To get the best from growing veg in pots and to ensure you always have something to pick, it’s worth taking the time think about the plants you grow and how you grow them. Choose good quality peat-free, multi-purpose compost, and consider adding slow-release fertiliser granules and water-retaining gel to keep plants growing well.
Find out how to get the best from growing veg in pots, below
Combine crops that like the same growing conditions
Combine crops that like the same growing conditions. Basil and tomatoes both thrive in a sheltered spot in full sun, along with aubergines and chillies. Many Mediterranean herbs thrive in the same growing conditions, and can be planted together.
Grow companion plants
Grow companion plants together in the same pot. Basil can prevent whitefly on tomatoes. Summer savory is said to discourage blackfly from broad beans.
Use big pots
Use the biggest pots you have space for to provide a good, deep growing medium for your pot-grown veg. This will mean you have to water and feed your plants less often, and they’re more likely to produce a bigger crop, as they have more space to grow. Deep pots give tall plants, like climbing beans, stability. Avoid containers with tapered sides if you need to use supports, as canes can’t be pushed far enough into the compost.
Make most of your space
Make the most of your space by growing different plants together that crop at different times. Radish, lettuce and pea shoots can be grown among slower-growing tomatoes and kale. Use trailing plants such as tumbling tomatoes and nasturtiums, which will grow down the sides of your pots, along with root crops that grow down into the soil and take up little space above the surface.
Use support to grow upwards
Don’t assume pot-grown vegetables have to be dwarf varieties. Use plant supports to gain height – bamboo canes or hazel poles are ideal tied together to form a tepee for climbing French or runner beans, borlotti beans and nasturtiums.
Grow edible flowers
Plant edible flowers like nasturtiums and violas alongside your more traditional vegetables to decorate salads, while also encouraging beneficial insects.
Don’t forget hanging baskets