While the UK is quarantined due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us are finding that we have time on our hands. Seeing as it’s now Spring and the garden needs a post-Winter overhaul.
Why not break out those green fingers and grow some vegetables in pots?
When it comes to growing your own vegetables, you don’t need a large garden or an allotment. You can grow them in pots on your patio, even on your balcony or in a window box if you have limited space.
There are many easy-to-grow vegetables you can grow in containers with very little effort and no digging or weeding; all you need is a deep container or pot, around 15 inches deep, potting mix (compost) and a sunny spot. You will be amazed at how much better vegetables taste when home-grown.
Some of the best vegetables to grow in this way are:
Tomatoes can be grown in pots, grow-bags or, if you want to grow the trailing variety, you can grow them in hanging baskets. They are the most productive of vegetables (or fruit!) but they do need plenty of sunlight so even a windowsill is an ideal place for them. They will need to be watered regularly and use tomato fertiliser for the best results.
Beans are another easy-to-grow vegetable that requires minimum space because most beans are climbers and grow upwards. With the help of bean poles tied together to look like a teepee they will happily grow around them and are there for continuous picking.
Radishes will grow in a more shallow depth container and they are one of the fastest growing crops of vegetables. They are normally ready in as little as a month and with their peppery taste they are great in salads.
For growing lettuce, you will need a wider planter rather than a deeper one because the head of the lettuce needs room to grow and they prefer a shady space. It is easy to grow lettuce from seed and you can plant different types of leaf lettuce and leafy greens together in the same pot, which will give you an array of colour and the main ingredient to your salad.
Like lettuce, spinach doesn’t require a deep pot because it has shallow roots, but you will need a wide one so that it has the space it needs to grow. There are many different types of spinach that can be grown outside easily or even on a windowsill.
You can use peppers and chillies in a variety of recipes,and now is a great time to experiment! They look great in pots and would brighten up your patio and even your indoors. Chillies thrive better in a warm place like a greenhouse or on a windowsill, and they may need the support of a tomato cane when they start to grow.
Cucumbers are another favourite vegetable that can be grown in pots, although they do have sprawling vines. To support them, you can add a trellis for them to grow around. Cucumbers are tastier when picked fresh off the vine and they are also pretty easy to grow.
To grow potatoes, you will need a deep container, something like a barrel as they do require plenty of soil. Home grown potatoes, like most food that is home-grown, taste a lot better than store-bought potatoes. They can take a little bit more effort but they are an easy plant to grow and you will not be disappointed by the rewards.
Carrots also require a deep container, but you can choose a short-rooted variety if you wish. Growing carrots is quite easy and it usually yields a decent harvest which can be used in many different recipes, or even on their own to snack on.
Onions grow very well in containers and are a versatile vegetable. Because they are a staple ingredient in a lot of recipes, growing a few on your patio will not go amiss.You’ll wish you had more!
There are many other vegetables and different types of plants that are happy to grow in pots and containers, so whether you have a garden or not there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your own vegetable patch. The satisfaction you’ll get knowing that the produce you are eating is home grown with a real food taste, means you’ll not be disappointed. Often, small spaces can offer big rewards.