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Frequently asked questions about the experiment (FAQs)

I don’t have a growing space, but I still want to learn. Can I participate anyway?

We encourage you to join with a friend or neighbour who has a growing space, or with a community garden project if you can so that you can get the full benefits. However, we want to be inclusive, and people wishing to learn but who are unable to grow are welcome to join as observers, follow the experiment and learn with us.

I cannot get the variety of seeds you suggest. Can I still join in?

It is best to use the cultivars we recommend. This means that your data and insights will be comparable with others on the experiment and we can build up the best understanding. We have carefully chosen these ones because they are widely available.
Using the same cultivars helps to control variability in the experiment.
If these varieties are not available in your country and still wish to take part, you can use another variety of the same crop type i.e. round climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) – choose a green (or yellow) type; spinach (Spinacia oleracea) – choose a smooth-leaved type rather than a savoy; – and radish (Raphanus sativus) – choose a round spring-sown variety not an autumn-sown or long-rooted one. After you sign up for the experiment and tell us about your planting times, you will be able to tell us which cultivars you have used.

These crops don’t grow well in my climate, can I swap one for something else?

To fully participate in the citizen science experiment you do need to grow the three given crops. There are three reasons for this: Firstly, we might find that they actually do grow better than you expect for example in the polyculture mix compared to ‘usual’ growing in a monoculture. That would be really interesting.
Secondly, it would be really helpful to find out where they do grow well and where they don’t grow so well, and if being in a polyculture or monoculture has an impact on this.
Finally, we need to be really consistent with what we do for our results to be meaningful.
However, we know that planting things that won’t grow can be rather disappointing, so we are also looking at other ways to work with those of you for whom these really won’t grow. If you’d like to help us explore other options, please tell us in the GROW Experiments forum.

I live outside Europe, but I am interested in the nutrient testing. How can I do this?

Because the project is funded by the European Union, we are only able to distribute the N, P, K, and pH test kits across Europe. However, these kits are widely available and relatively cheap. If you wish to purchase your own kit, you can contribute your results and benefit from learning about your soils.

Updated on 3rd September 2018