Choosing a suitable site
- Our sites all have afternoon sun from around 11am onwards. One is a large patio, the second is a courtyard and the third is a balcony.
- All day sun is best as vegetables need 6-8 hours of sun a day. If you have to choose a site that has either morning or afternoon sun, then afternoon is best.
Deciding on what to grow
- After finding a suitable site for your container garden, it’s time to decide what to grow.
- Grow seasonally for best results. While long-term crops like tomatoes are recommended because they’re prolific bearers, long-term crops like garlic are not, because they take up space in a container for 6 months and don’t fill your plate with food.
Sowing from seed
- We recommend growing from seed as it saves on cost. For that you’ll need a seed-sowing kit consisting of potting mix, a sieve, punnets, recycled meat or vege trays, a piece of dowel to make the furrows, labels for the seeds, liquid seaweed and the seeds.
- Sow seeds twice the depth of the diameter of the seed.
- Remember to put a date on the back of your label so you know when to expect the seeds to have germinated by.
- Only sow 1 or 2 more seeds than you want, as usually there’s a good germination rate.
- We prick out the seedlings of crops like lettuce and tomatoes, but vegetables that have big seeds like cucumber and zucchini can be sown into the pot they’ll be planted out from.
- It takes around 2 weeks for leafy greens to get to the pricking out stage. For fruiting plants it’s double that.
- Potatoes grow well in containers, but before we plant them, we soak them in liquid seaweed for 15-30 minutes once a week for 3-4 weeks then place them in an egg container. This encourages chits (from which the seed potato sprouts) and the liquid seaweed bath gives them disease resistance.
- Early spring is when strawberries appear in the plant shops. Plant them out as early as possible as the bigger the plants, the more and bigger the fruit. Once you’re growing strawberry plants, you can make new plants from the runners that are put out in autumn. Then you can get your new plants in in early winter.
- Strawberry plants like an acidic soil so we apply Flowers of Sulphur before planting to drop the pH level.
Camera: Davian Lorson
Editor: Michael Hardcastle