Joe Sugg: ‘I spent 14 hours a day on my phone – until I discovered gardening’

Fostering connection with other people is another key theme of Grow and Sugg has used his garden to do so both in real life and virtually.

“You do have to be careful when you ask for gardening advice online,” he chuckles. “People can say anything they like, so you’re going to come across different people with very, very different opinions.” He relates how he became embroiled in a debate about whether or not to deadhead his daffodils, and at the moment he’s wondering what to do about his suet bird-feed balls.

“It’s been an ongoing battle,” he says. “First, I had to learn the right time of year to put them out for the birds, and now I’m dealing with squirrels. I guarantee, as soon as I put fat balls out in the garden, there’ll be squirrels all over them.”

Still, whatever happens, at least Sugg can be confident that, according to his Instagram followers, he’ll be doing it wrong.

“One of the things I learned very quickly about gardening on social media is that you can’t do anything right. But I think one of the best things about gardening is that you can only really learn by doing it yourself and making your own mistakes.”

While the garden is still in its infancy, Sugg has big plans. “I’d love to have a greenhouse and a proper vegetable patch – I think that would change the way I grow things. I also love the idea of ​​having a pond: I grew up with one and I think that’d be very tranquil. And I’d like a pathway going through different compartments in the garden, like rooms in a house, each with different themes, weird quirks and little spots, so that every time you go round a corner there’s something new to explore.

“The kind of gardens I loved as a kid were the ones that were awesome to explore and get lost in, the ones that let you use your imagination. You can only achieve that when you’re not plugged into the online world: it gives you time to think and come up with ideas. That’s what I think is missing from the virtual world, and we can only find it in the garden.”

‘Grow’ is out on Thursday; Penguin, £20


Joe Sugg’s absolute beginner’s guide to garden planning

Find the right month for planting

January-February: You can get your summer bedding flowers going from seed now, as long as you’ve somewhere warm to house them until they’re ready to go into the ground.

May: If you’re planting seedlings for flowering from late June onwards, now’s the time.

October: This is the perfect time to get your spring bulbs in the ground. That’s your daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops. Tulips can generally wait until November, but the smaller bulbs should go in while the earth is still warm from the autumn weather.

Track the sun in your outdoor space before you start planting

Some plants and flowers, such as foxgloves, begonias and fuchsias, will fare better in the shade, whereas others, such as petunias, marigolds and geraniums, prefer to bask in the sunshine.

Plan your borders carefully by putting the taller guys at the back and make sure you plant everything with enough space in between – the label or the information on the packet will tell you how far apart they need to be from each other in order to have room to bloom.

Some flowers are easier to grow and maintain than others – if you’re a beginner, the following guys are a great place to start:

Marigolds – These beauties are quick growers, especially if they’re planted in plenty of sun.
Plant: May-June

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