What vegetables can be grown in pots and containers?
No matter how small your garden or yard is you can always find room to grow some vegetables in containers. These containers can be anything from window boxes to dustbins/trash cans, and the results you can achieve will impress your family with the superior quality of the produce and the depth of flavor they have compared to commercially grown supermarket vegetables. Your next question will no doubt be 'what vegetables can be grown in containers then?' The answer to this question is that most vegetables can be successfully grown in containers providing the containers are of a suitable size and you ensure the plants get enough sunlight, water and food. I have been doing this for many years so I can speak from experience, and whilst I do grow on my own large vegetable allotment, I also have a number of crops growing in containers throughout the summer months, (not least because I exhibit them, but also because sometimes it is quicker to harvest enough vegetables for our evening meal when they are located closer to home.)
Now you might ask yourselves why should you grow vegetables at home? My answer to this question would be that you will know the food is fresher, has been grown organically, is tastier, and of course it is usually cheaper. Growing vegetables at home is also an excellent way to get your children interested in growing vegetables too.
So let's assume you have decided that you want to try growing vegetables in containers for yourself. Now you need to know which are the best ones to grow for you and your family that will be successful and productive when grown as a container plant. Your initial decision should obviously be based on what vegetables you and your family actually like to eat. There is no point at all in growing broad beans for instance, if no-one in your family actually likes the taste of broad beans. It never ceases to amaze me how many people grow vegetables they actually hate. Golden rule, only grow the vegetables you buy in the supermarket, or would do if you could afford them (vegetables like asparagus can be expensive, but are much more affordable if you grow your own.)
Make sure you have a range of containers or planter bags in differing sizes and depths. Certain vegetables like potatoes will require a deep bag, bucket or a trash can/dustbin, whilst other vegetables like lettuces or land cress will cope well with a container or planter bag that is only 6-12 inches deep. Using the right sized bag can save you a lot of money on compost.
Remember to buy a good quality multipurpose compost for your vegetable containers, and it is also worth buying slow release plant food granules to add to the compost prior to planting up so the plants get fed over the entire growing season, (apart from carrots and parsnips that cope better in a low nutrient growing medium.)
Vegetables Ideal for Container Growing.
- Salad leaves and lettuce.
- Spring onions/scallions/green onions (take your pick on what you call them.)
- Tomatoes, (although technically a fruit.)
- Cucumbers, (also a fruit.)
- Runner Beans.
- French Beans.
- Herbs (all kinds.)
- Peppers (chilli and bell peppers.)
- American Land Cress.
If you want to learn more about growing vegetables in containers then an article I wrote to explain how to grow vegetables in containers may prove beneficial to you, and will help you to get started in your first year. To read the article you need to click here.
Personally I can't encourage you enough to try this out for yourselves. The excitement of harvesting and eating your own vegetables is indescribable, and the results will speak for themselves when you first taste the produce you have grown for your family.
Growing Vegetables in Containers
Do you grow vegetables in containers?
Growing a Tomato in a Container
After reading this would you now consider growing vegetables in containers?
#26 of 30 in the March 2012 Challenge