Growing Salad in Containers

Many gardens today are small and city gardens are often little more than a courtyard but it is still possible to grow a good selection of salad and small vegetables.

Herbs, salad vegetables and many fruits thrive in pots and containers. They are perfect for beginnersd and those with small gardens. There are all shapes and sizes of pots and containers and even some surprising ones. Check recycling yards – old sinks, toilets, wheelbarrows, coal scuttles, yoghurt pots, fertilizer drums in fact anything that can hold compost could be suitable.

1. Choose suitably sized containers

Salad vegetables like raddishes, beetroot and lettuce tend to have shallow roots so you might need only a couple of inches soil depth. Carrots and deep rooted vegetables might need a foot or more. Some crops like courgetes like to spread so you’ll need a larger area. Potatoes grow very well and can often be grown in columns 4 or 5 feed high for super yeilds. Bean need more depth and plenty of organic material as they are hungry plants and need lots of nutrients.

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2. Water, Water, Water

Pots will dry out quickly and plants will die. So make sure you have the facility to water your pots. There are water retaining gels and high tech solutions but a simple watering can is a great place to start.

3. Good drainage

It seems counter intuitive that while plants need water they will die if they get too much – so you will have to make sure that your pots have adequate drainage so they don’t get waterlogged.

4. Compost

Compost is a complex subject but get along to your local garden centre and buy a bag – 20 litres will cost about £5 or so and don’t forget growbags act as a container as well.

5. Regular feeding

Most plants only need feeding once a week and there are many liquid feeds in the garden centre that are suitable for all plants.

6. Good positioning

The positioning of plants in containers is critical and be prepared to move them if you need to. Full sun and wind are the main issues and some plants like neither. Indirect sunlight is often best and some plants even thrive in the shade so check out different varieties.

Author: Steven Chasen

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