Telly botanist James Wong is to become the Heston Blumenthal of gardening.
The Grow Your Own Drugs presenter is planning to help gardeners “scientifically and measurably improve the flavour of their crops”.
James, who is writing a book on flavour for the RHS, will run trials to demonstrate that clever gardening can boost the taste of favourite edibles – as well as unusual crops.
James said: “Everyone promises you that grow-your-own tastes different. But from a scientists’ point of view, that’s not necessarily true. Some things taste worse.
“This book will not tell you to grow stuff like your grandparents did. We’re going to tell you that if you do this, as trials have shown, there is a 50 per cent increase in sugar.
“There are some weird and wonderful Heston Blumenthal-style things among the crops I have been testing – green almonds, for example. But I am also looking at tomatoes, and how to up flavour by 150 per cent.”
James said his book, which does not yet have a title, would take crops such as tomatoes, sweetcorn and strawberries and tell gardeners how to boost their taste.
He explained: “I want to de-mystify gardening. A lot of gardening rules are made-up and will get you worse results. Sometimes they create a lot more work and result in less flavour.
“I’ve seen people recommend feeding your tomatoes every day! That’s a recipe for the worst tasting tomato ever. It has been proven that over-feeding can water down flavour.”
James, who will appear in a second series of The Great British Garden Revival, said the RHS would trial crops for the book at Wisley.
It will be published in April 2015.