Success in pots

potsThere’s a lot to be said for growing your own food in pots… they can be moved wherever you like in the garden so you can make the best use of sunny, sheltered spots, they don’t take up much space and they’re easy to manage. We’re big fans, but there are a few little tips one should keep in mind for getting a good crop from your pots.

  1. Size matters. (It really does.) If your pot is too small for a courgette plant, for example, then the roots don’t have enough space for the plant to grow properly. If you put a carrot in a shallow pot, then there’s no space for the carrot to grow. So, give your plants plenty of space and depth. That said, shallow pots/containers are good for beetroot and salad plants.
  2. Get the compost right. Pots work best with potting compost and this should be kept moist always. With pots, you probably need to water every day during dry spells, otherwise they’ll just dry out. It’s also worth adding a mulch to help keep moisture consistent.
  3. You need good drainage. Having said that you need to water frequently and keep the compost moist, don’t forget that plants don’t like being waterlogged, so you need somewhere for any excess water to escape from. Be sure to choose pots with holes in the bottom and put some stones in the base of the pot to help. If you can put the pot somewhere where it is easy for water to escape (over cracks on decking, or raising the pots on feet for example) then this will help too.
  4. Put the pots in the right place. Once you’ve filled your pot with compost it’ll become fairly heavy to move, so try to get it in the right place before you plant. You don’t want to be heaving it to the bottom of the garden! Equally, if you’re growing herbs or salads in pots, then it’s worth having them as close to the kitchen as possible.