Growing Vegetables in Containers

It is possible to grow a huge range of vegetables and herbs successfully in pots, which means that anyone with a patio, balcony or even just a sunny windowsill can harvest their own fresh produce for the kitchen.

Terracotta Pots are Good Containers for Herbs

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Ranks of Terra-Cotta Pots  

Large terra-cotta pots are stylish, easy to care for and look perfect arranged along the edge of a flight of steps or on a patio. This patch of light shade suits sage, mint, thyme and parsley well, although almost any herb will flourish in a container when well watered. To keep plants compact and bushy, regularly pinch out the growing tips or clip with shears.

Recycled Colander Used for Hanging Garden

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Recycled Kitchen Colander

Hanging baskets are a great way to create extra growing space, and a kitchen colander, with ready-made drainage holes, is a quirky alternative to standard designs. Tumbling varieties of bush tomatoes, with trusses of colorful fruit, will cascade over the edge of the container, as will fast-growing orange-flowered nasturtiums. Herbs, such as parsley and thyme, are perfect for filling in any gaps. Hang the basket out of strong winds and keep it well watered.

Large Containers Share Crops in Small Space

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Space-Saving Plantings

In a small garden, it is even more important to get the most out of all the available space, so choose large containers and grow fast-maturing crops, such as lettuce, with slower-growing vegetables. Here red-leaved lettuces, planted around a zucchini, are ready for harvest, while the zucchini plant still has a long fruiting season ahead of it. The neighboring sweet pepper plant shares its pot with a fine specimen of basil.

Use Containers of All Shapes in Creative Groupings

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grouped Containers

Be imaginative and use containers of all shapes, sizes and finishes, and arrange them in groups to create an exciting and colorful effect. This tiled patio is given a modern feel with metallic containers filled with the bold foliage of Asian greens and colored stems of Swiss chard 'Bright Lights'. All kinds of improvised pots work well, including galvanized garbage cans or colorful plastic containers, provided that drainage holes are drilled in their bases.

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