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

    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

    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

    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

    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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