Growing in containers right outside
the kitchen door, these vegetables
look too pretty to be real. but they
are—and they’re delicious too.
Begin with a large, handsome container.
Pamela places tall cobalt blue ceramic pots
that have small footprints on the deck. The
deep pots have ample room to support root
growth. Repetition of these pots brings
unity and cohesion to the deck garden’s
Think outside the box. Pamela hangs
steel window baskets along the deck railing. Holes in the coconut fiber linings of
the baskets allow plantings to mature into
blankets of color.
Consider the hardware. This savvy
gardener insists that even the hardware on
her small deck needs to be pretty. Instead
of the usual tomato cages, she uses steel
obelisks and trellises.
Select vegetables, herbs, and flowers
suited to containers. Choose varieties
that won’t outgrow their container or take
up too much space on a deck or patio. Look
for varieties with “dwarf,” “compact,” “
patio,” or “pixie” in their names. These plants
have been developed for their smaller stature but yield full-size produce.
Choose quality potting mix. Pamela recommends using a name-brand potting mix
and avoiding bags with “soil” in the name,
which are too heavy for containers. “If it
says potting mix,” she says, “you are going
to get something that is pretty good.”
Feed your plants. Mix organic, time-release fertilizer granules into the potting
mix at planting time or apply a water-soluble plant food every other week.
Pamela Crawford loves flowers, so when she decided to grow vegetables on her deck, she knew she wanted them to be as pretty as any blooms might be. The results are eye-popping as well as productive. Best of all, her techniques will work
for anyone gardening with plenty of sun and enough
determination to bring them to life. “The most important
thing is to use a large enough container,” she says. And
she doesn’t stop with vegetables. Flowers are essential for
making her potted edible gardens overflow with color.
After you identify insect
pests on crops, pick off the
insects, and then resort to
the least-toxic solutions.
10 better homes and gardens | creative spaces
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