Off Topic

I have found it difficult to find books and information on local information on what grows where and what doesn't grow.

What would be amazing would be a database which focuses on the local level, and includes information on: average temperatures for a month, average daylight for a month, average rainfall for a month, what grows and what doesn't grow, the best way to grow certain plants in that local region.

As someone who is relatively young I found it near impossible to learn to grow things other than trial and error, therefore think how much time and money is spent ,basically, failing and with every failure is likely to cause a sense of down heartedness and a reluctance for the small scale cultivator to grow food.

Can't we harvest our individual information to empower the small scale cultivator and retain information rather it being constantly lost!


Hi George .

That’s a good idea , hopefully this website can also be a source of that kind of information .

What are the things you try to grow this season ? Maybe we can help :) .



Hi George, I didn't bother with books etc instead myself and my daughter who I home ed went out and about , talking to neighbours who grow, we visited allotments close to our home and spoke to local small holders and farmers as to how they have found growing and what seems to work best . We also observed roadsides and local woods , field walks etc . This gave me a very good idea of what would work well in our growing space . Not saying you should do the same, just sharing how we discovered local information. ( makes for a nice day out too , we took a picnic )

Hi George The GROW team are working on something like you describe, so watch this space :-)


Good point, George. Maybe you can note down all you observe as time goes by and then publish your own book :-)

Hi all,

I shall answer questions in order of comments:

Hi Ionut Barbu,

I am currently growing a range of veg in the garden and am waiting for seedlings to grow larger before planting out, the main question I have before planting out is where is the best place to find information on companion planting?

Hi Jacqueline Wheeler,

That is an amazing idea! I am looking at doing some pressings of plants around the area I live in order to create a herbarium so hopefully that will be very insightful.

Hi Victoria Burton,

That is very encouraging news to hear, do you have a projected date of when a project will go live and will be accessible?

Hi Helen Butt,

The thing is I am in my early 20s so I am likely to move around over the next decade, so I am unable to make long term observations in one set area. Therefore, I would be interested what information others have learnt over the years so I can apply their knowledge where ever I maybe, does that make sense?

Thank you all for your comments I hope I have answer any questions you have set out and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Hi George . It’s great that you already growing things . That is the best source of learning , I often google for companion plants myself . The way I divide is which one I like from the suggested list . Depending on if you a have or can create a protected micro climate planting can be done earlier . For example I planted outside a few tomatoes , a sweet potato slip and a few varieties of squash . So far they survive :) Enjoy your gardening ! Cheers , Ionuț

Hi George It's a little way of yet but updates will be posted here in the forums and in the GROW newsletter.


George, you are absolutely correct. Living in the UK (north) I know that the planting calendars given on the back of seed packets don’t quite fit with Dundee. I have been responsible for generating planting and harvesting calendars for this project which cover Europe. Initially we have used 13 climatic zones. However we here at GROW know that there’s nothing better than local knowledge, so we are currently trying to set up a platform for “crowd sourced” data which will give us better data to share with the GROW community. Along with some of the data visualisation of local average climate that we are working on. I think these will go a long way in providing GROWers like yourself with tailored information for your area. So keep an eye on our newsletters Susan

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That sounds a great project, Susan!

Even on a single allotment there is a wide difference in the advice for planting dates. Even the first early potatoes planted outside vary from St paddys day - mid March to when the ground has warmed through and is dry enough to dig which was May 8th here this year. Add in peoples personal passions such jas the poly tunnel enthusiasts planting year round and the horticultural industries generalised statements and it is pure trial and error. Even a single garden has cold and hot spots; shade and full sun; dry amd well mulched areas so you really have to be your own expert.

Fot people in the UK, Ireland and France this link might help though. The calendar for individual cities can be accessed off the link in the top right hand corner

Looking at which wild varieties do well in the area can help, or closest to. Observation, and sharing info does help. I've held off putting spuds, beans/peas in this year in the Midlands, after moving from London, where everything is at least a week earlier.

Making notes of when crops are a success/or failure, is also a good idea.