Think your garden is too small for a vegetable garden? Growing veggies in pots is easy, and extremely rewarding. Take note of these handy tips
- Don’t let pots dry out. In very hot weather, water every day or every second day.
- Pots should drain easily yet the potting mix should remain moist.
- A 50:50 mix of potting soil and palm peat aids water and nutrient retention. Palm peat is available as a brick that is soaked in water. For a more fertile mix, add sifted, home-made compost or an organic fertiliser for veggies.
- Nutrients leach out of pots more quickly than in the ground. Feed with a liquid fertiliser at half strength twice a month.
- In the hottest months, plants may do better with morning sun and afternoon shade.
- When watering with a hosepipe, fit a ‘rose’ nozzle that produces a softer stream of water that won’t compact the soil. Alternatively, set up an irrigation system with mist sprays.
- Make sure there’s good air circulation between pots. This keeps plants cool and prevents fungal disease.
- Monitor for pests, especially aphids and whitefly, and spray with an organic insecticide like Ludwig’s Insect Spray or Margaret Roberts Organic Insecticide. Because pots are often placed close together, pests can multiply quickly and infect all the veggies.
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Ball Straathof has a special patio range of vegetables available as young plants in pots. For details and stockists, call Ball Straathof on 011 794 2316, e-mail [email protected] or visit ballstraathof.co.za