RHS helps Manchester commuters seed the day

To celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) 220th anniversary and the launch of its brand new show, RHS Urban Show at Depot Mayfield, people travelling on Metrolink in Manchester will be greeted with a packet of seeds when they get on board this Thursday (7 March).

A total of 10,000 seed packets will be left on every tram seat and handed out at the Market Street Metrolink stop on Thursday, collectively containing enough seeds for every person in Manchester.

Containing either rocket, coriander, chilli or pepper seeds, all small plants ideal for any size garden or windowsill, anyone will be able to sow and grow these seeds with whatever space they have.

The seeds are being given out as part of the new RHS Urban Show which opens for the first time in April this year. Packed with immersive installations, inspiration for any size city garden, and houseplant advice, the show will be a one stop shop for all things urban gardening.

Lex Falleyn, show manager, said: “The RHS believes that if you have one plant, you are a gardener, and these seeds represent just one of the ways you can get growing in a city. RHS Urban Show looks forward to celebrating the greening projects within Manchester and hopes that both the seeds and the show will help grow a new generation of gardeners.”

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “Metrolink continues to be one of the best ways to get around the city centre, and the Piccadilly tram stop is just a short walk away from where the RHS Urban Show will be held at Depot Mayfield.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the Royal Horticultural Society opening its new show in Manchester, and we hope this gardening giveaway will inspire passengers to put these seeds to good use.”

Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticulturalist gives his top tips for growing rocket, coriander, chilli and pepper seeds:

Rocket Wild Grazia is ideal for balcony and patio gardens:

  • Sow a few seeds in a big pot, leaving 10cm between each seed and keep inside until they have germinated. Sow a few seeds at a time, three weeks apart to allow for a continuous supply of rocket.
  • Pick leaves as soon as they are big enough to encourage new growth.
  • Leave a few plants to flower to provide nectar and pollen for insects as well as seeds for future crops.

Coriander ‘Confetti’ can be grown both indoors in good light and outside in pots once germinated:

  • Make small sowings three weeks apart as coriander flowers quickly, which ends the supply of flavoursome foliage.
  • After flowering, seeds mature in about two months and can be used in cooking or saved for future crops.
  • When growing inside, cut as mini leaves when 5-7cm tall to use as a garnish.

Chillis and peppers are great for urban environments as the extra city heat helps with colour, flavour and speed of growth:

  • Sow seeds as soon as possible as it takes a while to grow to cropping size and keep them inside in a warm, bright spot.
  • Plant seeds in a black pot if you can to absorb the sun’s heat, giving extra warmth which chillis and peppers love.
  • Plants can be placed outside in a sunny, sheltered spot once warm enough, usually in June.

RHS Urban Show runs from 18-21 April 2024 at Depot Mayfield, Manchester and tickets are available online at 


Notes to editors

For more information, interviews and images please contact RHS Press Office, [email protected]

Notes to Editors

RHS Urban Show, 18-21 April

Press Morning, 18 April 8am – 10am (accreditation now open)

18-20 April, 10am – 2:30pm

18-20 April, 2:30pm – 7pm

21 April, 10am – 5:30pm

Location: Depot Mayfield, 11 Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY

Ticket prices vary and RHS members receive discounted prices. Book here:

About the RHS

Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. 

We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.  

Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.

Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings. For more information visit   

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.