This evening I was waxing lyrical to a couple of friends about the ease and virtue of growing vegetables in pots. I love home grown vegetables but sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day to be digging and composting, improving the soil followed by yet more digging and raking. Sometimes there is more to life than a fine tilth.
The easy and effective solution to this is to grow vegetables in pots. One can grow practically anything in a pot and the great benefit of this type of gardening is that each pot can contain a completely different soil type to get the best out of your veg.
Carrots like poor, sandy soil, so a big pot of earth mixed with sharp sand will produce a fine crop.
Cauliflowers like rich, firm, deep soil whilst
onions and garlic will grow in practically anything as long as the soil is well-drained.
A dustbin full of soil can produce half a dozen corn on the cobs.
Beans and peas (legumes) prefer a rich, light, slightly limey soil and don’t like the cold.
If you like new potatoes with your Christmas lunch, pop a few seed potatoes in now
Even better, crop rotation is easy, as all you have to do is change pots. I always keep a notebook in which I write details of what I’ve planted in each pot and this allows for a bit of experimentation. It is important not to grow the same plants in the same soil as the soil will become depleted and prone to disease.
There is also much scope for companion planting as you don’t have to use up valuable veg growing space with flowers.
Simply pop a pot of marigolds next to your carrots to repel aphids and carrot root fly –
onions also repel carrot fly,
oregano fends off Cabbage White butterflies,
sage is a deterrent against flea beetles, slugs and cabbage moth
and a shotgun soon sorts out the squirrels. I jest of course – a catapault is far less ostentatious.
Give it a go and pop in a few onion sets and spuds and see how you get on. Seed packets and small plants (sets) nearly always have clear instructions on how close plants should be and it may be that you just plant one cabbage to a pot, or a couple of seed potatoes.
Have a look at the sites below to see how I fared.