Container Gardening by Mick

Container Gardening by Mick

by Mick Colein

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(Stratford on Avon UK)

Hi Rick
I live in the UK in Stratford on Avon and have been growing veg in containers for a year or two now, sorry no pictures.
I have a small 6 x 6 greenhouse and can easily get in 12 tomatoes and 3 or 4 chilli/pepper plants.
Plus I start off all my bedding flower plants in there as well which is normally in the region of 700 to 800 plants for hanging baskets and tubs,just takes a bit of planning.
Down the outside of the greenhouse I plant 15 runner bean plants in 5 plastic pots which gives me loads to eat and plenty to give away to family and friends.
A tip for runner beans is start them in empty cardboard toilet rolls, that way you can plant them straight into the pot/ground without disturbing the roots, this gets them off to a good start and the cardboard will eventually rot down.
Last year I tried garlic for the first time in pots which done reasonably well but I was late putting them in and a bit eager to get them up to have a look, so hoping for better this year, they tasted better than any shop bought by the way.
Also last year I built a raised bed along the fence which was approx 8 feet by 2 1/2 feet and I used this mainly for salad crops lettuce, radish, spring onions, carrots and even beetroot.
Used the cut and come lettuce just take what leaves you want and the rest keeps growing.
To be honest we had to give a lot of it away because there was just too much of it.
Looking at making another raised bed this year, I will take some pictures and let you know how I get on.

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Jan 20, 2011

Excellent tips!

by: Rick from CGFF

Some absolutely excellent tips there Mike – thanks for passing them on. I’m always up for a bargain, so I’ll be sure to check out poundland for garlic!
The flower pot ideas also sound excellent! and I thought I was getting a bargain with 99p builders buckets from Wickes!

Jan 20, 2011

container gardening by mick

by: mick colein

Hi Rick

A couple of possible tips for you, watched your videos (very good btw) and there was one about the compost on the floor of your conservatory. I have the same problem in the greenhouse, to help get round that I always put newspaper in the bottom of the larger pots. This stops compost coming out the bottom and like the toilet roll will rot down over the season.

Good sized pots for larger plants (toms etc) are expensive and you can never have enough of them. An old gardener told me to go down the local florist and ask for any cut flower pots that they don’t want. They are the ones that they stand cut flowers in, and then just drill some holes in the bottom, if they let you have them.
Failing that most supermarkets sell them, last year Morrisons were selling 8 for 99p…..bargain.

Plant labels, I didn’t tell you this but the coffee/tea spoons in places like Tesco/McDonalds etc are now all wooden lollypop sticks and are ideal for plant labels, Tesco’s are the best.
They will also rot down at the end of the year just dig them into your beds.

A warning on your garlic, don’t use the ones that you normally buy for eating, its more often or not come from somewhere like Israel and wont grow to well in this country. You will need an English variety, I know they are cheap but Poundland were selling 4 bulbs for a £1 last year which must be at least 40 plants for a quid…..bargain.

Jan 19, 2011

Your Garden

by: Barbara Barker

Wow-I love all your ideas. Your garden sounds fantastic.
One thing I would change a little, though, is the use of toilet paper rolls. As they’ve been shown to have “bathroom” germs on them, I’d cut down paper towel rolls instead. Just a suggestion.
Enjoy your garden!

Jan 18, 2011


by: Rick from CGFF

HI Mick,
Great stuff – sounds like you’ve really got it together. Thanks for the tips, the cardboard tubes sound ideal!
I’m hoping to try garlic this year too, so I’ll remember to not be too hasty in harvesting them.


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