July 25, 2022
Many of us grapple with the problem of not having enough room to grow our own vegetables at home. Luckily there is an excellent way that gardeners with limited space can produce enough delicious vegetables to feed the whole family - by growing them in pots.
Firstly, you will need a large pot, at least 30 cm (12 in) in diameter, bearing in mind that the bigger pot the better the results will be. Vegetables require more than half a day of full sun to produce good crops, so find a sunny position for your pot away from strong winds.
Secondly, select a range of good quality vegetable seedlings from your local garden centre or nursery. Vegetables that grow well in containers include beetroot, broccoli, capsicums, carrots, celery, chillies, dwarf French beans, eggplants, lettuce, radishes, silverbeet, squash, tomatoes and zucchini. Companion plant them with basil, chives and parsley for extra flavour in your salads and cooked dishes.
Vegetables develop foliage, flowers and fruits featuring many different types of textures and hues which combine into a visually appealing display on their own. But if you want to add an extra splash of colour to your container, plant a few marigolds in among the vegetables, or sow a couple of nasturtium seeds to trail over the sides of the pots.
Thirdly, plant your seedlings into a good quality mix such as Searles Herb & Vegetable Specialty Mix. This is a specially formulated potting mix, which is ideal for growing brilliant vegetables in pots. Group your plants so that the tallest are in the middle or at the back of the container, and the small ones are placed around the edge or at the front, so each plant receives the same amount of sun. Large plants, such as eggplants and tomatoes may need staking to support their heavy growth. Fast growers such as basil can be regularly tip pruned to keep them compact and bushy.
Water your freshly-planted seedlings well and continue to do so throughout their growing season - particularly in summer - taking care to never let the mix dry out completely.
Vegetable seedlings develop at a rapid rate and to ensure they do so healthily, it is important to implement a regular feeding regime. Fertilise fortnightly with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food - Tomato & Veggie to produce a continuous supply of bumper crops.
The main pests of vegetables and herbs are aphids, caterpillars and white fly. If these appear, spray with pyrethrum according to the manufacturer's instructions.