Crops in Pots | Almanac.com

Crops in Pots

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After I have planted every square inch of my garden I always find that there is something I have forgotten. Wait a minute where are the potatoes going? How did I manage to leave out chard? No room for kale? Can't I squeeze in one more eggplant? I only have so many large pots to grow my extra veggies in and they fill up fast.

Time To Get Creative!

Anything that holds soil can be used to grow extra veggies. Just make sure that it has holes in the bottom for drainage. Nothing kills more plants than overwatering. Hanging baskets work well for strawberries or lettuce or pot up your favorite herbs to hang near the kitchen door.

Five gallon buckets (with holes drilled in the bottom) make great planters for larger vegetables such as tomatoes or pole beans. After you run out of containers you can grow some shallowly rooted veggies in bags of potting soil. Just lay the bag flat, pop a few holes in it for drainage, turn it over and cut X-shaped planting holes in the top. Plant it with pepper, lettuce, eggplant, squash, or cucumber transplants rather than using seeds. Fabric grow pots are great if you don't have room to store pots over the winter. Just empty out the soil when the season is over and fold them up, ready for next year.

We have grown potatoes in large trash cans and there is no law saying that only flowers can be grown in windowboxes. Many vegetables such as frilly colored lettuces and rainbow chard look decorative and are edible too. Pepper plants, both hot and sweet, look quite festive when covered with ripe peppers. My favorites are the eggplants, some have dark purple stems and purple veining on their velvety leaves. The fruits are pretty as well as tasty, maturing to dark purple, neon pink, lilac, bright green, and white depending on the variety. Some are even striped!

Pallet Garden

I love to upcycle things that most people consider trash into useful garden objects. Wooden pallets are usually available for free at large businesses or at your town transfer station. Just make sure that the ones you choose for growing edibles are not treated with harmful chemicals. Staple landscape fabric to the back. You can also nail on a thin sheet of plywood just in case to reinforce the back. Flip it over and add lightweight potting soil. Plants can be tucked in between the slats of wood. Give them a few days to settle in, then carefully stand the pallet on edge against a wall, fence or other sturdy support.

There are many sites online for more indepth instruction on making a vertical pallet garden. If you have room you can use pallets horizontally to build raised beds or even a new compost bin.

Don't let a lack of space keep you from growing more of the things you love.