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Growing Vegetables in Pots & Containers

Recently I attended a talk on container growing vegetables, which sparked me into writing a couple of articles on growing vegetables in containers. We used to do this when we had a concrete garden and it’s really surprising what great results you can get.

The first article – Growing Vegetables in Containers – Getting Started does what it says on the tin and covers the basic set up you’re going to need. There are quite a few products on the market nowadays designed for patio and small space vegetable growers and I’ve touched on these as well as the importance of good compost, feeding and watering.

The second part – Growing Vegetables in Containers – What to Grow and How covers some of the different vegetables you can grow at home including links to various seed varieties that are suitable for container growing.

It also covers how to make the most of your containers, successional sowing etc and how to protect your crops. Unfortunately slugs and other pests don’t care where you are growing their food!

Hopefully the advice will be of some help to those without much space who still want to enjoy the taste of home grown vegetables.

Posted in New on Site
20 comments on “Growing Vegetables in Pots & Containers
  1. Denise says:

    Thanks, your container articles have been most helpful, especially as I have a small space and I’m trying to grow as much as I can

  2. John says:

    Thanks for letting me know – sometimes you write these things and wonder if anyone read them.

  3. Don’t lose faith… I’m reading it too!!!. Its good to find useful information and hear about other peoples experiences.

  4. Carole Cottier says:

    I have for the first time started growing lupins, tomatoes, parsley, lettuces and peppers indoors as seedlings. Adding plant food once a week and water every day, but all except the peppers are withering and dying and I don’t know what to do to save them.

    I am very dissapointed. The compost I am using is from Haskins for seedlings. Can you advise me please? Thanks Carole.

  5. John says:

    Carole – difficult to know for sure. Usually you move from seedling compost to multi-purpose compost in larger pots when the seedlings are large enough to handle and the nutrients in there are enough to keep them running for 6 weeks or so.

    With tomatoes, you don’t usually feed until the fruit starts to set. I suspect you’re over watering and feeding.

  6. Beej says:

    Have I left it too late to start growing this year? Can you suggest anything I could start now that would help for next year? I know nothing about growing veg etc and have a concrete yard, but have time and enthusiasm. (I’m hoping to start a degree in Environmental Studies, so I want to be as green as I can!)



  7. nicki says:

    Could you tell me what veg I could grow in pots as my garden is a sun trap but is all slabbed and have nowhere to plant anything other than in pots.

  8. turnipheed says:

    fantastic site John

    well in there

  9. Rose says:

    What a wonderful site! I stumbled across you when I googled “vegetable growing in containers”. As I’m quite new to growing fruit and veg, your advice is invaluable. With your help, I’m looking forward to healthy home grown crops, even if on a small scale. Thanks.

  10. John says:

    Just to say I’ve got my new book on growing in containers and small spaces out!
    Vegetable, Fruit & Herb Growing in Small Spaces

  11. Anne says:

    I am thrilled to find this page. I am wondering if there is a way to have it sent to my email with each new edition?


  12. John says:

    There’s an RSS feed if that’s any good and, of course, my monthly newsletter

  13. sheila fleming says:

    hi ur comments seem helpfull i wonder is there a step by step page to help us that rare just starting i want to grow potatoes in pots and dont know haw to start

  14. John says:

    Hi Sheila – I covered potatoes in pots in my book:
    Vegetable, Fruit & Herb Growing in Small Spaces

  15. dazz says:

    what veg should I protect from slugs

  16. Great site – very useful. I too find that watering my container veggies takes up quite a bit of time so on your recommendation, I will check out my local branch of Wilkinson for that automatic watering system. One of the things I do to recycle water is to pick up the smaller pots (herbs etc.) and hold them above a bigger container that’s situated on the ground so that the water rushes through the first container and lands on the second. It doesn’t really save me any time but at least it uses less water.

    I’ve found that you can grow runner beans very successfully – I’ve got them growing in an old barrel in our front garden I’m also well impressed with the quality of container-grown tomatoes, spring onions, garlic and salad leaves. Other crops, such as courgettes and strawberries, are still on a learning curve.

    When it comes to what sort of containers to use, my motto is “the cheaper the better, and if it’s free that’s best of all”. So all sorts of weird and wonderful things have been pressed into service in my garden – old washing up bowls, polystyrene fish boxes and even some catering-sized plastic buckets that once held golden syrup!

  17. Maria Cassidy says:

    This is the first year I grew veggies in a container. I got such a kick harvesting my tomatoes, scallions, lettuce and rocket, but the best thrill was harvesting my baby cucumbers. I made a lot of salsas with my tomatoes and scallions. The cucumbers are delicious in mango salsas.

  18. atiq says:

    very very informative & usefull a guideline for me

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