Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 23 replies

Due to extremely chalky soil I am growing all of my veg in containers. This is my first time growing veg, done cucumbers and sweet peppers in containers and salad leaves in a basket. Working well so far, cucumbers will be ready in a few weeks and peppers just flowering. Also started to use spent coffee beans from local shop.
This must be why my container-planted pink fir apple potatoes haven't done very well. I only fed them twice and now they have gone yellow and keeled over without even flowering. A woeful peformance (from me I mean, not the potatoes). They suffered massive slug and snail attack too: that does seem to be a disadvantage of containers.
I had the same trouble last year with pink fir apple potatoes out in the veg,. garden, Mandy, and blamed poor seed as all my other early potatoes were fine. Vine weevils love container grown plants to lay their eggs in and the grubs eat the roots so you have to be very vigilant. My best success is growing tomatoes in big pots - they do escape blight that way should it be a good year for potato blight.
Can someone tell me if carrot leaves are edible please? I have a pot full of leaves but there is not enough room for the carrots to grow so I need to thin them out and am loath to throw them onto the compost, if I can eat them...thanx to anyone who can reply.


I haven't grown any veg in containers this year, mine are all in raised beds, but my beetroots are just the best. I have never had such good beetroots they are just wonderful. In fact everything this year is growing so well. I did grow carrots in containers last year and they were just lovely and grew really well.
Jumbo56 - you can eat all of the carrot. The tops can be cooked as greens but it is seldom done so perhaps the taste is not to everyone's liking but wash them well and try it, perhaps they need seasoning well and butter?
Can anyone tell me why my surplus sugarsnap peas which I froze, are horrible when I cook them?! I've tried both blanching them and freezing direct. They've only been in the freezer for a couple of weeks. There's only two of us so I need to freeze veg when there's a glut, but it seems a waste if thet then become inedible.
librarygirl - how long did you blanch them for? About 90 seconds is recommended. They will definitely taste bad if unblanched (they'll go soggy when frozen) but they should be ok if you blanch them first. Did you freeze them immediately after harvesting? If not, the sugar content in the peas will have turned to startch, making them taste bland. Kate
Yes, definitely blanching to kill the bacteria. I make all my extra peas and beans into soup and freeze that - delicious.
Hi happymarion - I enjoy your comments so much that I think you are/or should be a member of the "team" so I will address my query to Kate and you. I am a 73 year old widow and have been growing veg for about 15years since my husband died - his maxim was "if you can't eat it don't grow it" so I grew the flowers! I have 2 small greenhouses in which at this time of year I grow tomatoes, chillis and salad leaves. I usually have an abundant crop but this year it has been devastated by I do not know what. The tomato plant leaves are ok but the stems seem to have died half way up. Result-about 2lbs small green tomatoes from 10 Shirley plants and so far little or nothing from 8 Gardeners Delight plants. Any suggestions will be welcome please!!! I did change a lot of the soil and topped it up with my own compost and Arthur Bowers multi purpose
Josephine from Wilts - I agree! All hail happymarion. Have all your crops been devastated or just the tomatoes? I would think red spider mite sounds like a probably culprit, unless blight got into the greenhouse (but blight wouldn't affect chillies and salad leaves). Is there any evidence of a pest on the plants? Red spider mites, for example, create webs around the foliage, which becomes mottled. The mites and their eggs are tiny, so are easily missed. Kate
Oh, dear, Josephine. Thank you for the complement, but i doubt the BBC want or need an 83(yes, I've had my birthday)year old employee. However, two minds are better than one and there might have been something nasty in your own compost unless you sterilised it. I've had a lovely crop of tomatoes in big pots, starting off in the conservatory and then taken outside, ut the may have to come in to escape the blight as Bristol is having hot, humid, weather. Do let us know if you find the culprit so we can all benefit - forewarned is forearmed. I'm going to Barrington Court for a birthday treat tomorrow so will let you know any tips I pick up there, as they are great on fruit an veg. which they grow for the restaurant.
I thought I would have a go at mini bell peppers this year. Started in March they are now in 9 inch pots which spend the cool days the mini greenhouse and sunny days on the patio. There are loads of peppers and some are red but they are not just mini they are miniscule! I'm using gro-bag compost and feeding with tomorite slightly less than the tomatoes. Does anyone know whether I should pinched some of them out? I've just let them do their own thing! Any ideas gratefully received!


Back from walking the dog just after 7am I have been in the greenhouses with a magnifying glass for over an hour. It is only tomatoes which had a problem - in fact the Gardeners Delight plants seem to be ok just very short of fruits It seems to be the Shirley and just the middlle of the stem which has suffered. I have dug them up and chopped them to disppose of safely - the middle section of the stem is brown,dry and hollow it almost looks as if no water has been able to get through? It also seems to be above where I had removed the lower leaves?? No sign of red spider mite or any other bugs. Everything else is flourishing if a little later than usual I have just given away 12inch Spaghetti Squash which was grown on my compost and all my veg boxes have the same good results
thanks for comment about peas,can antone reccommend good varieties of Sugar Snap peas,Runner Beans and French Beans that freeze well
The Runner Beans which accidentally get left to grow big can be taken from the pod and cooked like Broad Beans if you don't require them for seed.
I was delighted to see that, even with all their acres and the largest walled kitchen garden i have ever seen, Barrington Court had shallots growing in containers. Very large decorative lead containers but containers never-the-less and such lovely shallots. It really is the most beautiful veg. garden, with a large cutting garden with lots of Zinnia "Fireworks Mixed" for the house and offices and lovely statues. I have never seen such a crop of white rasperries and we sampled them in the raspberry fool!
this year hasn't been the best growing year for me but I have a crop from everything in pots, haven't had enough sun though too get things to where they should be now, must say the blueberries are great and still cropping. and my little apple tree which is a bramley type apple is great, still the other things may pick up.