The successes and failures of two wannabe homesteaders in the UK..

Growing fruit, veg, herbs and flowers in pots

plants and veg in a large pot

Everyone knows that plants in the ground do way better than pots right? I was hoping this isn't always the case as I wanted to be able to move some of my plants later in the year. I decided to experiment with different sized pots, plants and locations. Success, failure and learnings shared with you.

Rather do a lengthy wordy blog, I'm going to cut to the chase. What you really want is the pro's and con's right? Along with some photographic evidence - so here it is.

What was successful about our potted garden?

  • Able to move chicken-favourite veggies out of reach of the chickens.
  • The variety of foliage and flowers in one place were really pretty.
  • No worries about contamination from cat or dog poop.
  • Able re-arrange during different stages of plant growth to make a more aesthetic garden.
lemon tree
plants and veg in a large pot

  • Very little weeding required.
  • No slug activity in the larger 10litre pots.
  • As veggies of the same group were spread apart, more resilience from pests and disease.
  • Easier to hold mulch in place without the chickens scratching it up.
  • Young plants under serious pest attack could be moved to safer places.
  • My potted fruit trees were had many more fruits than normal.

plants and veg in a large pot
plants and veg in a large pot
plants and veg in a large pot

Failures / learnings from our potted garden

  • Sometimes had to hunt around for which pots had salad items when I needed them.
  • Had to water a lot more often and did lose some due to lack of water when we were away.
  • Smaller pots in our mini greenhouse were demolished by slugs and caterpillars (had to keep the door open to stop small pots from drying up).
  • Some plants took a bit longer to get going, especially lettuce in the smaller pots.
not much of a cabbage plant


Bigger pots and diversity make a big difference!

Overall, I was really pleased with the potted garden, however size of pot did make a huge difference and in future, I will get plants into the larger pots sooner. I also need a decent irrigation system to keep them all nice and watered. I did have companion planting in mind when I decided what to place with what (most of the time) but I know I can improve further for a more perfect companion grouping that also look good.

In terms of the mini green house, I need a bigger one, with bigger pots, with an irrigation system and some air vents so that I don't need to leave the door open. I will also refrain from putting my brassica's in there and keep them outside under nets.


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