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Choosing The Right Pots And Containers To Grow Your Own.

Updated on June 6, 2013

Growing Your Own Home Grown Produce In Pots And Containers.

Fruit and vegetables can be grown in any container, as long as it is of suitable size. Depending on the plant being grown, the container will have to be big enough to give adequate room for the plant’s roots and provide enough growing medium for the plant to extract food and water.

If the plants you are growing are going to be in a view, you may want to consider the appearance of the pots and if they suit the surroundings they are in. By choosing the right pots you can create a theme or add character to the growing area and find suitable examples that compliment the plants being grown in them.

Containers do not have to be expensive in order to be suitable. In fact, some of the best containers for fruit and vegetables can be recycled for free from containers intended for a different purpose. This element of recycling old containers compliments the ethos of growing your own and enables those on a small budget to still enjoy the pleasure of producing and eating home grown produce.

Carrots in metal container
Carrots in metal container
Herbs in assorted terracotta pots
Herbs in assorted terracotta pots
Pots and container growing in a small space
Pots and container growing in a small space
Pots and containers
Pots and containers

Purpose made containers are ideal if a specific style is wanted or if recycled options are not in keeping with the immediate environment.

So what can be used to grow home produce in?

Small tins work well for growing small plants or herbs, especially those that are kept on windowsills. Small chilli plants are ideal for tins. Painting the tins will add a more creative touch but they also work well with the labels removed so there aluminium tin contrasts well against the colours of the plant.

Old kettles, metal tins, buckets, chimney pipes and plastic washing up bowls can all work well as containers for plants. Make sure, if the containers are outdoors, that they have drainage holes in the bottom. You may need to drill or knock through a series of holes in the bottom if none exist. This is essential to stop the containers filling up and water-logging the plants, killing them in the process.

Whatever container you use, make sure it is thoroughly clean before adding the compost. This will make sure that there are no harmful chemicals or diseases that will cause damage to or kill the plants. This should be done after each growing season to prevent the build up of harmful diseases from occuring.

A trick when buying new terracotta pots, to rid them of their artificially bright orange colour and help them blend in with the garden, is to give them a coating on the outside with yoghurt and allow to dry. Algae will form on the pot, giving it an antique look, more in keeping with older pots in the garden. Due to their porous nature, the growing medium in terracotta pots can dry out in hot weather. This can be reduced by lining the pot. Bubble-wrap makes an ideal liner, as not only does it prevent moisture escaping, it also acts as an insulater, retaining more warmth in the compost during cooler months.

Growing your fruit and vegetables in pots and containers means not needing a garden or large outdoor space but does mean being able to enjoy fresh and healthy home grown produce at a fraction of the price of shop bought produce. And it need not be expensive. You don’t need to spend much to have enough containers to grow fruit and vegetables in. Just a bit of imagination, some tools to make holes, and maybe being prepared to have a rummage to see what you can find.


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