This is hardly a news flash. As land prices continue to rise gardens are getting smaller and smaller with each new housing development. But as our outdoor space decreases, the cost of food increases. So how can we grow more vegetables in an ever-shrinking garden? Containers make for a perfect solution for those of us who are space-limited or live in apartments.
There are benefits to growing vegetables in containers. For instance, sowing your carrots in tall pots or raised over 18 inches off the ground will prevent your crop from being eaten alive by the larvae of the carrot root fly; the mature winged adults can’t achieve such lofty altitudes to lay its eggs. Growing strawberries in hanging baskets will save your delicious fruits from slug and snail damage. You will be able to move your crop to catch more or less sunlight, avoid winds or cold snaps or nearer to your kitchen! You’ll not need to weed or till the ground and if you use a good organic, peat-free compost you’ll see a better, healthier yield with many vegetable crops. The list of reason why container gardening is so worth while goes on.
Varieties to try
Extra fine tasty beans on compact plants. Beans are held above the foliage for easy harvesting. Excellent source of folate and iron.
Fast growing, with a sweet flavour and good yields. Baby carrots with great colour and texture. Excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants.
Producing compact plants with full-size fruits, courgette ‘Buckingham’ is ideal for container growing. The thin skinned golden fruits with crisp flesh are an excellent source of vitamin C.
From regular summer sowings, this quick growing blend will produce delicious crops of nutritious salad leaves in less than 30 days. Lettuce Leaves ‘Crunchy Blend’ is ideal for growing in containers close to the kitchen door, but can also be grown under cover for a tasty winter crop
Salad Onion Apache (Deep Purple) is an attractive deep purple-red skinned spring onion with a mild flavour and a crisp texture. The purple outer skin merges with the silver when peeled, adding a colour contrast to salads. Salad Onion Apache is ideal for growing in containers.
Chilli Pepper ‘Demon Red’ produces upward facing, very hot chilli peppers throughout summer. This very dwarf variety was specially bred for growing on a windowsill or in patio containers, where it makes an attractive plant for edible or ornamental use.
The dwarf, compact plants of Sweet Pepper Mini Bell Mixed produce a huge crop of small, blocky shaped, sweet peppers in red, orange and chocolate colours. Early to flower and to set fruit throughout a long growing season. Sweet Pepper Mini Bell Mixed is suitable for growing in a greenhouse or outdoors. Productive and decorative when grown in containers on a sunny patio.
Easy and quick to grow, attractive in patio pots. Good source of vitamin C. Intense peppery flavour. Wild Rocket is an ideal kitchen windowsill herb.
Strawberry – Cambridge
Best-loved varieties available. This mid-season strawberry produces a bumper crop of juicy orange-red fruits with an excellent flavour and texture from June to July. Reliable and tolerant of most situations and well suited to growing in containers for a space saving crop on the patio. Cropping periods can also be brought forward or extended if you are growing them in a greenhouse or polytunnel.
Tomato – Tumbling Tom Red
Juicy medium-sized cherry toms for baskets or tubs. Determinate, (bushy habit) best outdoors. Excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Tomato – Cherry Falls
Tomato Cherry Falls are an early variety of tomato with fabulous flavour. Ideal in baskets and tubs and gives high yields. Best grown outdoors. Excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Tomato – Tumbling Tom Yellow
Juicy medium- sized cherry toms for baskets or tubs. Determinate, (bushy habit) best outdoors. Excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.