Growing Vegetables in Pots, by Jaspal Boyce


Here is the second blog from Jaspal Boyce on growing your own vegetables in pots in the garden at home.  With no previous experience, see how she got on……

Courgette Plant 2

Growing Vegetables in Pots

As a result of my initial vegetable growing experience discussed here, I have learned that many vegetables can be grown in pots. We are used to seeing salads and herbs in pots, but I was surprised to discover that – and I am sure many others, who have far more exposure to growing their own vegetables than I, can confirm – other vegetables grow well in pots too.

Tips:

  1. Only grow one type of vegetable per container, unless of course you are growing herbs. Remember different vegetables will grow at different rates.
  2. Depending on the size of the vegetable will depend on the size of the pot needed. For example, for small vegetables, e.g. chillies, use at least a 2-litre pot, and for larger vegetables you may need at least 10 litres or bigger.
  3. Make sure that the pots have good drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. I also added a layer of broken crockery for added drainage. My local garden centre had a bin filled with it, and I could take as much as I wanted for free. Broken up polystyrene or gravel will also work.
  4. I used multi-purpose compost and added this to my pots.
  5. When the weather is warm, water frequently.
  6. After about 4 weeks, the leafy crops can be fed with the appropriate liquid fertilizer.
Courgette Plant 3
The Courgettes adventure

As I have mentioned before I was given a courgette plant, which was about 10cm high, by some friends who had planted the seeds and done all the initial hard work.  Incidentally, if you did want start your courgettes from seed then these would need to be sown in 8 cm pots indoors at the end of April, to be planted outside at the end of May / early June.  Don’t forget to acclimatise them before putting them outside.  Find out how to do that by clicking here.

Anyway, I planted mine in a big pot, which is about 20 litres, at the end of May, and in a few weeks the leaves were massive and it flowered. I have to say I was amazed, and then I read somewhere that courgettes are meant to be the easiest to grow!  Well, I was still amazed!  I found that they do like lots of water, so don’t let the pots dry out, and watch out for those slugs too. I also fed them every couple of weeks.

When the courgettes were about 15cm long, they were picked. If you don’t pick courgettes frequently in summer they will turn into marrows really quickly, almost in the blink of an eye.

Each plant can produce up to 30 fruits from late June to early September. My one plant in the pot, so far, has produced about 5 courgettes.  Not too bad considering this was my first go at this!

My hand grown courgettes were used in making a delicious and really easy Courgette and Ricotta Tart and a Courgette and Mascarpone Pasta.  Find the recipes by clicking on the words.

The satisfaction of growing your vegetables and cooking something delicious with your harvest is unbelievably joyful, so I would recommend giving it a go.

For my next blog, I write about my experience of growing runner beans.  Click here to go to it now.


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