HomeGardening Tips And AdviceTop 10 Summer Fruit & Vegetables For Container Gardening

Top 10 Summer Fruit & Vegetables For Container Gardening

Green gardening is a really satisfying hobby. It allows gardeners to work with nature rather than against it, and it is accessible to all. With enormous compost heaps, crop rotation, water butts, and ‘grey water’ irrigation systems, those fortunate enough to have a large garden may really hone their green gardening talents.

Green gardening, fortunately, is also attainable for individuals who have little gardens or no gardens at all. A fruit or salad bowl can easily be made from a patio or balcony. Growing green in pots is the answer.

The good news is that many different fruits and vegetables can be effectively grown in containers. Salad greens to small fruit plants are among them. Instead of putting up with your garden’s natural variety, you can ‘select’ your soil type by buying compost that is ideal for the plants you want to cultivate in containers.

However, some plants thrive in pots more than others, especially for beginners or those with limited time to plan and maintain their patios/balconies/window boxes, etc. Here are a few ideas to assist you ensure that you earn huge, juicy rewards for your work!

Before we delve deeper into these plants, there are a few basic duties that must be completed in order for them to thrive. Because plants in pots are more dependant on you for food and moisture than plants in garden beds, this is the case. You’ll need to do the following to get decent crops:

Water your containers on a daily basis (& possibly twice a day in hot weather)

Use a natural, organic plant food to ensure that your plants continue to produce throughout the season

This is critical for creating disease-resistant, vigorous plants.

Watering should be done early in the morning or late in the evening, when there is less evaporation and more moisture available to the plants. Adding a layer of mulch to your compost’s surface can also help it stay moist.

Another wonderful option for hanging baskets and pots is to mix in some water holding crystals with the soil before planting. This will assist the compost retain moisture. Cut the bottom off a small plastic bottle and bury it in the compost with the broadest section on top and at the surface for larger tubs and pots.

Water can now be routed deeper into the compost and closer to the plant roots. Remember that if you don’t have space for a water butt, you may still water your plants with ‘grey’ water from your washing machine or bath.

To give nutrients and support vigorous development, green gardening mainly focuses on improving soil condition and structure. With container gardening, this is more difficult to do, therefore additional fertilisers may be required.

Organic plant feeds may be found in a variety of online and offline garden retailers, and they will come with instructions on how and when to utilise them. Some are liquids that can be diluted with water to provide nutrients that are immediately available. Pellets or granules, for example, must be scattered on the ground and release nutrients more slowly.

Now for the fun part: which delectable summer fruits and veggies should you choose? My top 10 recommendations for a wide variety of versatile, delectable produce are:

  1. TOMATOES: not just a staple of salads, but also a fundamental component of a variety of delicious summer recipes ranging from gazpacho (cold tomato soup) to pizza toppings, pasta sauces, and salsa. From gigantic ‘beefsteak’ tomatoes that are fantastic sliced and served with a herb vinaigrette or on top of barbequed burgers to tiny cherry tomatoes that are sweet as honey, there is a tremendous variety of tomatoes available. The smaller tomatoes that will grow in hanging baskets and strawberry pots, as well as pot-grown cordon tomatoes, are likely to be the most successful for our objectives. Tomatoes require a minimum temperature of 10°C to grow effectively and a lot of sun to ripen, so make sure your pots or baskets are in a bright area. However, if necessary, the trusses can be removed from the plant and matured indoors on a window sill. If you want to ripen your tomatoes this way, remove the trusses rather than the individual tomatoes.

Tomatoes are high on the list of plants that require frequent watering and supplemental feeding on a regular basis. To keep things easy, add liquid feed when watering, but don’t feed until the first fruits have grown; otherwise, you’ll encourage the plant to create leaf growth rather than fruit.

For the same reason, side branches on many tomato types must be eliminated. These are tiny shoots that sprout between the plant’s main stem and a truss that already exists. Simply keep an eye on your plants each week and physically remove any unwanted shoots.

Tomatoes come in a wide range of colours and stripes, including orange, yellow, and even green striped fruits, as well as the more usual red, so if you want a colourful display, branch out and try something new (it’s also a fantastic way to surprise your dinner guests!). Tumbling Tom, Gardener’s Delight, Suncherry, Sungold, and Sweet Millions types should work well in most circumstances, given the correct conditions, according to any reliable seed catalogue.

  • SALAD LEAVES: Salad leaves come in a wide range of varieties these days, from mustard leaves and Mizuna to wild rocket, spinach, lambs lettuce, and chard. The beautiful thing about these leaves is that they develop quickly and may be picked whenever you need them. Summer’s ideal ‘cut-and-come-again’ vegetable!
  • To ensure that you have leaves throughout the summer, sow seeds on a window sill in February or March so that you may plant them early in the season. The leaves will come available in succession rather than all at once if you sow a few seeds every other week. Don’t worry about spacing them out too much in the pot; the leaves will gladly grow rather densely as long as you avoid including real lettuces that form a ‘head’ or ball.
  • STRAWBERRIES: what can I say, summer wouldn’t be complete without them. The scent of ripe strawberries conjures me images of hot days, sunshine, picnics, and freshly mown grass for me. Wonderful! Even better, someone thoughtfully built a container specifically to allow a large number of strawberries to be grown in a little space! Because the strawberry plants are grown in vertical layers in the pot, even a tiny diameter pot may be able to hold 10 to 20 plants. Strawberry pots come in a variety of sizes and materials (mine is terracotta), making them both gorgeous and utilitarian. But keep in mind that the goal is to cultivate as many strawberries as possible; any leftovers make delicious jam or dessert sauce (which can be frozen for later in the year). So seek for double-walled containers to help warm up the dirt and get your seedlings started. It’s also a good idea to cover the pots with netting, otherwise birds and slugs will eat your strawberries instead of you.
  • DWARF BEANS AND PEAS: broad, French, or runner beans and peas will all thrive in pots if dwarf kinds are chosen. If your patio or growing space is exposed to the elements, you may need to anchor your plants to keep them safe. Feltham First is a good early dwarf pea variety that can be sown in a protected area in the previous autumn if space allows.
  • HERBS: This may seem like a cheat because herbs aren’t typically thought of as fruits or veggies, but they do lend themselves to container gardening and may truly offer a new dimension to your homegrown meals. Chives, coriander, and basil may transform a salad; tomatoes and basil are a divine combination; thyme and oregano elevate pizza toppings and pasta sauces; and lamb with rosemary or mint is unbeatable. Mint is so popular that it must be planted in a small pot to prevent it from taking over the entire container, but it is so adaptable that it is well worth the risk! How many herbs go well with lamb, potatoes, peas, and strawberries, and can also be used to make tea? On a hot day, mint tea straight from your garden is a refreshing alternative to booze or juice.
  • COURGETTES (Zucchini): A courgette will require a large pot due to their tendency to spread out. They, like tomatoes, will need plenty of water and fertiliser to produce a large crop, and they enjoy a warm area on the patio. Pick the fruits while they are still little to encourage the plant to grow more and to ensure that you obtain them before the slugs. Flowers can also be stuffed and fried and are considered a delicacy. If you’re feeling brave, give it a shot.
  • BEAUTIFUL BERRIES: Strawberries are the epitome of summer, but don’t overlook the other delectable soft fruits. Gooseberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, and white and redcurrants can all be grown in pots. The size of the pot is key here; there should be enough capacity for the plant’s root system as well as a modest amount of room for expansion, but any more space than that is unlikely to produce satisfactory results. That’s great news for people who don’t have a lot of space or money. Soft fruit plants should be re-potted into a little larger container every year or two years (depending on size) rather than starting with an overly large pot. Aside from that, there’s a lot of water! Water and sunlight are required for the development and ripening of juicy berries, and they will also benefit from regular feeding.

If you want to cultivate blueberries or bilberries, you’ll need to use ericaceous compost instead of regular compost. Bilberries and blueberries, like heathers and many conifers, require acidic soil to thrive. They require mulch to prevent water loss from the soil as well as a particular feed to maintain the soil acidic.

Pelleted chicken manure can be used by organic gardeners, but because it is alkaline, it may need to be supplemented with some source of potash (mostly non-organic!). Organic potash is difficult to get by, though wood ash can be useful.

  1. SWEET PEPPERS: Peppers are easy to produce in pots and are both colourful and tasty. They sprout quickly in compact, plastic-covered pots on your window ledge and reach a height of 30cm. The growing tips must be nipped out at this height to foster the growth of new branches. Continue to pot up the plants as they grow; when they’re ready to go outside, they’ll probably need a 5 litre pot and a stake for support. Peppers, tomatoes, and aubergines will benefit from the warmth and reflected heat if you have a wall to grow plants against. A wonderful variety to try is Pepper Marconi Rosso.
  2. AUBERGINES (Egg Plant): aubergines, like sweet peppers, are colourful and appealing patio plants. They are developed in the same way that peppers are and respond to heat in the same way. Try aubergine Mohican for an uncommon variation with white rather than purple fruits and a small growth habit of only 60cm.
  3. LEEKS: delicious, fresh, and tangy, whether served raw and finely diced in a salad or soft and melting in a béchamel sauce. Leeks are simple to grow and can be planted densely in containers for harvesting while still young. You’ll receive a bunch of soft young leeks instead of the larger, tougher-skinned mature species.

So there you have it, just a handful of the many fruits and vegetables that may be grown in containers. Remember that if it grows in the ground, it can probably grow in a pot if the climatic circumstances are correct. So, why not try growing a few of your favourite plants in containers and see what happens? You might be surprised.

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