A Seed Pantry Guide To Vegetable Gardening In Containers

Potty for home-grown, but lack the space? Contain your excitement – we have the answer.

Whether you haven’t a lot of space or prefer your vegetable crops close at hand, container gardening is a great way to grow your own food! Beetroot, Potatoes, Carrots, Herbs, Peas, Salad leaves, Peppers, Aubergines and Tomatoes are all great pot-dwellers – and it’s not too late to start planting! You can also plant edible flowers like Nasturtiums, Calendula or Violas to encourage beneficial insects and add colour or double up with companion planting some plants love growing in the same container! (We think tomatoes taste sweeter when they’re planted with basil)

What can I plant in my container garden?

The answer is… anything! Some seeds, such as tomatoes and onions, are a little more delicate and should be started off in seed trays indoors as the seeds are at risk of rotting before being given the chance to sprout, but if you let them grow for up to 2 months they’ll happily be transplanted into outdoor containers. If you opt to grow beans, remember that they climb so lend them a stick for support.

Here is our quick guide on how to plant your own container garden!

You will need

– Containers (tin cans, old margarine cartons, milk cartons…)
– Multi-purpose compost
– Seed Pantry seeds!

1. Choose your container, and don’t be scared to get inventive! Anything from tin cans to old sinks will work – you may just need to drill/poke a few drainage holes. Aim for a depth and width of at least 45cm, although salads and herbs will thrive in containers as shallow as 15cm.

2. Fill your pot a couple of inches short of the top with multi-purpose compost.

3. If you are sowing your seeds directly into the container, scatter the seeds and cover with a thin layer of compost, about 2cm deep. If you started your seeds off indoors, prick out the seedlings and transplant into the compost (lift the seedlings carefully by the leaf as the stems bruise easily).

You can start off any of your Seed Pantry food seeds in recycled pots – simply transplant later on!

4. Give your seeds a good drink!

If you’re growing between April-September containers can dry out quickly, especially if the weather is good, so aim to water your plants 1-2 times every day. ☀️ During the winter months, reduce the watering schedule as plants won’t be expending as much energy for their growth. If it’s really cold either cover your plants or move them indoors to protect them from freezing.

The Seed Pantry team 🌼

Subscribe to the Grow Club box for flowers, food and herb seeds ready to sow each month… Curious? Come check out all of this month’s options!

If you have already embarked on your GYO journey, we’d love to hear about it! – please tag us in your success stories (and heroic failures too!) on Instagram and Facebook.

Pot Buddies – A Seed Pantry Guide to Companion Planting

Enrol on a free Organic pest protection programme with companion planting and claim a few hundred complimentary gardeners by encouraging pollinators to your fruit and vegetable plot!

Plants thrive in communities, some plants have mutual benefits, and some really don’t get on well at all! Here at Seed Pantry we’ve compiled an easy list of which plants make the best pot buddies to help you keep your home-grown Seed Pantry vegetables happy. 👨‍🌾

PlantCompanionWhy plant together?
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, KaleNasturtiumCabbage white butterflies will happily lay their eggs on Nasturtium leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars will nibble your Nasturtiums and not your crops!
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Kale, Onion, Radish, TomatoesMintTo deter flea beetles, aphids, and to confuse carrot root fly/Onion fly, who find their host through scent. Keep the Mint in a pot if possible, as it quickly spreads and will smother your crops!
CarrotLeek, Spring Onion, OnionsThe smell of Leeks deters carrot root fly from Carrot, and the smell of Carrots deters Leek moth and Onion moth from Leeks and Onions!
Asparagus, Courgette, TomatoesCalendula (Pot Marigold)Calendula is very attractive to pollinators as it’s long flowering period means it can provide nectar over the whole growing season. It can also repel Asparagus beetles and unwanted soil nematodes.
Aubergine, Lettuce, Pepper, TomatoesBasilBasil is known to improve the flavour when grown with these vegetables. The scent also helps to deter aphids.
TomatoesFrench MarigoldThe Marigold scent will help deter whitefly.
TomatoesChivesThe Onion smell will deter aphids.
Flowers Mint, Chives, ThymeThese smelly plants will help deter aphids and blackfly from nibbling your blooms.
Runner BeansSweet PeasSweet Peas will attract pollinators to your Runner Bean flowers.
All vegetablesTansyThe smell of Tansy deters ants.
All vegetablesYarrowYarrow is a great ‘green manure’, use it to fertilise your vegetable plot by planting amongst your crops or composting it and adding as mulch.
Mint, Calendula and Nasturtiums (L-R) are all great companion plants!

Here’s a few other tips and ideas that will help you make the most of your planting:

  1. Create partial shade for shorter crops by planting tall plants, such as peas or sweetcorn. Some plants, namely coriander, lettuce and spinach are prone to bolting. This is when a plant produces a flowering stem before harvesting, as a natural attempt to produce seeds as a means of survival and happens when the plant is stressed (including high temperatures).
  2. Plant herbs throughout the plot, their strongly scented leaves will help repel the less useful of insects and their flowers will encourage pollinators.
  3. Utilise your space! Plant fast-growing crops such as lettuce and radish between slower-growing crops like root vegetables and Brussels Sprouts. Not only does this make your yield per square inch larger, they’ll help prevent weeds growing!
  4. Encourage wildlife into your garden. Butterflies, moths, beetles, birds, bats and millions of other insects all play an important role in keeping your garden happy. Sow lots of wildlife friendly seeds to bring natural predators that will help keep slugs and aphids at bay, to encourage pollinating insects, or simply to bring a little bit of life into your space.

You’ll be amazed by the variety of colourful veg you can grow when starting from seed, and we hope that you’ll be bringing better nutrition and outstanding homegrown flavour to your table all year round using these handy tips! If you’ve already begun your GYO plot – please tag us in your success stories (and heroic failures too!) on Instagram and Facebook.

Seed Pantry Team 🌼

Subscribe to the Grow Club box for flowers, food and herb seeds ready to sow each month… Curious? Come check out all of this month’s options!