The list below includes some of the easiest vegetables you can grow in pots but remember there are many more options depending on your preference. Our list is ideal for a beginner gardener and represents a good range of the basics, for more information on growing vegetables in containers please feel free to contact us.
Most vegetables can be successfully grown in pots or other growing containers provided you use a nutrient rich compost or soil mix. If you are growing vegetables in smaller pots make sure you use compost rather than soil because soil will dry out too quickly and your plants will struggle.
For larger pots you can use a soil mix with approx 40% good quality loamy soil and 60% compost. As a rule of thumb I would recommend compost for plants grown in pots for one season and soil based mixes for more permanent planting like woody herbs or fruit bushes.
We recommend using a good multipurpose compost as a base with the addition of a slow release organic fertilizer like our ‘Seafeed’ seaweed and poultry manure pellets. ‘Rockdust’ ground volcasnic basalt is also a helpful addition in soil-less compost mixes as it provides the mineral content usually provided by the soil.
Siem Reap in Cambodia is the tourist gateway to the temples at Angkor Wat. When I flew there from Vietnam in March I headed two hours further north to Samrong and visited something completely different – school vegetable gardens! I travelled with a friend to visit three schools that are involved in the Green Shoots Foundation program for developing Agricultural Skills in Public Schools (ASPUS).
I am grateful to both Muneezay and Ratana for the time and care they took in arranging this visit and the willingness they had to answer my questions about the program. I would also like to thank the schools, teachers, and students who took the time to meet with us, talk with us and to show us and share with us the vocational vegetable gardens they have developed.
To date, in Odar Meanchey province, there are 43 schools with vegetable gardens, 48 teachers trained in sustainable gardening and 8,900 students trained in sustainable gardening.
The School Vegetable Gardens
The three schools we visited were a mix of primary and secondary level and in all three schools, you could see the vegetable garden as you came into the school. I loved the ‘impression’ that having such an instantly visible garden gave to the school grounds. It was immediately clear that each garden was a dedicated and well-tended space and was integral to the school.
The children we met were enthusiastic about being a part of the vegetable garden project and we felt welcome as guests. The school children had helped to build each of the gardens and they had been designed such that there was plenty of space to walk around and between the rows of crops, and to be able to easily tend to and harvest the crops from either side of a row.
As part of the Green Shoots Foundation’s Food Agriculture & Social Entrepreneurship program ASPUS, as its initial focus specifically addresses a lack of education and skills in rural areas and promotes sustainable farming techniques. I was, therefore, interested to see and learn more about which environmental, sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices were being used in the vegetable gardens and how these worked or were adapted to the Cambodian climate. The staff I chatted to at the schools were happy to point out these practices and to share more information about them.
Below are photographs of some of the practices being used in the vegetable gardens.
Although any variety can be grown in a container, compact plants do best. Seed companies realize that homeowners have less and less space to devote to vegetable gardens and every year they come out with new vegetable plant varieties suitable for growing in small spaces. Be on the look out for key words like: bush, compact, and space saver. Here are some tips, including vegetable plant varieties, to get your vegetable container garden growing.
January makes a fabulous time to plan your spring garden. Kick back, flip through glossy catalogues and dream.
But after you decide what you want to grow, give thought to what to grow it in. Gardening in containers adds opportunity – to give the garden vertical diversity, extra growing space and architectural importance. Every well-appointed portico, lawn panel or patio deserves special attention as you furnish it with these classy garden accessories.
You own statement jewelry. Why not select statement containers for your spring garden?
So – what materials work best?
High-quality containers make a great investment. Prices begin at modest levels, but may rise to thousands of dollars for antique or very large pieces. Also, new tough and durable materials increase container choices.
Today’s plastic pots incorporate ultraviolet-light inhibitors that help them to last more than a season or two. Double-wall designs with thick rolled edges and natural matte finishes lend them a classier look, and built-in self-watering features on some models add convenience. Lighter in weight and resistant to dents, these newer styles nicely suit local gardens.
Growing vegetables in containers provide option when land is a problem
Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter Horticulturist
If you have not considered the option of growing vegetables in containers, perhaps you should.
Container gardens provide a way to grow vegetables when suitable land is not available. Apartment dwellers may only have a balcony where pots could be placed. Other gardeners may find that the only areas in their yards that get the full sun vegetables need are covered by concrete.
In addition, growing vegetables in containers is less physically demanding than growing vegetables in the ground. That makes this method good for older gardeners, those who are physically handicapped, young children or anyone who may find cultivating and weeding in-ground beds too physically demanding or time consuming.
Why grow tomatoes from seed? There are always plenty of tomato plants for sale at local garden centers, but for the largest variety you will need to consider growing tomatoes from seed. Since tomatoes are heat lovers, most gardeners don’t have growing seasons long enough to start tomatoes from seed outdoors. To get around that, tomato seeds are often started indoors, under lights.
A word of caution, it’s easy to get carried away buying tomato seeds. A family of four can easily feast throughout the summer on 6 plants.