Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lesson I have learned about growing veggies in pots this year

I have just come to the end of my third year of experimenting with growing veggies in pots. To be honest, the main lesson I have taken away from this year and previous years, that it just isn't cost effective. This is especially as I am only just down the road from a fabulous farmers' market where I can stock up with fresh veggies every week. But having said that, I get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of the whole process of gardening, so from that point of view, the pots have been very successful this year.

What worked well?
Beetroot grew well. They didn't get very big but that suited me for bottling. Carrots grew well too but I had to work hard to thin them out so they had enough room to get to a decent size. Broccoli and cauliflower appear to do well in pots except they were decimated by bugs and caterpillars. And I can only get about one plant to a pot which makes it extravagant pot use. I also had a very respectable crop of cucumber which I grew in pots in my porch. As for herbs, I have done well with both rosemary and mint in pots.

What didn't work well?
I must be the only person in the world who cannot grow pumpkin. I had one plant in a huge pot but it still came to nothing. I only managed to get one zucchini from three plants and my lettuce were useless...they were very small and curled in on themselves.

What I am going to try next year
I have just planted some onion seeds so it will be really interesting to see how they do. And I am just trying to think what to put in my big bath...any suggestions?

Have you tried to grow veggies in pots? How did you get on? What veggies did you find do the best in pots?


Jo said...

Hi Sarah!
Have you tried snow peas or climbing beans? I don't grow them in pots because we have space not to need to but they are supposed to work well in big pots/tubs. It is the right time of year here for snow peas ours have just emerged. Beans are more summer.

I have grown tomatoes in pots in the past & they do very well - best mate in UK grows cherry toms in hanging baskets and has good crops (sumer of course).

At the moment I have zucchini, swede, mescalin mix, lettuce, broccoli, radish in terracotta bowl-shaped pots. These are an experiment to try and have something to fill the gap between the end of our summer/autumn veg & the start of the winter ones. We both love zucch (courgette) so much that it is worth wasting a few seeds to try and get a longer season. :)


Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Jo, I have tried beans in pots, both normal size and dwarf beans but with little success. And the weather here doesn't support tomatoes terribly well. I am looking forward to seeing how well I do with the onions. If all fails, I'm going to plant daffodils for the spring to remind me of England :)

Milica said...

Hi Sarah,
May be of use to google 10 easiest to grow vegies in a pot/beginners veggies easy to grow.
Cherry tomatoes, herbs like mints, parsley, basil, bayleaf tree have served us well.Chives too.
Raddishes seem to grow like weeds in 4-6 weeks.
Best bang for your buck in terms of freshness (& minimising chemical exposure)are the lettuce varieties - pick a few leaves as you need, as they keep growing-except the iceberg. radiccio frizzy,what's that one they put in ceasar salads?
Finally the ultimate pot plant - SPROUTS. Crop on 3-5 days. I use Vogels Biosnacky to grow mine but Nanna says a jar with a stocking works just as well.
Our permie group reproted mixed results with cucmbers last year, so you're not alone & they are experienced gardeners with fertile yards they're planting in.
Happy Gardening - I'm sure the new gardening Australia host will have some interesting suggestions.

Milica said...

Nastursium flowers are peppery in flavor & nice in a salad & like a filtered light position (not full sun all day - or frost). Pop them in with whatever other veg you're planting.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Milica, thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I have just planted a number of cauliflower and broccoli and they've gone to seed...not sure why that is. I've just been given some daffodil bulbs so going to try my hand at growing look at, not eat :)