What Are The Best Planters To Grow Vegetables & Fruit?
If you’d like to start growing your own fruit and vegetables but you only have small space or don’t want to invest in specialist equipment, planters are the option for you. Planters are ideal for growing vegetables and fruit as they provide the perfect structure for plants to grow and also allow you to grow in smaller areas like patios or vertically up a wall. We’ve pulled together the different types of planters that work best for growing your own fruit and veg.
An allotment essential, and perfect if you have a small space for a veg patch in your garden, raised beds are ideal for growing vegetables as loose aerated compost provides the perfect structure for plants to grow. (Be sure not to pack the soil too tightly when starting out.
Choosing The Right Raised Bed
Raised beds come in numerous shapes to suit your space; square, rectangular, triangular, pentagonal and hexagonal but these largely just have an ornamental effect so choose whatever takes your fancy! The important detail to consider is the depth of the raised bed, which can be useful at keeping crops at a workable height, and providing ample space for root vegetables to grow.
Raised beds can be constructed out of wood, metal, plastic and brick. Fruit and veg will grow in any of these materials, the most cost effective being a standard wooden raised bed. Sleepers can also be used to create a raised bed, however this is a pricey option.
Tree sizes are listed in litres, which is a measure of volume. The reason we use volume is because planters with the same literage can be different shapes but happily hold the same size tree.
Quick Tip! It’s important to ensure the wood you buy for your raised bed is treated and the metal galvanised otherwise it will be quick to rot and rust respectively.
Using Raised Beds
Raised beds are best bought in fours so you can practice crop rotation. This helps the soil recover from nutrient intensive crop families. Simply, add a label to a bed and move the label along annually when you are planting your new crops.
Very similar to raised beds, veg trugs enable you to use them whilst standing because of their height. They are also a great addition to a patio if you don’t have the floor space in your garden for a raised bed.
Strawberry barrels are specially designed containers with pockets on the side where you can plant bare root plants, and enjoy ample strawberries in a small space. Potato barrels are slightly different in that they have one giant flap, rather than pockets where you can easily harvest potatoes. Potato barrels can be canvas bags with pockets or get quite sophisticated with wooden panelling and hinged doors.
Complete with all the nutrients necessary for bumper blooms, tomato planters are again ideal for patios and very simple to set up. They are best combined with a tomato cloche that acts to raise temperatures to meet tomatoes' high heat requirements.
Seed kits allow you to grow your own indoors, no matter how limited you may be on outdoor space. Grow your own seed kits like Plant Theory, provide quality seed packets along with all you need to get growing, wrapped up in 100% plastic-free recyclable packaging and components. They even contain recipe cards to show you how to use your homegrown crops in cooking.
Any fruit/veg with a tumbling nature can be grown in baskets, providing the basket gets ample sunlight. Tomatoes, strawberries and even brambles all look fantastic and can be combined with annual bedding.
Using pots to grow in greenhouses allows you to grow fruit and veg which require higher temperatures such as peppers and tomatoes or to start your veg growing earlier in the season. For growing from seed, compostable coir pots are environmentally friendly, but plastic can be reused every year. A major advantage of growing in the greenhouse is that you can automate watering and fertilising through sophisticated drip feed systems or keep it simple and use drip trays or tarpaulin to prevent spillage.
Growing Fruit In Containers
Fruit trees can be grown in planters, but it’s important to choose a rootstock suitable for container planting as dwarfing rootstocks tend to perform poorly due to lack of nutrients.M26 is most suitable for apples, Quince C for pears and quinces, and St Julian A/Colt for stone fruits.
The size of the container is important because the larger the container, the greater the surface area available to catch rainwater, and the more nutrient rich, top layer of soil there is for the trees’ roots to spread into horizontally. A 35-40cm cube will suffice, but a 52cm cube is better. Be sure to put down mulch and water in the warmer months to prevent death from drought.
Read more about which planters are best for trees here.