It feels like the world and it’s mother are spending time in their gardens at the moment and I don’t blame them. You really can’t beat being outside with your hands in the soil, it’s the perfect way to forget your worries for a short while and you can grow delicious food to eat too! The benefits really are endless.
Like most people I’ve decided to make the most of our back garden, we don’t have room for a vegetable patch unfortunately but there’s always room for a couple of containers and there’s plenty of crops that can be grown in pots. From potatoes in bags to tomatoes, beetroot, salad crops, chillis, radishes, carrots and herbs. You could even grow a few climbing beans or small climbing pumpkins in a container with a frame for them to climb up. Why not get the kid’s involved too by growing some rainbow swiss chard? Try growing cress in yoghurt pots, egg shells or even just on some kitchen roll on a tray. Just remember that you don’t necessarily need a garden to grow food in, container growing is also perfect for people with patios, balconies or even just a windowsill. There’s something to grow to suit everyone and every situation.
I decided to use one of the vintage galvanised troughs from our shop to sow one row of mixed salad leaves and one row of radishes. I adore radishes and they come in a variety of shapes and colours including pink and purple shades. Having them right outside the back door will prove to be very helpful and after they’ve been eaten I’ll sow another row in the same container for a crop all Summer long!
Here’s how to plant up your own container:
- Simply choose a container, bearing in mind that you will need a depth of at least 6 inches for salad crops (or deeper for crops with long root systems such as carrots). If the container doesn’t have any drainage holes you can drill some into the bottom yourself using an electric drill.
- Fill the container with multi purpose compost so it’s about an inch away from the top. Use your hands to compact it down.
- If you are using a round container you can sow the seed thinly on the surface and then cover with around 1.5cm of compost. If you have a larger container where you will be sowing in rows then use your finger to create a shallow, 1.5cm drill. Sow the seed into each drill and then cover it back up with the compost.
- Remember to label and give the compost a good water before leaving in the sun. If we are forecast for a frost either bring inside for the night or cover with garden fleece or a cloche.
TIPS: Salad crops will usually be ready to harvest within 40 days, once you have eaten your way through your homegrown harvest then simply re-sow another row. Why not try having 2 or three containers on the go at one time? Simply sow one container with salad, 2 weeks later sow another and so forth. That way you’ll have a delicious continuous crop all Summer long!