Vegetable Container gardening is great for small spaces, if you’re renting or selling your home and don't want a permanent garden, or just want a nice smelling plant at your front door. With Container Gardening, you can have an Organic Vegetable Garden in a pot!
There are also some plants that would be best put into a container even if you have lots of space. Invasive herbs are best grown in a pot so they don't take over your veggie patch. You'll find a few of these listed on my Organic Herb Gardening Page
Keep that water in!
A challenge for container gardening can be the watering. Even if you have an abundant water supply it is worth implementing these ideas as they’ll save you time as well as water.
Choose your container wisely so they don’t dry out too quickly.
- For hanging baskets line with sphagnum moss
- Small pots will out dry quicker than larger ones
- Plastic pots will heat up too quickly
- Clay pots are porous
- If you choose wood, make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals (this may be hard to check)
- Ceramic pots are a good choice
- Make sure any pot you use has good drainage holes. Use stones in the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.
- Put Mulch on top to help stop the soil from drying out. - Vertical Gardening is a great space saver - also helps to keeps plants like tomatoes and cucumbers under control.
Some Extra Tips:
- To stop slugs getting into your pots, smear some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the outside.
- Recycle your styrofoam packing by putting it in the bottom of your pots for drainage.
- Slow release watering: Put ice cubes into your hanging baskets or pot plants. (ensure they don’t touch the plant)
Improve your soil to help with water retention.
If you are buying potting mix (this is recommended), buy a good quality one.
Adding compost will help improve soil retention. As these pages are about gardening in small spaces, I’m guessing you may not have room for a compost heap! See what your garden centre has or if there is a mushroom farm nearby you may be able to pick up some mushroom compost for free.
Water Crystals are fantastic for holding water and do so for a long time.
Your pots need feet!
Ensure your pot has good drainage by putting the pots on "pot feet" (raise the pot off the ground and don't have it sitting in a saucer of water). You can still have a saucer to protect your deck or tiles just use the feet in-between.
- Add broken egg shells to your watering can and leave overnight for a mineral boost.
- When boiling eggs, keep the water and use on plants - it contains calcium from the shells.
- When cleaning the fish tank – put the water on your plants – a little fertilizer boost.
So what can you grow?
Most veggies are suitable for vegetable container gardening. You may want to give watermelons and pumpkins a miss! You will also find a lot of dwarf or compact varieties. You can also grow potatoes in a container It's a great way to grow potatoes without taking up much room.
"A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself."
~ Mary Sarton