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Crops in Pots

Advice on growing vegetables in pots from Cathie at Cathie’s Gardening School, Squires at Secretts Garden Centre, Milford.

Last year we looked at growing your own food in raised beds and this year I thought I would encourage every one of you to give vegetable growing a try in a pot! I think everyone has tried to grow a tomato plant or a chilli at some point and they are readily available but why not try something else?

Salad crops

Nothing could be easier! All you need is a large pot, some multipurpose compost and a packet of mixed salad leaves.

Fill the pot with compost and firm gently to about an inch or so from the rim.

Scatter the seeds onto the surface of the compost and cover with a sprinkling of compost or vermiculite.

Water with a fine rose so settle the seeds and wait for your salad to grow!

Courgettes, pumpkins and cucumbers

These can be sown directly into a large pot but need to be a little deeper as the seeds are bigger.

You can also buy a plant from the garden centre and plant it into a large container, you will only really need one plant per pot.

Root crops

Radishes, turnips, mooli, kohlrabi, carrots and beetroot can be sown in this way too but ensure they are not sown too thickly as they need room to spread. The pot will allow the roots to grow deeply and the compost should be mixed with extra sand to allow drainage.


It is the perfect time to grown French beans and runner beans which can be purchased as young plants or sown directly into a large container. I suggest about three plants to a pot and don’t forget to provide canes for runners or they’ll get away from you!


Onions and Leeks can be grown in pots but it’s a little late to sow seeds now except those of Spring onions.


Herbs are readily available to pot up into containers but the ones you buy in the supermarket for cooking can be quite expensive and don’t seem to last long. Follow the directions for salad leaves and use this technique to grow your own coriander and basil! You will be amazed how effective it is and there are hundreds of seeds in one packet.

Sweet Peas

I know not technically a veg but a perfect partner! Fill your pot with compost and firm gently as before, poke about half a dozen seeds into the compost, place in some pea sticks for support, water them and let them go! You can even get creative and weave some willow prunings!

If you would like to do all of this (and potatoes too) why not come along on the veg workshop day on Thursday April 24th and take part with other beginners!

If you want some practise on how to grow your own food there are regular workshops and taster sessions at the Gardening School available for everyone!

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