Growing Tomatoes in Pots

When to Sow: April

When to Harvest: July - September

  • Choose a sunny, sheltered spot for your tomato plants.
  • Opt for bush tomato varieties for easier maintenance.
  • Start seeds indoors on a sunny windowsill, then transplant outdoors.
  • Pot them up individually once established, gradually acclimating them to outdoor conditions.
  • Water regularly and feed with liquid fertilizer when flowers appear.
  • Harvest ripe tomatoes in mid to late summer.

The greater the size of the container, the simpler it becomes to care for the plants. Ideally, each plant should have a minimum of a 30cm (12in) pot, or they can be spaced 35-45cm (14-18in) apart within a deep window box or trough, or even within a growing bag. Large hanging baskets can also showcase them beautifully, but they require regular watering.

Growing Garlic in Containers

When to Plant: October - February

When to Harvest: June - August

  • Break apart garlic bulbs into cloves, planting them in a container with free-draining compost.
  • Ensure the cloves are planted with the pointy ends facing up, about 10cm deep.
  • Water well and place in a sunny spot.
  • Harvest garlic bulbs when the leaves turn yellow and dry.
  • Allow harvested garlic to dry in a well-ventilated area before storing.

Elephant Garlic
Follow the same directions as for other garlic varieties, but increase spacing to 25cm. Plant from September.

Wild Garlic
Plant cloves 2-5cm deep, 25cm apart. Keep well watered the first year and do not pick any plants. Wild garlic seed heads should also produce viable seed and assist in the spread of your wild garlic area.

Hardneck types produce beautiful floral spikes. These can be snapped off almost as soon as they appear to encourage the plants resources back down towards the bulb. Also known as scapes these can be sautéed and enjoyed like a garlicky green bean or asparagus or even made into a delicious pesto.

Produce a hard flowering spike. Cloves form around a central stem. Varieties include: Lubasha Wight, Kingsland Wight, Caulk Wight. Typically planted in the Autumn for harvest end of June - July. Hardnecks are typically hardier when growing and stronger in flavour.

Produce a softer stem with no flowering spike, typically more cloves to a bulb, bunched together in tight circles. Varieties include: Rhapsody Wight, Provence Wight, Picardy Wight, Maddock Wight, Mersley Wight & Solent Wight. Typically easier to grow, with good keeping qualities.

Growing Potatoes in Planters

When to Chit Potatoes: February - March

When to Plant: April

When to Harvest: Varies by type

  • Use seed potatoes, allowing them to chit (sprout) for 6 weeks.
  • Plant chitted potatoes in a large pot with drainage holes, covering with compost.
  • Water thoroughly and keep well-hydrated throughout the growing season.
  • As the plants grow, add more compost to cover the stems (earthing up).
  • Harvest potatoes when the plants die back, usually from June to October.

Potatoes thrive well in pots, ideal for limited spaces like balconies or patios. Choose a large container with drainage holes, such as a 40-liter plastic pot or even a dustbin. Add 10cm of compost, place 3-5 seed potatoes, cover with 8-10cm of compost, and water. Repeat as shoots grow, topping up with compost until the pot is full. Harvest when plants flower by emptying the pot.