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in Fruit & veg
Can I realistically grow much in containers? I don't have much luck with tomatoes so thought I would stick to salad leaves etc, but also love carrots, cucumber, onions, sweet peppers, courgettes and beetroot in particular.
I've bought varieties which will apparently suit containers but wondered if anyone has any tips for me?
Theoretically yes, how big are your containers? Salad leaves should be no problem, they will grow in a window box.
There is a courgette called 'Venus' A T&M one that will grow in a container - we are talking here of 45cm wide, also carrots, potatoes, beetroot (attractive with their leaves) In a sunny spot you can grow sweet pepper and chille, again a good sized container.
Years ago in a much smaller garden, I used to grow runner beans, 1 plant each to a 4 litre ice cream container (with drainage hole poked in the bottom). The containers stacked together really neatly, and with the bamboo canes lashed together at the top gave a great crop with a very small footprint.
I think one opf the most important things with container growing veg is that you do have to be vigilant with watering to get the most out of your crop.
I grew carrots last year in a plastic trough. worked well, no carrot root fly ( because of high side?). Not large but very tasty and better than shop bought. Peppers need hot summer to really succeed. Courgette should be ok too. I also grow some runners in a large tree pot with a wigwam of canes. Always works. Toms usually succumb to blight, so can disappoint. Same with potatoes which can also be sown in large pots, building up compost as they grow.
Give it a go. I have grown vegetables for years and if you are new to this you will probably find some vegetables work better for you than others and also that the weather conditions will also mean some things do better than others. Take the rough with the smooth and don't be unhappy if not everything works. That's quite normal. Best of luck.
Containers have advantage of being able to feed and water better.
I only have a small garden and although I now have a raised bed for veg (2 m x 1 m) I still grow a lot in containers. This year I've sown carrots in a polystyrene box that some glassware came in at work...just made holes in the bottom and filled with a 50:50 sand:multi-purpose compost mix.
I'm growing some mini-veg this year in large (14") pots
Pumpkin F1 'Windsor' and butternut squash F1 'Butterbush' I shall wait until the plants are quite big (they are just large seedlings atm) before I plant them in the pots with a rich potting compost mix and a frame of canes to grow up.
I've grown sugar snap peas in these big pots too (Jessy is a nice one)....
Hestia is a very nice bean plant, very bushy and it does well in pots.
Little gem lettuce is fine in pots...or any of the 'cut and come again' salad leaves that are readily available.
There are seeds sold specifically for growing in small gardens, for container gardening...tomatoes like 'Tumbling Tom' and 'Garden Pearl' do well in hanging baskets.
I grew onions 'Santero' F1 in a tub last year and sweetcorn...3 plants in a 15" pot.
So yes....there's lots out there
Globe carrots grown in a tub
hmmmmm strawberrys, quite easy to grow in pots and as for veg give everything ago you like just look for varities which are container friendly
Thanks all for the advice, I have bought a couple of hanging baskets also, didn't think about tomatoes in those but that might work well.
Anything else do well in hanging baskets!? I already have strawberries in my fruit patch.
I find often I get the amount of watering wrong, I usually lose tomatoes from lack of water and overwater everything else!
Have a variety of pots / containers in varying sizes (mostly medium to large) and also potato sacks and growbags.
Apparently you can grow basil as a companion plant to tomatoes. Stick a plant in with the tomato, and as basil is more sensitive to conditions than tomatoes, if it looks sickly, it will do it before it shows on your tomatoes. Can't remember where I read this, but worth a go if you struggle with toms.
Ooh yes I do have some Nasturtium seeds, they are lovely in salads, thanks again for all the advice!!
Red Dahlia I do like your advice about growbags, seems to me they are not as deep as they used to be!?
in my container i tried with chille and tomoatos..
Do well with tomatoes,runner beans,cucumbers and early potatoes.
Our new house a few years ago was perfect in lots of ways, but, horror! -- the back "garden" was totally paved over. Honestly, what idiot.....? Anyway, before I managed to get some of the slabs up, (my husband is disabled), I grew broad, runner and French beans, mangetout peas, courgette, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, lettuce, rocket, borage, nasturtium, chillies, very tastily. Carrots always a disaster though, and beetroot tough as old boots. Can't win 'em all, but it's great fun, so have a go!
If you have as much as 4 foot square, please try 'Square foot gardening'. Using the special mix I get a Six foot row of carrots in two one foot square units i.e. two foot by one foot! You can also get very good results with Beet, Beans, Peas, radish etc. I grow No tomatoes outside as there are too many potato growers in the area and the blight is the same on spuds and toms. Nature grows nothing in rows, and neither do I! The special mix is free draining but holds moisture and is 1/3 Peat, 1/3 Garden Compost and 1/3 INSULATION grade Vermiculite. the seedsowing grade Vermiculite from Garden Centres is much too fine. I am 75 but still get good crops.