Home-grown food and flower beds are set to brighten up the borough with the launch of a community growing scheme.

Dig Merton, a joint council and Sustainable Merton initiative, is calling on residents to grow food and plants on vacant land.

Tom Walsh, founder of Sustainable Merton, said: "The pilot for this year will involve at least five projects all of which involve local residents becoming active on land near to them but in different ways.

"Some might be planting fruit trees or making a small area pretty by planting flowers."

Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to the first pilot project in De Burgh Road, Wimbledon at 2pm on Saturday, March 29, where the team will be planting fruit trees and bedding plants in a small open space.

The pilot will be followed by a public meeting inviting residents to put forward ideas for growing projects.

Mr Walsh said: "The borough has lots of pieces of land which residents might have ideas about. It could be an edge along a road or a local park.

"Merton Council is still commissioned to look after their parks but they want to get local people involved in smaller pockets of land."

Circle Housing association, Merton Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and the May Project are some of the other organisations supporting the project.

Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for community and culture, said: "This is a partnership project that aims to be community driven, involving people of many different groups as well as individuals, united by a common ambition - to make Merton a green borough as part of a green city.

"Community food and plant growing is a great way to make the most of unused sites and I look forward to seeing new projects starting around Merton."

To find out how you can get involved, contact Sustainable Merton on 020 3417 0476 or visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/digmerton.

You can also keep up to date with the scheme by liking Dig Merton on Facebook.