Tips for Growing Vegetables in Containers

It's possible to grow a huge range of vegetables and herbs successfully in pots, which means that anyone with a patio, balcony or even just a sunny windowsill can harvest their own fresh produce for the kitchen.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening
Terracotta Pots are Good Containers for Herbs DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Ranks of Terra-Cotta Pots

Large terra-cotta pots are stylish, easy to care for and look perfect arranged along the edge of a flight of steps or on a patio. This patch of light shade suits sage, mint, thyme and parsley well, although almost any herb will flourish in a container when well watered. To keep plants compact and bushy, regularly pinch out the growing tips or clip with shears.

Recycled Colander Used for Hanging Garden DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Recycled Kitchen Colander

Hanging baskets are a great way to create extra growing space, and a kitchen colander, with ready-made drainage holes, is a quirky alternative to standard designs. Tumbling varieties of bush tomatoes, with trusses of colorful fruit, will cascade over the edge of the container, as will fast-growing orange-flowered nasturtiums. Herbs, such as parsley and thyme, are perfect for filling in any gaps. Hang the basket out of strong winds and keep it well watered.

Raised Bed with Decorative Edge Doubles as Seat DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tip for a Small Garden

To make the most out of available space, intersperse fast-growing crops, such as radishes and lettuce, in plantings of slower-growing vegetables. Here, red-leaved lettuces are ready for harvest, while the zucchini plant they surround has yet to set fruit. Nearby, a pepper plant shares its pot with basil.

Use Containers of All Shapes in Creative Groupings DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grouped Containers

Group containers of all shapes, sizes and finishes to create a colorful effect. This tiled patio is given a contemporary feel with metallic containers filled with the bold foliage of Asian greens and colored stems of Swiss chard 'Bright Lights'. Consider including galvanized garbage cans or colorful plastic containers; just be sure that drainage holes are drilled in their bases.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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