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Use pots, bags to grow your vegetables

Tomatoes grow vegetables The Green Spot

Tomatoes are very popular for container gardening. photo: The Green Spot

Today, we have learned that you don’t need acres to garden or grow vegetables.

You can put up a very nice plot in a very small space using bags and containers.

You can even grow vegetables in hanging pots to make use of the vertical space in the yard.

Potatoes: Using a bag, the crop is planted in a shallow layer of soil to which more soil is added as the plant grows.

You can get five pounds of potatoes out of one average-sized bag.

Carrots can be planted quite densely and thinned as the crop matures, providing delicious and true baby carrots for the table through the season.


The container should be deep enough to accommodate that delectable tap root.

Other root vegetables can also be accommodated.

Long hot summers, where nighttime temperatures stay abnormally high, could pose a problem though, as many root vegetables such as beets and carrots taste better when grown in cool weather.

The advantage is being able to leave them out until it gets really cold.

Tomatoes grown in containers are here to stay and we have seen hanging baskets of tomatoes for some years.

Hanging tomato baskets are ideal as long as you water adequately because tomatoes like soil to be warm.

The same is true of peppers, which do very well in containers.

Cucumbers can also be grown in containers with good results, but limit the crop to one or two plants to a 12-inch pot.

If the container is on the ground, you will want to provide staking or a trellis.

Try hanging them instead!

Squash and zucchini can take up a large amount of space, so one plant per pot is the rule.

Hang these as well and allow the vines to trail or train them upward on a sturdy trellis.

Peas and beans can both be grown successfully in containers.

Train climbing beans over a trellis or up a fence and provide a tripod for bush beans.

Peas will require staking or a trellis to climb.

Watering, using containers, fertilizing

For any of these crops, the key is to make sure:

• the pot is large enough

If the container is too small, the plant may dry out during the
hottest days of summer so err on the side of generosity for container size.

• you water faithfully, or have an irrigation system.

Adding one part coir (coconut husk) to seven parts planting medium will help to keep moisture at consistent levels.

Mulching is also a good idea.

Plastic containers will retain moisture longer than terra cotta or clay ones.

• you add a granular, slow release fertilizer when planting, then top up with a water soluble fertilizer after about a month.

Stop fertilizing when fruit begins to set.

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Climate Gardening by Bernie Whetter, owner of The Green Spot.



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Scotia Towers, 1011 Rosser Avenue

photograph by Jo-Anne Douglas



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Bernie Whetter, owner, The Green Spot home and garden

Bernie Whetter, owner, The Green Spot

In our busy world people don’t necessarily have time to tend their yards and gardens.

However, we all want it to look like we do.

We want bold colour and accents, plants that fit our shrinking yards and hardy, no-fuss plants.

The demand is for an Instant Garden with blooms, more variety in foliage colour and smaller, narrower compact forms.

We want them to look good – now!

The fastest growing trend is to use the technique the landscapers use, to plant more mature plants for immediate results.

Other trends:

• evergreens are back in style, especially in new dwarf forms

• planting an edible garden, fruit trees and small fruits

• using shrubs in ornamental container plantings


Ruby Slippers The Green Spot

• We offer a large and varied selection of prairie hardy trees and shrubs.
• We’re excited to show you what is new this year and help you choose the best fit for your needs.