RHS National Gardening Week celebrations aim to demystify gardening  

For National Gardening Week, the Royal Horticultural Society is celebrating the theme of ‘Knowledge is Flower’ to debunk the biggest gardening myths and celebrating UK’s green fingers.

Geum Scarlet Tempest with Malus 'Winter Gold' and Iris 'Kent Pride' at Hilltop at RHS Garden Wisley.
RHS Garden Wisley credit: RHS

National Gardening Week, which starts this week (29th of April – 5th of May) is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture, and to encourage more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening.

To mark the occasion, plant lovers can visit the RHS gardens and receive expert, evidence-backed advice from the nation’s gardening charity to demystify the wonderful world of horticulture. Throughout National Gardening Week, members will have access to the on-site advisory teams, open at selected times across the gardens. RHS teams will also 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

During National Gardening Week, various activities will take place across the five RHS Gardens. A series of workshops will be organised at RHS Garden Wisley, in addition to tours and displays, including Winning Against Weeds and the 2024 Bonsai Show. At RHS Harlow Carr, in addition to the spring-themed displays, visitors can explore the gardens with an expert in the Garden Managers Alpine Walk, or participate in the gardens Photography Master Class. RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, is providing a guided seasonal walk with a knowledgeable garden volunteer to explore the beautiful grounds and RHS Garden Rosemoor will host The Great Hobby Weekend, with hands-on workshops, such as sketching and flower arranging.