Posted on 13 Comments

Growing things

Last year from the Farmer's Market

I have a black thumb. I don’t garden. I’ve never had much of an interest in gardening. But thinking about the impending farmer’s market season, and seeing some people online who are starting to reap a harvest from their gardens is actually giving me a bit of an itch to try planting a few crops myself.

I really can’t see myself working a plot of land in the back yard – I still don’t have a heck of a lot of interest in the process of gardening – but I am starting to see the appeal of growing my own food. So, garden gurus, I need your help, and here’s the big question: Can you grow fruits or vegetables in containers, or do they have to be planted in the ground?

Carrots, berries, peppers, onions – do these lend themselves at all to container gardening? I’m so much less intimidated by a few plants in pots than I am by a full-fledged, grown-up GARDEN. And beyond that, is there anything I could plant now, or is it too late in the season?

Help clueless little me 😀


Sign up for occasional Polka Dot Cottage news and get a coupon for 10% off your next order!

Don't worry, we won't bother you more than once or twice a month!

Posted on 13 Comments

13 thoughts on “Growing things

  1. There is a really good article up on MSN now about 5 things you can easily grow yourself, and 5 you shouldn’t bother with. Check it out! I grow tomatoes and herbs in pots every year. Peppers are also easy to do in pots. Cucumbers and squash grow like weeds (at least around here), but I’m not sure how they would work in a pot – I usually stick them in the ground somewhere.

  2. Good Morning Lisa!…Hubs got our garden planted a couple of days ago…”Peaches and Cream” tri color sweet corn, “Tenderette” bush green beans, a variety (12 plants) of tomatoes…6 Roma (for canning) and the rest for salads and “sammiches”…zuchinni, yellow squash, green peppers, hot bananna peppers and “burpless cucumbers”…we have an area about 20×25 ft. or so…I have never had any luck with growing vegs. in pots…I had a salad tomatoe plant last year in a pot and it did not do as well as those in the garden….they require more attention in my opinion…my Father in law grew tomatoes in barrels for years and always fought blossom end rot ..a fungus…came from over watering…. herbs do very well in pots….We are in Kentucky where the summers can be very hot and dry….my best advice for you is to go to your local County Extension Office and they should have free information for growing anything in your area of the country….”Happy Gardening”…..Melanie:)

    See what Melanie has been blogging about: She’s Here

  3. My parents grow all kinds of things in pots. Tomatoes will do well if you use a very big pot, give them a good cage support and plenty of sun, and feed them frequently with tomato food specifically. Peppers are good container candidates, too, with similar care. You could buy little starter plants at the nursery at this point in the season, and it should still be early enough to get a harvest later.

    Movable Harvests by Chuck Crandall is a good starting book. Have fun and good luck!

    See what Sister Diane has been blogging about: CRAFT Party on Sunday: The Lineup Looks Great!

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I grow a tomato plant in a pot on my deck every year and I get so many tomatoes I have to give them away! I put rocks in the bottom of a fairly large pot and I water frequently…whenever the soil feels somewhat dry….with a week solution of Fertilome fertilizer.
    This year I’m doing a weekly update on flickr of my plants and you’ll be able to see how they do! Try it!!! It’s so fun to watch them grow.
    I just go to my local plant place and get one that has a flower or two….the flowers become tomatoes….
    Here’s my flickr so far…

  5. make that a weak solution!!! And…does tomatoes have an e??? Jeez.

  6. I’ve had successful potted pepper plants in the past & have several family members who’ve done well with potted tomato plants. The tricky part about container plants is that you really have to keep on top of watering them: it’s not like they have deep roots that can tap into ground water if you forget them in the sweltering heat.

    This year, I’m cutting back on the container plants & trying a 3×3 square foot garden. Gives more room for potentially bigger plants, but it’s not as much of a commitment as tilling up half the backyard. Carrots, onions & peppers would definitely work in a square foot garden.

    We went the starter plant route — not sure I’m ready to rely on my seed-growing skills! I’m ever the procrastinator, so we just planted ours this past weekend. Not ideal in this area of the country, as hot as the days are getting — but so far, so good. You’d probably be fine starting now with starter plants now.

    Good luck!

  7. I live in a 750 sq foot second level apartment 🙂 My balcony has containers with tomatoes (two sizes – cherry ones and small but regular ones), bell peppers(several types, they never get huge), two strawberry baskets, sometimes more and some herbs and spices. My peas in a pot died a few times so we don’t do those much anymore.

    Chloe grew lettuce from seed last year using a kids seed packet and radishes the year before with a seed packet but the staple favourites are strawberries! The climate here is too cold to grow them before late May(we buy them as full sized plants in May from a distributer) and they freeze in September but we love them in between.

    The balcony gets full southwest exposure the whole afternoon, so I have to be careful to keep everything well watered – container gardens are especially prone to drying out.

    I got mine as starter plants in March but you can buy existing baskets at a good nursery and even Home Depot and Walmart will have some odd things. Like the unmarked herb and spices we got last year. They mostly became inclusions for my clay work after drying because some of them were odd.

    See what Elaine has been blogging about: Shop Update!

  8. Just about anything can be grown in a pot as long as it’s a big enough pot. Always get a bigger pot than you think you need. You need a special strawberry pot for strawberries. Cucumbers and melons can be grown in pots if it’s done with a trellis. Just look up melon trellis and there’s loads of info on how to do it.

    As others have said, watering is key. Water (and I mean heavily) every other day and every day when temps are 80 or more. Make sure the pots have a hole in the bottom and put a layer of stones in the bottom to help drain the excess water away.

    Find a nursery and buy the plants there. It’s way too late (and too hard) to start from seed. Here in Wisconsin, the planting season is just starting. I’ve planted tomatoes as late as July and gotten plenty of them, tho I did have to pick green ones and ripen them indoors at the end of the season.

    It wouldn’t really work for this year anymore but for next year you could buy plants online. Some places have fruit and vegetable plants that have been specially altered to grow in pots. Here’s one and there are more:

    See what Dystini has been blogging about: Moving

  9. Peppers, bush-type cukes, smaller determinate tomato varieties and herbs are all container worthy. Some greens and lettuces will also do well in containers. Radish and smaller carrots may do well if you have good drainage.

    Generally speaking, melons, squash and other fruits will not do well in containers. However, you can plant blueberry bushes this year and with careful stewardship, start harvesting in a year or two. You will need to plant at least 3 bushes and they must each be a different variety.

    Good luck!

  10. I am so glad I brought this up! You are all such a wealth of information – thanks!

  11. I just want to say that once I tried to grow carrots in a window box. Once they reached the bottom they grew in the shape of Ls along the bottom. So funny! And predictable, in retrospect. They tasted yummy. Or Lyummy.

  12. yes. i grow tomatoes, and several herbs all in a pot together.. Berries also strawberries actually work best in a pot i find with sand as we have soo much clay here. small onions work best for a large pot and i put them right in with the tomatoes, keeps bugs at bay. Garlic also right next to the tomatoes, make sure you get patio kind as they make all those now. you can grow baby carrots too.. just get large deep pots use sand and some kind of soil for potting! and you can do it. no weeds either!!

    See what janice has been blogging about: Hair drama

  13. I grow all my veggies in pots.
    This year I have:
    and a bunch of herbs

Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.