Plant a container veg garden and pick delicious home-grown produce even if you don’t have much garden space – or if you’ve filled up your garden and still want to grow more!
At this time of year veg plants grow rapidly, so they’ll mature to harvest stage well before the end of summer. You can also try out veg you’ve never grown before and really expand your horizons. Veg which are really easy to grow in containers include salad leaves, beetroots, bush tomatoes, dwarf or climbing French beans, and round rooted carrots. You can also try compact varieties of larger veg including runner beans, courgettes and squashes, bred to do well in containers – just look for the words ‘patio’ or ‘container’ in the name. Fruit also do extremely well in pots: look out for strawberries, ‘Minarette’ apples and pears, and compact varieties of fruit bush such as Mulberry ‘Charlotte Russe’ and Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’.
Use the biggest container you can find, as it makes watering and feeding the plants much easier, and place it where it will get lots of sunshine. Mix together equal quantities of multipurpose compost and soil-based compost and add some slow-release fertiliser – you’ll find granular or pelleted fertilisers (as well as everything else you’ll need!) here at the garden centre in Two Dales, Matlock.
Fill your container, leaving a gap at the top for watering, and put any plant supports in place – obelisks or willow wigwams look lovely and provide something for climbing beans to scramble up. You can sow seeds direct into your container, or buy ready-grown vegetable plug plants, available now from the garden centre to plant straight away. Water the pot thoroughly straight after sowing or planting, then keep the compost just damp. As your vegetables grow, feed with liquid fertiliser every fortnight and you can look forward to a bumper harvest later this summer!