There is plenty of talk about vegetable gardening on this blog, no question of that. But not too much talk of container gardening. In fact, I seem to remember one of my fellow ranters saying (during a rant against houseplants) that plants aren’t supposed to be in a pot; they’re supposed to be in the ground.
Fair enough. It is much easier to keep stuff in the ground, or just stick seedlings in the ground year after year, as one often does with vegetables. But what if you’re like this letter-to-the-editor writer: It’s all very well for celebrity gardeners and chefs to tell us all to grow our own vegetables as it is healthier and far cheaper. This is true but not everyone has a garden big enough to grow their own in. In fact, many people live in apartments these days and the only access they have to an outside space is a small balcony.
I agree with the sentiment but not with the conclusion of this letter, in which the writer assumes vegetable growing is not possible for him. One of my work colleagues grows the most fabulous heirloom tomatoes I’ve ever seen, all in containers. Some Garden Walk gardeners have a wide variety of cool food crops in containers, some using supports if needed.
Paging through my Gardeners’ Supply catalog, it seems to me that there are dozens of smart container options that are engineered to keep plants just watered enough. I have not tried any of these, though, so I’d be interested if anyone has and if they work. Whatever you put them in, if you have sunny patio or balcony space, vegetables in containers are a smart option. Certainly my friend at work had enough to bring big paper bags in to work to share with us. (I love the little orange tomatoes.)
I think one of the things that may stop some people from growing food is the thought that they need a large sunny bed to start with. Personally I only have one of those, and I’m not about to give it up to vegetables. But I might have some heirlooms in containers this year.