Gardening Magazine

Growing Vegetables in Containers

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Growing Vegetables in ContainersMy New Year’s resolutions included not panicking about the allotments, but with all of the rain in recent days, I am seriously behind with my digging and although I felt as if I was cheating at the time, I am glad I sprayed off the weeds with glyphosate whilst the weather was dry! Although weed killers act more slowly in the winter when the weeds are not growing as actively, it does still work and now they are all yellow and more importantly, they have stopped growing and will not produce flowers and yet more seeds! Glyphosate is a systemic weed killer so it will kill the whole plant, including the roots rather than just burning off the top growth as a contact weed killer would.

My potatoes are still ‘chitting’ in egg boxes in the utility room and have been joined by the window box and pot containing salad leaves and radish. The other day there was almost a disaster concerning the containers. The seed had started to germinate and so I put them out on the patio one warm, sunny morning. I had to go out and as I drove home the roads became white with a recent hailstorm. I checked the pots to find them covered in a thick layer of ice with decapitated seedlings strewn over the surface – bad news indeed! The hail stones were so heavy that they had smashed the stems of the tender plants and I was about to throw the whole lot away and re-sow. Mrs McGregor suggested that I bring the containers in and let them thaw out first which I did. The next day most of the seedlings were fine and since then, the peas have begun to germinate, so pea shoots can hopefully be added to the salad menu in a few weeks time along with the other leaves that are growing again!

My old biscuit tin in the dresser is full of recently purchased seed ready for the year ahead and I have decided that if I can’t dig over the ground in time for the early sowings, more will be grown in large containers and they can stand on the patio or if we run out of room, on the allotment! I have plenty of large containers that are suitable for peas, beans and even potatoes, which I am going to try this year as an experiment. To save money - I will need several bags of compost to fill all of the pots - I am going to grow some early potatoes in a large container filled with my homemade compost to see how they do!

So it’s back to the garden center for a few bags of compost and some blended stable manure to mix in with my own. The hardest part may be to convince Mrs McGregor of the idea but perhaps I can research some more vegetable varieties that will look ornamental on the patio as well as being good enough to eat!

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