Bitterne Park Growing Places


What if…Bitterne Park grew enough food to share? Or just had fun growing veg with the kids? In gardens, on balconies, on patios, in plastic bags, in big pots, in planters?

In 2021, over 160 families and individuals in Bitterne Park started growing food together. If you’re interested in joining our growing community you can order seeds and join our Mailing List or Facebook Group below.

Seed & Plant Swap – Saturday 21st May 2022

Follow our trail around Bitterne Park to collect spare seeds and seedlings.

Seed pack instructions for 2022

If you’ve received your seeds and need some growing instructions you can download pictures of the seeds packets from the catalogue page here.

What’s involved?

It’s really simple. We have a BIG STASH OF FREE SEEDS to give away and want to help the Bitterne Park community use them, enjoy them and (if they want to) share their experience (both highs and lows). Here’s how it works:

Order your seeds

Sorry but orders for 2022 have now closed. If you’ve bought your own seeds and want to join our growing community join our Mailing List or Facebook Group.

Seed Catalogue

This year, we’re giving away seed collections (instead of individual packets). Each collection includes 6 packets of seeds. The contents of each pack are subject to availability so apologies in advance if your pack is a little bit different when it arrives. If you end up with spare seeds or plants we hope you will swap them with other Bitterne Parkers during the plant trail on 21st May or, if you are unable to participate in that, via the Facebook Group. The full catalogue is available here. A brief description of each collection is given below:

PACK 1: Salad Collection – This collection is for those who love their summer salads. All the seeds are easy to grow and for some, sewing a few seeds every couple of weeks will give you crops throughout the season. Pack includes: beetroot, outdoor variety of cucumber, lettuce, radish, spring onion, bush or indeterminate variety of tomato.

PACK 2: Small Space Collection – This collection is designed for those who do not have much space. All the crops can be grown in pots. Pack includes: basil, carrots, cut and come again lettuce, pak choi, radish, tomato (hanging basket variety).

PACK 3: To Last the Winter – This collection is designed to give you home grown produce over the winter months. Some crops will need to be harvested and stored, whilst others can be left in the ground and harvested as you want them. Pack includes: beetroot, borlotti beans, kale, leek, parsnip, winter squash (e.g. butternut, pumpkin etc.).

PACK 4: Not in the Shops – This collection is designed to provide you with vegetables that are a little more unusual than those you would normally find in the supermarket. The collection comprises: borlotti beans, chard. unusual variety of cucumber (e.g. mini or round), kalettes, kohl rabi, patty pan summer squash.

PACK 5: Fresh is Best – This collection is designed to give you produce which tastes so much better if eaten when just picked. The set comprises: broad beans, chinese kale, courgette, peas, purple sprouting broccoli, runner beans.

PACK 6: Traditional Plot – This collection comprises vegetables that were probably grown by your parents or grandparents. It comprises: beetroot, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, runner beans, tomato (bush or indeterminate type)

Join a group (optional)

If you would like to learn from other members of the community or have experience you would like to share, please join our Facebook Group to ask questions, answer questions and share your progress and experience. You can also sign up to our Mailing List.

Information sheets

Thanks to Carol Masters for preparing the information sheets

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay for the seeds or make a donation?
No. All the seeds are available for free.

Do I need to have previous experience growing food?
No. This project is for first time growers and experienced growers.

Is the project Covid safe?
Yes. All seed collection and delivery will be done either without face-to-face contact, in a socially distanced way, or with face coverings if needed.

Get in touch – Any questions or want to get involved?

We welcome anyone able to help with organisation, seed distribution, and social media stuff so if you fancy that, drop us a message.

Our Goals

  • Provide communities with the seeds and information they need to grow their own food
  • Connect our communities through the shared joy of growing food
  • Hold a mini harvest festival in Bitterne Park to share our produce!

Inspiration

The project is inspired, by Transition Southampton’s Imagine Southampton, St Denys Front Gardens Plus group, and Rob Hopkins’ book: From what is to What If – Unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want and also by Green Island Veg Economy on the Isle of Wight, whose creation by Holly Masden early in the pandemic envisaged a community growing enough food to share.

Thank You to our supporters

Thank you to Haskins Garden Centre for supplying some seeds to be distributed.