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What to grow in pots?

TomskTomsk Posts: 204

I have some spare 30 and 37cm pots, and am wondering what I could grow in them. My first thought was for plants, but then I wondered whether I could easily grow my own tomatoes or strawberries in them? I've never grown either before, so I have no idea if there's enough soil in a 37cm pot to grow good tomatoes.

For the 30cm pots, I'm thinking I can probably only grow herbs rather than fruit and veg?


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,090

    Those size pots will be fine for tomatoes or strawberries.  The smaller the pot, the more you will have to keep an eye on watering, but they are certainly big enough for one plant per pot.  If you buy strawberry plants which are already growing well in smaller pots (garden centres often have these) they will bear some fruit this year but it's too late to plant bare-root strawberries.  Similarly, look for young tomato plants which are already about 15-20cm tall.  Both will need feeding (liquid tomato feed is good for both) about once a fortnight, but don't start feeding until the flowers appear.  Strawberries can be kept in the same pot for about 3 years with the best crop coming in the second year.  If growing tomatoes outdoors, they will need some protection from the cold nights we are having in the UK at the moment (eg bring indoors or cover with fleece each night.)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,189

    If you decide to grow toms be mindful, some varieties are better grown under cover for instance in a GH and don't grow well outside in our cool climate. You need to read the instructions when buying.

    There are also determinate and indeterminate varieties of toms.

    I maybe wrong but determinate toms are bush tom's for instance Tumbler, Tumbling tom, Red Alert and Garden Pearl. These grow well in hanging baskets and tall pots, they don't need stakes because they don't grow very tall. A cane, close to the stem to which the stems can be tied is advisable though as they can become very heavy with fruit and a cane will add support.

    Indeterminate varieties or cordon toms can grow to 5 or 6ft in height, these need staking - varieties include Alicante, Money Maker, Gardeners Delight, Golden Sunrise and Sungold, not all sutable for growing outdoors.

    Hope this is helpful. Some of the bush one's are really easy to grow in pots and hanging baskets providing you choose the right variety.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    You're right about the difference between determinates and indeterminates, zoomer. All determinates will happily grow in pots of around 30cm+.

    Indeterminates are also happy in pots providing there's sufficient room for root development. You wouldn't want any less than 35cm. They need stakes up to 6' from the surface so the deeper the pot the better in order to get the stake buried deeply and stable.

    You can grow any tom outdoors providing there's enough sun and warmth. All toms, regardless of type or variety, have exactly the same needs.

  • BluebootsBlueboots Posts: 100

    I've grown chillis in pots quite nicely, but maybe they are classed as herbs not veg.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    Well, they're a veg in the same way that a tomato is called a veg. And, yes, they're very happy in pots, especially the determinate varieties.

  • Tomato,strawberries,salad,peas,carrots,courgette,beetroot,runner beans,french beans,peppers...I've grown them all in pots with results good enough to feed my family.

    I have gooseberry,tayberry,blackberry and blueberry bushes all in pots too.



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