot with home growers and what you can expect in the coming year.

Smart home growing
Home growing has been made significantly easier with the help of smartphones and smart technology. We are now in a time where people can monitor their homes and gardens whilst at work from their phone.

Plant sensors monitor details like moisture levels in the soil, light, temperature and soil nutrition. It monitors everything you need to know about the soil your plants are living in. Let’s say the soil looks significantly under-watered you can then use your Wifi Green IQ monitor which is also connected to the wireless water valve to keep everything moist and healthy. It’s a winning combination for easy gardening. Obviously, you can’t rely on such a system to look after your home growing forever, but whilst you are away or busy it acts as your personal gardening robot! Better yet, you can connect these systems to voice assistants and your phone to command the robots to look after your plants from the comfort of the sofa.

Verdure colour palette
Pantone released their annual colour trends and this year saw the hit of the verdure colour palette. If you want to keep up-to-date and have a fashionable garden whilst growing your produce, then sticking to powerful berry-purples and deep foliage-greens will mean you can stay stylish whilst being practical.

Lavenders are perfect for this and a very practical flower to grow too! They are set to make waves in 2018 among food and drink trends with items like lavender lattes gaining popularity, therefore this purple beauty will allow you to stay ahead of the trends in food infusions and fashion. That’s cost effectiveness.

Greenhouse growth
Whilst 2018 might see us embracing the future with smart home growing, it’s important to remember your roots with the trusty greenhouse. Ten great fruit and vegetables you can easily grow in a greenhouse are as follows:

  • Peppers
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Chillies

Greenhouses are still considered fashionable for the garden and there is an array of hacks you can do to cut costs and keep your greenhouse running smoothly such as using half 2L drinks bottles to cover growing plants to keep them moist and at the right temperature. As with all gardening it’s key to do your research as every plant is different, there are various informative gardening apps across various app stores or gardening blogs and online communities.

Vertical fashion
When you have minimal space, or want to make the most efficient home growing garden you can, the only way is up. Utilising bamboo is on trend and practical when growing certain plants like tomatoes for example. More and more younger people are utilising spaces in this manner for urban gardening initiatives to create gardens in the most obscure of places in the concrete jungles that millennials often live in. It’s a plant revolution and allowing plants to sprout upwards in confined spaces is becoming the norm.

Herbal remedies
Herbs and spices are a staple when growing at home. Not only can they be grown in small spaces such as on window sills and flat balconettes, but herbs and spices are an easy way to add that extra bit of flair to home cooked meals, with vegetables from the garden of course.

Some home growing herbs and spices that are trending at the moment are basil, mint, tarragon and red chillies. As always, these growers will need specific attention so be sure to research their individual requirements before putting time and effort into your next home growing project!

Indoor revolution
Whilst herbs and spices can sometimes be grown inside, there is currently an indoor revolution when it comes to growing plants, especially among young people. 2017 became the year of the pot-plant specifically targeted at ‘generation rent’. Making for an easy to maintain hobby, young people are establishing themselves as small pot plant experts especially in cosmopolitan plants.

Cacti are set to make a big return in 2018, which is perfect as they are extremely hard to kill and require minimal monitoring – perfect for the lazy gardener! Avid home growers should not overlook the classic aloe vera which has maintained popularity and adds a splash of quirky colour to any dull room.

Huge retailers like IKEA frequently stock aloe vera and they are a great addition to any home growing project due to their versatility. They outgrow pots quickly; however, you can remove parts of the plant and use for treating skin irritation and even to help with digestion!

Andy Baxter is managing director of Internet Gardener. Internet Gardener is a family run organisation established in 2006. Experts in the industry, it has risen from grassroots beginnings to become a much loved and trusted supplier of Garden Furniture, BBQs, Muck Boots and much more.