Growing Vegetables

April 16, 2010 6:26am CST
You probably already know that I am not very green fingered so I wouold appreciate any advice given to me. I am wanting to grow some vegetables but I am a little low on free garden space. Is growing vegetables in pots a good idea? Is it possible to do this with root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips or would I be better sticking to vegetables that grow about the ground? Thanks :)
4 responses
@owlwings (39233)
• Cambridge, England
16 Apr 10
You can grow potatoes in a bucket very easily (and they are much easier to harvest). Just punch some holes in the bottom of a cheap plastic bucket, fill about 3/4 full with soil or compost and place two or three seed potatoes in each. The general rule is to plant potatoes about twice as deep as the size of the tuber. Protect the buckets from frost and when the first shoots appear, begin adding soil so that the tops are just showing. Keep doing this till the bucket is full. Water regularly and, when the plants begin to flower, feel around their roots for small, new potatoes. You don't have to dig up the plant and, if you are careful, you can harvest the larger tubers and leave the smaller ones to grow on. It is possible to grow carrots and parsnips in deep pots (at least half as deep again, preferably twice the depth you expect the roots to grow to) but, because there is less soil, you have to be very assiduous in watering them. Also, you may get rather fewer to a pot than you may consider worthwhile. Almost any vegetable can be grown in a pot or container but the best are tomatoes, string (runner) beans, peppers, aubergines (egg-plant), salad vegetables - such as lettuce, radish, arugula (rocket), lamb's lettuce, spinach beet - and herbs, including parsley and cilantro. Potatoes, as I say, are successful but it is best to choose a variety which has excellent flavour as a new potato and is hard to find in the shops. There are some excellent varieties which are difficult or uneconomic to grow commercially and which really repay growing in pots. There is really no comparison between new potatoes which are cooked within minutes of being lifted and those which you find in the store.
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@hvedra (1623)
16 Apr 10
You are right about seeking out the flavoursome potato varieties. It is nigh on impossible to buy King Edwards in shops but they grow very well. We grew some last year and when we ate them it was like "ah, this is how potatoes are supposed to taste". We are trying a variety called Picasso this year which is derived from King Edward.
16 Apr 10
Excellent advice, thank you for taking the time to post it. The potato growing sounds interesting. I already have orange and lemon tree's aw well as a couple of tomato plants this year but I am feeling more adventurous and wnat to get some winter veggies in too. Anyway thanks for your help.
@owlwings (39233)
• Cambridge, England
16 Apr 10
Beautyfactor, it sounds as though you are in an area where you don't have to worry about frost too much (well, 'Spain' can mean anything from both colder and warmer than Britain or just a lot warmer!). Potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants and basil are all rather sensitive to low air temperatures. Lemons (but not Meyer lemons) can stand a degree or two of frost, so long as their roots are in the ground and oranges are rather less hardy. I expect you know all that much better than I do! We see a lot of produce from Spain in our shops here - I think half of Spain must be under plastic producing strawberries and what have you for the British market! Potatoes are one of those temperamental things that can't stand frost yet don't like it too warm, either. I can only say, Try them! ... but also take local knowledge into account ... somewhat. I was once told (by a neighbour who was a professional) that I could never grow wheat in my garden ("the sparrows would have it all and it needed a field to grow properly"). Wrong and wrong! Our local sparrows didn't know what wheat was and I grew a very nice 6 square metres patch of wheat ... the only problem was in threshing it and grinding the grain into flour!
• United States
16 Apr 10
I do put the seeds i grow in pots that i put some stakes in the put around the plant that starts to grow because i want them to stand up straight and not fall over as the vegetables are growing. I like growing vegetables my self but never have grown carrots or any parsnips. I hope to get to the garden section in a store soon as i would like to start growing some peppers and some new things. I like my garden and i have already gotten some tomatoes this year. I live in Florida and we start sooner than a lot of other people growing there own fresh vegetables. I have learned that some things grow here and some don't. I have had a hard time growing squash but i do keep trying because i seem to buy squash alot and to grow it would be easier than having to buy it all the time. We do put pots on out back porch as well as in the yard to grow vegetables. WHen reading the directions on some of the plants some want full sun and some want partial sun to grow, so reading the directions on the instructions is important to know where to place your pots.
16 Apr 10
Great, thanks for responding I appreciate it. :)
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@coffeegurl (1470)
• United States
20 Apr 10
If you have little space, I heard a commercial on the radio about a tomato and I think strawberry plant that grows upside down hanging in your home and produces normal produce.http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-plant-hanging-upsidedown-tomatoes/
• United States
20 Apr 10
http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-plant-hanging-upsidedown-tomatoes/
@hvedra (1623)
16 Apr 10
Yes, you can grow roots in pots. In fact for competions, parsnips are often grown in pots or even lengths of drainpipe to encourage them to grow long and straight. It's all about soil quality and watering. If you have a large pot, plant something like radishes with the parsnips. Parsnips take a long time to germinate and grow and you'll be eating the radishes before they need the space. If you are low on space then things like beans and peas might be a good idea because they can be trained up a framework. Alternatively, some small fruit bushes or strawberry plants give a good return, as do things like lettuce and other salad crops. Think what is either expensive to buy or that you really enjoy eating. Look up "square foot gardening" which is a system designed for small spaces and successive cropping.
16 Apr 10
Thank you, I will look that up. Thanks for taking the time to reply. :)
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