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Talkback: Growing veg in containers: keep it cropping

Due to extremely chalky soil I am growing all of my veg in containers. This is my first time growing veg, done cucumbers and sweet peppers in containers and salad leaves in a basket. Working well so far, cucumbers will be ready in a few weeks and peppers just flowering. Also started to use spent coffee beans from local shop.


  • This must be why my container-planted pink fir apple potatoes haven't done very well. I only fed them twice and now they have gone yellow and keeled over without even flowering. A woeful peformance (from me I mean, not the potatoes). They suffered massive slug and snail attack too: that does seem to be a disadvantage of containers.
  • I had the same trouble last year with pink fir apple potatoes out in the veg,. garden, Mandy, and blamed poor seed as all my other early potatoes were fine. Vine weevils love container grown plants to lay their eggs in and the grubs eat the roots so you have to be very vigilant. My best success is growing tomatoes in big pots - they do escape blight that way should it be a good year for potato blight.
  • Hi Marion, as usual you're a mine of info! Thanks.
  • Can someone tell me if carrot leaves are edible please? I have a pot full of leaves but there is not enough room for the carrots to grow so I need to thin them out and am loath to throw them onto the compost, if I can eat them...thanx to anyone who can reply.
  • I haven't grown any veg in containers this year, mine are all in raised beds, but my beetroots are just the best. I have never had such good beetroots they are just wonderful. In fact everything this year is growing so well. I did grow carrots in containers last year and they were just lovely and grew really well.
  • Jumbo56 - you can eat all of the carrot. The tops can be cooked as greens but it is seldom done so perhaps the taste is not to everyone's liking but wash them well and try it, perhaps they need seasoning well and butter?
  • Can anyone tell me why my surplus sugarsnap peas which I froze, are horrible when I cook them?! I've tried both blanching them and freezing direct. They've only been in the freezer for a couple of weeks. There's only two of us so I need to freeze veg when there's a glut, but it seems a waste if thet then become inedible.
  • librarygirl - how long did you blanch them for? About 90 seconds is recommended. They will definitely taste bad if unblanched (they'll go soggy when frozen) but they should be ok if you blanch them first. Did you freeze them immediately after harvesting? If not, the sugar content in the peas will have turned to startch, making them taste bland.

  • Yes, definitely blanching to kill the bacteria. I make all my extra peas and beans into soup and freeze that - delicious.
  • Hi happymarion - I enjoy your comments so much that I think you are/or should be a member of the "team" so I will address my query to Kate and you. I am a 73 year old widow and have been growing veg for about 15years since my husband died - his maxim was "if you can't eat it don't grow it" so I grew the flowers!
    I have 2 small greenhouses in which at this time of year I grow tomatoes, chillis and salad leaves. I usually have an abundant crop but this year it has been devastated by I do not know what. The tomato plant leaves are ok but the stems seem to have died half way up. Result-about 2lbs small green tomatoes from 10 Shirley plants and so far little or nothing from 8 Gardeners Delight plants. Any suggestions will be welcome please!!! I did change a lot of the soil and topped it up with my own compost and Arthur Bowers multi purpose
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