Greenhouse growing and container gardening

These are mooli (winter radish) – and what they are growing in is an old shoe rack: the kind that fastens around a rail with some Velcro and hangs down. It’s one of the ways that we make maximum use of space in small spaces by showing people how containers can be collapsible, flexible and adaptable. Of course root vegetables grown in little pockets like this don’t get as big as those grown in the ground, but they are much better than not having any at all, and this system has worked well for celery, parsnips and pak choi as well as mooli and is a great way of growing cut and come again salad heads alternating with root crops too. Just sow salad and root crops alternately and the heads of the salads can spill out into the next ‘box’ and not compete for space with other salady neighbours.

In the greenhouse, things are getting busy: the peas are planted in their biodegradable pots – if you worry about such things, check with your chosen local or national paper what inks and dyes they use and whether their paper is chlorine bleached, before using it to make pots. Most publishers have a clear environmental policy that will help you to decide if this is something you want to have rotting around the roots of your peas.

When all risk of frost is over, we plant the pots, each containing three pea seedlings, along the prepared pea supports and let them climb up. It’s a very simple way of planting peas which seems, in our experience, to work better than planting in gutters, which we have found to be prone to drying out or to being difficult to plant out. If you’ve ever tried to carry a row of gutter-planted pea seedlings and tripped, spilling them all over the ground, you’ll know exactly what I mean!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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