Home grown herbs and vegetables are a tasty addition to the family diet and growing them in pots is a great way to have fresh produce close by, no matter the size of your garden or balcony.
To keep them healthy, consider:
- Pests and diseases
Five steps to better potted crops
With your potting mix on hand and your pots clean and ready, it’s time to plant. Here's five easy steps to help your vegies and herbs flourish.
Whether plants are in the garden or in pots, they need around six hours of sunlight per day. Position pots accordingly to maximise available sunlight. One of the benefits to growing crops in pots is that you can move them around to suit weather conditions - into a protected or shaded spot when scorching winds, excess heat or frosts occur.
Premium or professional potting mixes have fertilisers included the mix to support plant growth for at least three to six months. After this, apply water soluble or slow release liquid fertiliser to make sure your crops stay healthy and productive until harvest.
Potted plants need regular watering - daily or even twice daily when it's warm. If you have used a premium potting mix, watering will be easy as the mix will readily accept moisture. You know when you've applied enough when you see the water draining freely from the base of the pot.
If the mix dries out and will not rewet easily, apply a soil wetter and/or water storing granules - check if there is a withholding period (the time from application until you can eat your crop).
Repot when needed
When plants outgrow their pot, or have been in the same pot for a couple of years, it’s important to repot them for continued health and productivity.
Luckily, repotting is easy.
- Choose a suitable pot a little larger than the existing pot.
- Place some good quality potting mix in the base, place the plant in position and check the level of the old mix around the root ball is two to three cm from the top of the new pot.
- Backfill, pressing the mix down firmly.
- Water well.
TIP: If you would like to divide your herbs and put them back in the same pot, just split the plant in to two or three sections, and place each of these in a pot with fresh potting mix and water well.
Whether veggies and herbs are grown in pots or in the garden, they are still prone to attack from pests. Keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and apply an appropriate insecticide for edibles, like Defender Pyrethrum.
At the end of the growing season, place old potting mix in the compost and wash pots ready for your next delicious home grown crop.