You can grow virtually anything in a pot – and what’s more, growing in containers means crops aren’t at ground level making it difficult for pesky slugs and snails to get at them.
Tips for guaranteed harvest results
Size – Choose the biggest pot or planter you can, as large volume of compost is less likely to dry out and lose needed nutrients.
Pot type – Plastic or glazed are best as being non-porous they keep the water in. But if you want to use terracotta (looks good and cheap to buy) line it with plastic (compost bags are ideal) before planting.
Compost – Use a good-quality moisture-retentive compost – Westland Surestart Seed and Cutting compost, £4.99 for 30 litres, was a Which? Best buy.
Water – Never let the compost dry out – mixing some water-retaining crystals into the compost will help keep moisture in.
Sun – New plants need lots of light, choose a sunny warm spot.
Feed! Container grown plants need food. Feed weekly with a liquid or with slow-release granules (add when planting).
Crops for quick pickings
* Salads – Cut-and-come-again mixes are the fastest to grow – start picking within 3 weeks. Sow weekly for a non-stop supply.
* Radishes – The quickest to grow! Start picking within days, or for big plump radishes 3 weeks later.
* Herbs – Soft herbs like basil, parsley and coriander are quick to grow so just the thing for the impatient gardener.
* Courgettes – Sow in May and you’ll be harvesting by June. All courgettes and squash grow incredibly quickly, so once you start harvesting you wont stop
Pushed for time?
Make seed-sowing as simple as possible – if you’re new to it look for seed tapes (seed stuck to biodegradable tape). www.suttons.co.uk has a good choice. Or buy young plants from garden centres and DIY stores – they all sell lots!