Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What to plant in pots

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When you have a small yard, pots are a great way to extend your garden and harvest.  You read that you can grow anything in pots.  And you can.  So, how do you decide what is best to plant in the ground and what is best for your pots?

For me, it has been a matter of trial and error.  I have decorative pots for the patio, front porch, and parking pad.  I also have my 4 workhorses-my Earthboxes.  Earthbox advertises that you can grow humongous tomatoes in them.  I am sure you can with the right fertilizer and watering.  Since I don’t want to spend that much effort on my pots (and I travel a lot for work so I don’t want to leave it for my hubby), I have figured out which veggies do well with little care in pots for me in my climate.  
Your climate has a significant impact on what will do well in your pots.  With pots, they are moveable so you can move your lettuce from the full sun in spring to the shade in a hot summer to lengthen the time before it bolts.  Pots get warmer than the earth in the summer and cooler in the winter.  You can use this to your advantage in your zone for what you want to grow.
What I have settled on in my Zone 6 is greens and annual herbs in my Earthboxes to move them seasonally; kale, Egyptian walking onions, beets and hot peppers seem to do great in our decorative pots; zucchini and eggplant do fairly well.  Depending on how hot it gets, dwarf cucumbers can do nicely here.
I plant the tomatoes, garlic, bulb onions, dill, cilantro, basil, winter squash, and chard in the ground.  I grow chard as a perennial so it gets quite large.  This year I am going to put the sweet peppers and cucumber in the ground.  Sweet peppers are just not as prolific as hot peppers.  Being the ground should give both increased yields.  

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