Growing vegetables in containers

The following might be useful if you are thinking of growing something for the show.

Pots should be at least 18 inches in diameter and preferably plastic as terracotta pots dry out too quickly. Specially designed sacks for growing vegetables in are readily available at Garden Centres or DIY stores or via the garden press or newspapers. A multi-purpose compost or good sieved soil should be used or a mixture of both. Most garden outlets sell compost specifically formulated for vegetables (buy 2 get 1 free). If you do not need three why not share with a friend!

Vegetables suitable for growing in pots

Potatoes - Plant immediately. Plant 3 tubers halfway down the biggest pot you can find and cover with compost. As the plants grow, add more compost until a couple of inches from the top to allow for watering. Do not spray as the water will run off. Feed with a liquid fertiliser once a week after plants are fully grown. Protect from frost.

Carrots – Sow April /May. Sow directly into the pot and cover with compost. Sow thinly and cover the pot with glass or polythene to aid germination. When the plants are 2 inches tall, thin to 1 inch apart and discard thinnings to avoid attracting carrot fly. Water regularly and feed weekly in the latter stages. When the plants are fully grown, thin again to 3 inches apart.

Parsnips – Sow immediately. Treat as carrots but thin to 6 inches to allow the plants to grow straight and true.

Beetroot – Sow April / May. Treat as above.

Courgettes – Sow May. Sow seeds individually in 3 inch pots and place in a sheltered spot or cold frame. When the plants are 6 inches high and when all risk of frost has passed, plant out singly in a large pot and treat as other vegetables. Pick when 4-6 inches long. The more you pick them the more they will grow. Watch out for slugs and snails. Keep off the ground if possible.

Climbing or Dwarf French Beans – Sow April / May. Treat as for courgettes in the early stages, then plant 3 in a large pot with three 4ft canes for them to climb up. When the plants are mature, the pot will be top heavy so use soil rather than compost to add weight to avoid the pot blowing over. Place in a sheltered spot and water and feed as above. Pick regularly or they will stop producing and be finished before the Show! The more you pick, the more they will produce.

Tomatoes Buy a plant at the May Fayre and plant in a large pot or Growbag. Place in a sheltered spot and support with a strong cane. Tie in as it grows and pick out the side shoots as they grow (not the flowering shoots or you won’t get any fruit). Water and feed as above.

If you don’t want to grow them from seed, young plants will be available at the club’s April meeting and of course at the May Fayre at Upper Clatford on Bank Holiday Monday from 2 p.m.

 Do’s and Don’ts 



Make sure pots have drainage holes 

Place pots in full sun

Give some shelter from the wind 

Forget where you put them

Water regularly 

Spray water on them

Water at the roots 

Over water

Feed weekly 

Ignore slugs, snails and caterpillars

Watch out for slugs and snails 


Give some TLC

Forget the Show!







Why not put a pot or planter on your patio this year and……. GROW SOMETHING FOR THE SHOW!