Container Gardening

Growing Back to my Roots

container gardening

Having an allotment plot has been a blessing. Not only are allotments incredibly hard to get in the first place, they’re a great way to meet other local gardeners and gather invaluable tips and advice. Visiting our allotment is like visiting an old friend; it’s familiar, we feel at home there, and most importantly our plot has allowed us to get on with the new growing year uninterrupted since moving house recently. I feel like a bit of a whinge-bag with what I’m about to write, but, to me, not having a vegetable garden to potter around feels strange. Especially after creating and working in such a large and productive vegetable garden beforehand.

sstrawberries in a hanging potresized

Given time we will have a vegetable garden once more, it takes time to achieve I know (as our previous vegetable garden did), and I really shouldn’t rush but I’m a terribly impatient gardener person you see. So what’s a girl to do? Well, over the weekend I went back to how it all began for me, how I discovered a passion for growing my own food. I created a container vegetable garden.

I’m currently growing:

  • Potatoes (left-over seed potatoes from the allotment)
  • Mixed salad leaves (really easy)
  • Salad onions
  • Beets (for leaves and roots)
  • Carrots (use thinnings in salads)
  • Radish (quick-growing and easy to grow)
  • Calendula (a beautiful colour variety from The Real Seed Collection, attracts bees and flowers are edible)
  • Cosmos (a beautiful colour variety from Sarah Raven seeds, bees and butterflies will love them)
  • Peas (for pea shoots and peas of course!)
  • Broad Beans (tops are yummy too, but not covered with black fly!)
  • Onion sets (left-over from the allotment)
  • Mixture of herbs (from seed and cuttings)
  • Strawberry runners saved from our previous vegetable garden (soon to go in hanging baskets)
  • Pineberries (I hope they fruit this year)
  • Alpine strawberries grown from seed
  • Sunflowers (every garden should have them)
  • Lots of tomatoes and some chillies (they’re enjoying the warmth of the conservatory for now)

grow peas in a container

My ‘grow your own’ journey began by growing everything I could in containers. The beauty of container gardening is you can provide the perfect growing conditions for a wide-range of crops (as you can with a raised bed garden), the downside is it all needs extra watering, but if we have a summer like last year then it won’t be a problem (I hope I haven’t just jinxed our summer, sorry everyone!). Anyway, I don’t mind watering, I find it therapeutic in an odd sort of way. You can use any pots or tubs you like (even old car tyres but wash them first), root veg such as carrots will require a good depth, as will potatoes. I raided the shed and used things that were abandoned by the previous home owner.

grow dwarf beans in a container
Dwarf French beans are perfect for growing in containers

I plan to grow lots more in pots as the season progresses, including courgettes and pumpkin plants straight into the old compost heap. I have the allotment so I’m not having to go too over the top with containers (sticking to growing things we’re likely to eat plenty of or enjoy), but now I can stroll down the garden and fuss over my container veg garden too. Rich is happy, I’ve stopped my constant whingeing to get the new raised bed veg patch underway. Well, for now anyway!

My veg container garden thus far:

growing veg in pots

Do you grow veg/fruit in containers?

23 thoughts on “Growing Back to my Roots”

  1. Carrots in deep tubs, potatoes in veg bags, cucumber in grow bag, garlic in stone barrels – that was last year and it got me hooked. This year – a different garden – spuds in bags and onions in tubs so far, more to come when I get organised! Good luck to all garden friends for a better summer than last x

  2. I’ve grown tomatoes and salad greens in container pots so I could protect them from the deer, groundhogs, rabbits, and other assorted critters that love them as much as we do. This year we’re finally doing raised beds with hoops and deer netting to keep the varmints out. Hope it works!

  3. That made me smile! I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to do containers this year, after all, I have my little kitchen garden of raised beds, but I can already feel my resolve crumbling. I already have salad onions and coriander (and radishes) growing in planters, am planning a couple of herb troughs, and given how may pots I have it just seems wasteful not to use at least some of them… After all, beans and peas grow so well in pots… It will be the compost – hard to get hold of here and expensive – that slows me down. Enjoy your mini container garden, but I hope you get your raised beds soon too!!

  4. I’ve never done containers, but this year I’m having a go with a salad table. I’m attracted by the easy height for weeding, lack of pests (hopefully) etc. I built one out of an old pallet I had lying around. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

  5. Wish I hadn’t looked, this has made me realise I am further behind with things than want to be! The tomato seedlings have appeared which cheered me up greatly this weekend and the potatoes ready to go in *when* the veg patch is sufficiently dug over to my liking. Found two enormous tubs hidden in the undergrowth which are too big to get rid of so they will be used for peas/beans. Tayberries planted and a blueberry for the “fruit” line, just need to get the mini paths in to divide the rest up so some form of rotation can be adopted. Can’t wait for the thought of fresh pots, corn and courgettes for the BBQ.

  6. Blimey you have been busy, I love your enthusiasm for growing veg. It’s addictive with everything bursting into life at the moment isn’t it. I’m not planning too many pots except have already planted up violets (flowers edible of course) surrounded by rocket and will no doubt succumb to more.

  7. I’m growing rosemary and mint in pots on the balcony. Bf is growing seedlings and a potato. I don’t know if it will work, but I prefer growing my own than buying from the shops.

  8. I grew everything in containers before I had a garden. Fruit and vegetables in pots have a real charm to them. I still have several blueberries in pots as well as herbs, and they do really well. You are right about the watering – one slight bonus about last summer was that I almost never had to water anything. I’ve also got a little peach tree in a pot, which is lovely when it’s in leaf, whether or not there are any peaches (the flying footballs and curious little people usually put paid to any actual peaches).

  9. A most enjoyable post, and good photos.
    The only vegetable I try growing in a container is carrots, so far not really with much success. xx

  10. Thank you, Flighty! Sorry to hear growing carrots in containers isn’t such a success for you, they usually do OK for me. However, I’m trying a few new varieties this year so fingers crossed!

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