Container cropping

Container cropping

Growing veggies in pots

Don’t let your lack of space faze you – most of your favourite edible plants are content to grow in containers but there are a few tricks to make growing easier.

Choose your pot carefully. Size really does matter! If you choose a small pot you’ll probably spend a lot of time trying to keep it moist and once a pot dries out thoroughly it can be tricky to get back so cheat and use a pot which will allow enough space for at least 2/3rds of the height of the plant. Another words if you want a dwarf peach which grows to 1.5m you need the pot to hold 1m3 worth of potting mix.

Terracotta dries out faster than plastic or glazed pots but if you love the look of terracotta you can seal the pot inside and out with a tile sealant (ask your local hardware store for a recommendation)

Be picky about your potting mix. Look for the red premium standard ticks on the bag for any permanent plants. You can use the cheaper black regular standard tick potting mix on annual veggies but whichever potting mix you choose look for added fertiliser, wetting agent and water crystals and if your potting mix doesn’t have these consider adding them to the mix when you get it home. Also look for potting mixes advertising trace elements to provide the extras you need for healthy crops.

Cheats – Keep the tops of your pots mulched with sugar cane of straw but keep it away from the trunks of any permanent plants like citrus. Take advantage of the mobility of your pots to chase the sun in cooler months or shade if it’s getting too hot. Keep feeding leafy greens and fruiting veggies with a liquid fertiliser every 2-4 weeks to get maximum crops.

Best plants for containers

  • Leafy greens such as lettuce and baby spinach
  • Patio or dwarf varieties of fruiting veg such as cherry tomatoes, strawberries, dwarf capsicums and broad beans.
  • Dwarf fruit trees like dwarf citrus or nectarines
  • All herbs

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