Growing organically from seed & container gardening

Hi everyone,

I am hoping to begin growing some veg in my small garden - specifically kale, spinach, beetroot, carrots, broccoli (ordinary & purple sprouting) plus a few other things.  I am a juicer and I want to try and grow some of my own produce organically as I am worried about pesticides etc.

My questions are these:  is okay to grow from conventional seeds rather than pay for organic ones?  I don't want any GMO seeds or anything like that and I don't know if the horror stories I hear from The US apply here in respect of GM seeds, so if anyone can put my mind at rest I'd be really pleased.

Secondly, I have a tiny garden with a small (8ft by 4ft) veg patch,  can I grow any of the crops in containers or pots?  If so is there any specific techniques or advice I should follow?

Thanks for you help - I look forward to any replies.



  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Hello Stuey

    I think it's fair to say that if you only choose heritage varieties or ones that have been knocking around for more than the last ten years or so you will avoid any problems with GM. It's a good point, and one that hadn't crossed my mind.

  • Stuey! I'll think you will find if seeds have been GM'd, they are legally bound to state so on the packet, but as WB states, if you stick to the "norm" you will be more than safe enough! image


    Oh! and all the very best with it! 

    Happy Growing! image

  • I just found a brilliant website that sells heritage & heirloom seeds - The Real Seed Co - I've ordered a batch and earmarked the page as a fave!  Thanks everyone but does anyone have any advice on using containers?

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    I don't think that there is any great difference between growing things in containers and growing them directly in the earth. So long as they have good drainage, plenty of water and light, no strong winds to buffet them and good compost or garden soil then they should do fine.image

  • Things like Broccolli, Kale! The brassica family need a little room! So would be inclined to put them in the small veg bed, but spinach, beets n carrots will happily grow in containers, n bags! image

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    Carrots do really well in containers because there are no stones/lumps/debris to grow round or get in the way. They will be lush, long and straight. Spinach will last longer as potting compost holds more water so they will be less likely to run to seed. Kale and broccoli will be easier to protect from cabbage white caterpillars if grown in pots so invest in some fleece to cover them to keep butterflies off.

    I would put your quick croppers in the ground...raddishes, salad leaves etc. Then you can keep planting as you harvest. 

    Beetroot either or.

  • Slight contradiction to "Addicts" advise! 




    They take up a lot of room! 






  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    Depends on the container, I suppose.

  • Thanks everyone!  It looks like I joined the right forum to get the knowledge!

  • addictaddict Posts: 659
    Deano's "Diggin It" wrote (see)

    Slight contradiction to "Addicts" advise! 




    They take up a lot of room! 






    Um... that was the point Deano. He only has a tiny veg patch. If he grows them in the veg patch there will be no room for anything else and they take a long time before they are ready to harvest which means he can't plant anything else in there. Better to have a few in big containers so crops in veg patch can be harvested and other veg or more of the same planted.

    BTW love your veg garden image

  • Point taken! image  But must be some size of a container! image

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    LOL image Maybe Stuey might consider digging bigger veg patch!

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,906

    You can probably grow most veg in pots but, in terms of crop size and harvest, some veg does do better in the ground.

    Spuds in bags, salad leaves and herbs do well in pots, radish, spring onions, spinach and chad do well in troughs. Dwarf varieties of pea's and beans do well in pots , the taller varieties although they can be grown in pots, grow well in the veg plot and take up little ground space.

    Brassicas like broccoli, brussels, cabbage and cauli like to deep root and if you only have one veg bed, take up alot of space and need a long growing season, so are not really suitable for pots or small spaces. Calabrese matures early though. I've always grown it in a veg bed, and, just one or two plants, but it's a good cropper, once the head has been taken off it will produce lots of tiny off shoots, maybe worth a try in a pot.   

    Roots like beetroot and carrots do well in pots,they mature relatively quickly and can be picked small.    

    Outdoor bush toms do well in hanging baskets or pots raised off the ground but need to be kept somewhere warm before planting out time.    

    Stuff in pots needs to be watered regularly and the compost shouldn't be allowed to dry out but kept moist otherwise the veg/herb will bolt or simply dies. Where you are only growing one plant in the pot like toms, a layer of gravel or stones helps to stop the compost from drying out, when it's hot and sunny. I've also put in a layer of gravel for beans and pea's grown in pots.     

    Blueberries do well in pots too but need the right compost. 

    Happy gardeningimage     

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