Going Potty!

Container gardening: a beginner’s observations

A glimpse of my “veg plot”!

Many of my pots are used for seasonal planting such as geraniums, or for herbs and vegetables. This spring I was given a great load of second-hand containers and pots, which enabled me to grow more veg! I have grown zucchini and butternut in pots for many years. The butternut squash does not always produce much fruit, probably due to my irregular watering! The zucchini always do very well, despite getting mildew almost every year.

Zucchini

This year I branched out into new territory, growing chard, spinach, peas (most have been eaten by the mice!) and spring onions. I also planted large containers with beetroot, parsnips and runner beans. Everything was grown from seed – no plug plants as I have only had bad experiences with them!

Chard

Parsnips

The advantages of container planting in my garden are mainly the ease of watering/feeding, positioning plants in the best possible spot with shade or cover from rain, and the ability to protect them from snails and mice, my main pests here. (It also keeps my mint under control!)

Dill and garlic chives, bayleaf, beetroot, salad and zucchini

This copper tape around my parsley pots prevents snails and slugs from climbing up to feed… they get a tiny shock from the copper, and retreat! It does really work! I believe most garden centres stock the tape… or look here.

Copper Tape

My cold frame is on a hard uneven surface, so it has fly netting taped on the base, making it inaccessible to mice, slugs and snails. Precious plants get shut in there at night! This was also very successful.

Cold Frame

Most of my herb and vegetable containers are on a balcony area far from the garden, which means mice and snails do not even reach it. The plants also have cover there… important for basil and also invaluable if we have heavy rain or hail. This does, however, mean carrying heavy watering cans over there!

Basil Forest!

I also grow salad leaves such as rocket and babyleaf in pots, as well as dill, coriander and chives – all from seed. Then there’s lemon verbena, sage and thyme, and rosemary and bayleaf (which come indoors over winter). These all do well if given the right spot… plenty of sun for most of them. (And the sage gets very thirsty).

Rocket

Herb Pots

I hope the mice will leave me enough peas for just one meal… (I’d let them have them all if they would just stop eating my tulip bulbs!)

I would love to hear of your experiences with container veg… and any useful tips are always welcome!

Thanks for stopping by. In the next few days I’ll be posting some of the dishes I’m making with all this lovely produce!