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Which is best?

MynxMynx Posts: 101

As daft as this may sound to some of you, I am wondering which is best for plants, especially veg. Are they better off in pots where you control what soil and any additives you put in, or just in the ground?  Too late for this year, but my cucumbers, tomatoes, dwarf beans etc., are not doing so well this time, so if planting direct to ground is better I will prepare the soil for next year.

Thanks all image


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Depends what they are and where you are (eg Basil rarely does well in the ground in the UK and toms are hit-and-miss depending on the weather) but in general, in the ground is best.  That way the roots can spread as they like, there is much less chance of them becoming short of water and nutrients as well as the secondary benefits of symbiotic soil bacteria and fungi.  Of course, there can be negative effects such as soil-borne pests and diseases.

    Of those you mention I would say the beans are better in soil, tomatoes better in pots and cucumbers are 50/50 but need large pots if grown that way.  Brassicas always better in soil.

    In my experience the best way of preparing soil is to dig-in well-rotted manure in the autumn and then lay a mulch of the same over the top before winter.  The soil will then be easy to lightly cultivate in spring when you can sow seeds or plant out veg started off in modules and/or pots.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • MynxMynx Posts: 101

    Thanks Bob, having read some of the posts on here about cucumbers, it seems I am not alone in wondering what has gone wrong!! With my tomatoes, alas like an idiot I did not label which were cordon and which were bush, and for the life of me I cannot tell which is which so have sort of let them do what they want image... one lesson learned the hard way image.  Next year.... I will be perfect.. not!!

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