Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers

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<ul><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 1/20</p><p>Vertical Veg</p><p>Menu</p><p>BlogFAQs</p><p>BenefitsChallengesWhat to growDIY projectsMaximising yieldsLearningMonth by month</p><p>AboutVertical Veg</p><p>Why grow in a city?</p><p>Can city growing make a difference?My GrowingMe</p><p>ContactClubCourses</p><p>Ten great crops to grow in containers</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith 26 comments</p><p>When growing in small spaces, you want a lot from the crops you grow. You want them to give you plentyto eat, to taste amazing, and ideally to look great, too. After experimenting with over fifty differentvegetable crops, here are ten Ive found to be amongst the very best. (Herbs and fruits to follow anotherday).</p><p>What are yours? Id love to hear what your favourite veg to grow in containers are in the comments at the</p><p>47 2.43k 200</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 2/20</p><p>bottom.</p><p>No.10 Tromba Squash</p><p>Tromba squash tastes like courgettes / zucchini but climbs fantastically (great for small spaces!) and haseye catching almost phallic fruits. Grow these at the front of your home to catch the eye of passers by! </p><p>Tromba (or tromboncino) squash is a great alternative to courgettes in container as climber it takes up much less space.</p><p>No. 9 Nasturtiums</p><p>The queen of the edible flowers so bright and cheery in the container garden and adds flavour, zip andcolour to salads. The small leaves are edible, too and the round leaf shape adds pleasing variety to salads. </p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 3/20</p><p>Nasturtiums will brighten any home</p><p>No. 8 Chillies</p><p>If you like chillies and have a sunny space, chillies are a top choice. They look great and home grownchillies have an added taste dimension. One plant can give you 50 100 chillies so self sufficiency inchillies is a realistic proposition! Any you cant eat can easily be dried for eating over winter.</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 4/20</p><p>A super productive and pretty crop as long as you have a sunny, warm spot.</p><p>No. 7 Oriental greens</p><p>Asian leaves are the almost perfect crop for small spaces. They grow super fast, dont need a lot of sun,and can be eaten in either salads or stir fries. Try Chinese cabbage (super fast growing), tatsoi (a variety ofpak choi), mizuna (prolific), mustard red giant, Chinese broccoli or choy sum. Or buy a mixed pack ofAsian leaves. Oh, yes, and you can grow them all year round, too. </p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 5/20</p><p>There ars so many fantastic fast growing, tasty oriental greens including pak</p><p>choi, mibuna, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, Chinese broccoli, serifon and mustardred giant (pictured).</p><p>Number 6: Runner beans</p><p>One of the most productive crops several kilos of beans can be grown in one pot. The orange or whiteflowers add beauty and the tall height of the plants add stature. For tender, tasty beans pick when small.Likes a constant water supply so grows best in a container with a water reservoir.</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 6/20</p><p>Runners taste best if picked small and picking encourages them to produce</p><p>more.</p><p>Number 5: Cavelo nero (Tuscan kale)</p><p>With its plumes and rich green colour this is one of the most attractive container crops. Its so hardy it willsurvive the coldest of winters here in the UK. Sow in August for a supply of leaves over winter or springfor a summer harvest. The leaves can be cooked or eaten in salads and are full of taste and vitality!</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 7/20</p><p>Theres lots of good reasons to grow crops in your pots over winter not least</p><p>that they look so much better than bare earth. Cavelo nero is a great choice.</p><p>Number 4: Bright lights chard (or rainbow chard)</p><p>With its mix of bright red, yellow and white stalks, this looks spectacular in a container. It grows all yearround, the small leaves look beautiful in salads, and the big leaves taste delicious cooked the stalks, inparticular, taste similar to asparagus. Underrated. In London I used to grow this above the front door tobrighten the street!</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 8/20</p><p>Bright lights or rainbow chard keeping picking the outer leaves and you can</p><p>harvest one plant for months.</p><p>Number 3: pea and ful medame or broad bean shoots</p><p>You can grow 4 5 ($6 $8) worth of pea and bean shoots in one seed tray in just three weeks. Theytaste delicious and look beautiful as a garnish or even as the main ingredient of a salad or stir fry. Theycan be grown successfully in the tiniest space and only need an hours sun a day. Winner! Read how togrow them here.</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 9/20</p><p>Pea shoots are fast and easy old fruit trays like this make the perfect</p><p>container.</p><p>Number 2: tomatoes</p><p>Tomatoes are one of the most productive crops you can grow in containers 5kg (10 lbs) off one plant iscommon. Each plant crops for a long period, giving you fresh tomatoes over several months. And last butnot least, home grown tomatoes are a taste sensation! Do you have a favourite variety for containers?</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 10/20</p><p>Few things taste as good as a home grown tomato. Grow them in good soil in a</p><p>good sized pot and they are hugely productive, too.</p><p>Number 1: mixed salads</p><p>Salads are the ultimate crop for small spaces: fast growing, productive and bursting with flavour. Popoutside and pick one five minutes before lunch it doesnt get fresher than that! You dont need muchspace (or even sun!) to be self sufficient in salads. I grew over 14 kg (30lb) -equivalent to 140supermarket packs in one year on my small balcony.</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> f 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 11/20</p><p>You can be self sufficient in salads with just a few pots like this. The secret is to</p><p>keep sowing them in seed trays so that you always have a supply of baby plantsto move into your containers when the old plants get tough or bitter.</p><p>If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (its free).</p><p>26 comments add one</p><p>Julie February 25, 2014, 1:21 pm</p><p>Hi Mark,Love all the info on your site glad to have found it!Ive a great little garden going the past two years on my balcony, but have NO luck growing</p><p>2.43k 47 200</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> f 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 12/20</p><p>tomatoes. The plants grow, product fruit, but then the fruit never fully ripens they turn into hardlittle red tomatoes with no taste and eventually fall off the vine and rot.The plants have plenty of sun and water, but seem to be missing something. I fertilize with biofertilizer, but wonder if I need to pep up the soil somehow or fertilize differently.Any ideas? I am already considering no tomatoes again this year; has been such a disaster and theytake up a lot of room.Thanks,Julie</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith March 6, 2014, 4:33 pm</p><p>Hi Julie, my apologies, I thought Id replied to your question a while ago but I think I musthave just been thinking about it! Its a tricky one and Im not a tomato expert but there are afew possibilities. Are you growing any other sun loving plants eg chillies or aubergines that are also doing well? I ask because my first thoughts when I read your comment is sun and tomatoes do like quite a lot, certainly more than most leafy and root veg. Do you knowhow many hours they get? They are hungry plants and therefore compost and fertiliser areimportant. You can grow them in old compost but I find its best to save old compost for othercrops and grow tomatoes in new compost. And Im not sure what is in your bio fertiliser butyou need a balanced feed that is high in K (potassium) a tomato feed is ideal. Anotherpossibility is that the variety you are growing is better adapted to commercial green housesthan outside Real Seeds have a nice selection of tomatoes that are well adapted to outdoorUK weather and are worth a try. Im not sure if this helps solve the problem but hopefully</p><p>Ive given you a few ideas. Id also check out Nick Chenhalls tomato growing website, thatsa great place to learn about tomatoes!</p><p>Reply</p><p>Anna January 11, 2014, 10:17 am</p><p>Hi there, I dont seem to have a lot of success growing lettuces and courgettes/ squashes incontainers. What kind of soil/ compost do you use and how often do you feed? My lettuces eitherstay very small or become leggy, and my courgettes dont produce enough for the space they takeup. Thanks a million!</p><p>Reply</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> f 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 13/20</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith January 12, 2014, 2:46 pm</p><p>Hi Anna, From the symptoms you describe, my first thought is that they may not be getting</p><p>enough sun. Do you know how many hours sun a day they get? If not, it would be worthobserving the space to find out.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Anna January 14, 2014, 10:44 am</p><p>Sun is an issue alright Id say they get 3-5 hours a day, IF the sun is shining anddepending on the month. I always thought lettuces didnt need that much sun? Alsotheyre doing well in the raised beds, just not in the containers. As for the courgettes,Ive always found it hard to get them to produce enough. I found Buckingham prettygood for growing in containers but they stopped producing very early in the seasondespite sunny position and sufficient (organic) feed. Its a mystery.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith January 15, 2014, 10:28 am</p><p>Courgettes are sun loving beasts they may produce a few fruits in less sun butusually need at least half a day full sun to crop well. 3- 5 hours is marginal. Thelettuces are more of a riddle. Leggy seedlings is normally a sign that they are notgetting enough light. Are you growing other plants successfully in the sameplace? Is the sun they do get full and direct or is it for example dappled suncoming through trees? It does sound to me like a sun / light issue, but its possible</p><p>it could be one of several other things eg watering, feeding or the quality of thecompost. If you can give me more info in an email (including where you aregrowing, the compost you are using and how / if you are feeding your crops),together with a photo of the space if possible, I can try to help you get to thebottom of this.</p><p>Reply</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> f 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 14/20</p><p>Carla January 10, 2014, 11:47 pm</p><p>Excellent article. For the first time in my gardening history Im completely limited to containers this</p><p>year. Im so glad to have found this space.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith January 12, 2014, 2:48 pm</p><p>So glad you found it useful, Carla. Very best of luck in your container adventures. Just drop</p><p>me a line if you have any questions. Mark</p><p>Reply</p><p>Robert Dyson December 1, 2013, 4:23 pm</p><p>Just the ideas I needed. I will give feedback next year when I have some of these growing, What Ilike about these pages is the simplicity, the lack of spurious choice, just the right amount ofinformation to get one started. Excellent.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith December 9, 2013, 11:16 am</p><p>So glad to hear the ideas are useful for you, Robert. Much looking forward to your feedback.Very good luck with your project and do feel free to drop me a line if you have anyquestions.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Edible Little Balcony September 17, 2013, 5:53 pm</p><p>Great posts! These are also some good suggestions for container gardensI have a balcony gardenon the 4th floor, and my chilies have just started to produce, so happy! I also had runner beans, butthey never flowered Im guessing it was just too windy for them? Radishes, peas, and onions also</p><p>great crops to grow in containers http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/ten-great-crops-to-grow-in-containers/</p><p> f 20 3/14/2014 9:38 AM</p></li><li><p>7/27/2019 Ten Great Crops to Grow in Containers</p><p> 15/20</p><p>have worked out great for me! Keep up the cool site!</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith September 18, 2013, 7:28 am</p><p>Congratulations on your chillies! And thanks for sharing your other successful crops. Notquite sure why your runner beans didnt flower, it may have been that they didnt like thewind. They can sometimes be a bit temperamental about setting fruit but theyre a greatcontainer crop when they do.</p><p>Reply</p><p>sarah June 29, 2013, 9:38 pm</p><p>hi mark, just wondering if you have any advice on fruit, berries etc and if you can recommend anyfor pots tanks sarah</p><p>Reply</p><p>Mark Ridsdill Smith June 30, 2013, 2:32 pm</p><p>Hi Sarah, Im working with the London Orchard Project on producing a fruit guide aimed at</p><p>container growers at the moment Hopefully itll be ready in the autumn. Two of myfavourite fruits for containers are strawberries (particularly the everlasting types) andblueberries. But many other fruits (eg figs, apples, plums) will do fine in (fairly large)containers although it may take a few years until they are productive. Id recommend goingto a specialist fruit nursery as its important to get a variety that is suitable for pots and</p><p>specialists will be best placed to advise you. Are you in the UK? If so, two mail order placesIve found very helpful are Cool Temperate and Ken Muir. Hope that helps.</p><p>Reply</p><p>Anna June 8, 2013, 9:00 am</p><p>Hi Mark, I love your work. I used to container garden on a narrow roof in North London which hadwalls along the longer sides so the direct sun light levels were limited and they also make the spacea rather draughty tunnel but still it was my and various insects urban retreat . Runner beans didgreat, as did dwarf French purple beans, wall baskets tomatoes (I think they where the hundredsand thousands? , prolififc crop of tiny sweet fruit), nasturtiums, potatoes,herbs-sage, thyme,</p><p>great...</p></li></ul>

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