The following vegetables lend themselves well to container cultivation:
Beetroot, Broad beans, Carrots, Dwarf French beans, Herbs, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Chillies & Peppers, Salad leaves, Salad onions, Salad turnips, Tomatoes.
How to grow vegetables in containers
- Pots, troughs and grow-bags can all be used to allow gardeners without time or room for a vegetable plot to grow fresh, tasty produce
- Container-grown vegetables can be started off in a glasshouse, conservatory or porch for earlier crops
- Smaller containers can result in a lack of moisture and nutrients for plant roots. Aim for containers with a depth and width of at least 45cm (18in), otherwise frequent watering and feeding will be needed
- Use sterile proprietary potting composts to obtain best results
- The soil-based compost John Innes No 3 is especially easy to manage, but other composts, including peat-free varieties, are also suitable
- Compost in grow-bags is often both good value and reasonable quality
- Home made mixtures of two parts soil and one part well rotted organic matter fortified with extra fertiliser can be an economical substitute, but home-made mixtures are not sterile, so may pose a risk for pest and disease problems
- Organic growers who wish to avoid fertiliser use can get good results from mixing well-rotted manure into the potting compost in the lower half of their containers – 20 percent by volume should be sufficient
Aftercare should involve provision of a constant water supply, but take care to avoid prolonged waterlogging. A feed of general-purpose liquid fertiliser can be applied every two weeks. If frost is likely, cover the plants with horticultural fleece and move the pots to a warm, sheltered spot.