Have you ever considered growing vegetables in pots? A potted veggie garden is not what we usually think of when we want to grow vegetables, but there are a lot of advantages to growing them in pots. If space is at a premium, you can grow them on a sunny porch or veranda. If you don't want to bend down to tend your garden, you can elevate the pots. Potted vegetables can be easier to grow because you don't need to spend as much time in the garden weeding and watering.
Generally, most vegetables grow in any kind of container: an old pail, flower pots, buckets, or old tin cans will do just fine. Among all the kinds of plant containers you may use for your vegetables, the best one would have to be a terracotta pot with holes at the bottom for draining excess water. To prevent moisture escaping from your terracotta pots, make sure you apply a sealer to the inside of the pot before use.
Almost any kind of container will do, but you need to keep a few things in mind when choosing pots:
- Dark coloured pots will absorb heat, so avoid mixing dark pots with heat-sensitive vegetables.
- Some veggies need lots of room for their roots. Choose a 20 litre pot for vegetables like tomatoes and eggplant.
- If you want to grow vegetables throughout the year, choose some pots that will be light enough to move easily. In winter, you may want to move the pots to a spot that will catch the winter sun or even indoors.
Choosing Vegetables to Grow in Pots*
Cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green onions, lettuce, peppers, radishes, squash and tomatoes are some of the vegetables that do well in pots or small containers. While it is best to devote a pot for each vegetable you plant, you may group some vegetables that have the same water and sun requirements in one large pot or container. One such vegetable group is a pot with salad staples like tomato, cucumber and parsley.
Tips for Growing Vegetables in Pots
The quality of your soil is going to make a big difference to the quality of your crops. Choose a quality potting soil for your vegetable pots - a sterile and pH-adjusted plant mix containing peat, slow release fertilizer and water retention granules. Plant mixes are commercially available at your hardware
or garden supplier
Pots need good drainage and potted vegetables need regular watering. Check the soil at least once a day until you know how often your plants need watering. In summer you may need to water more often than in winter, so keep tabs on them throughout the year.
*This article was updated 19 April 2015