We are lucky to have some really great vegetable experts on staff at The Growing Place. Last week we talked with Peg K at Naperville and she gave us some tomato planting tips. If you missed the live event, the video is below. We also talked to Donna V at Aurora and she gave us some ideas on vegetables that grow well in containers. These are listed below the video. 

Posted by The Growing Place Garden Center on Saturday, May 2, 2020

Now that you are home, you have time to garden! Gardening is a great family activity, a teaching tool, and a welcomed respite to ‘get away from it all’. Our Veggie Guru, Donna V put together a few veggie and herb container recipes to help you get started. Since the soil in Illinois is mostly clay, we recommend adding organic matter like TGP Garden Compost Mix, Leaf Mulch, Blended Compost, grass clippings and/or compost from your garden to break up compaction. Plants need oxygen in the soil. Mix in Espoma® Garden-tone for any vegetable or Espoma® Tomato-tone for an extra dose of calcium when planting tomatoes. Layer these amendments on the surface and turn into your beds with a spade or shovel.

Combinations for a 14” or Larger Container

Better Bush tomato, Sweet Basil, Onion or Bell pepper – Pizza
Roma tomato, Sweet Basil, and Red onion – Bruschetta
Better Bush or Roma tomato, Cilantro, and Hot Pepper (Jalapeno or Serrano) – Salsa
Lettuce with herbs that have the same water requirements
Eggplant and Green beans
Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Onions
Cucumber and lettuce
Tomato, Basil, and Carrots
Thyme, Sage, and Rosemary
Tarragon, Basil and cilantro
Creeping Thyme, Lavender, and Marjoram or Sage
Lavender, Oregano, and Rosemary

Potatoes, Summer Squash, Pole Beans, and Peppers can also be grown in separate containers.

Combinations for 5 Gallon Containers, 12″ soil depth

Squash, 1 plant
Pepper, 1-2 plants
Eggplant, 1 plant
Tomato, 1 plant
Turnip, 5 plants
Beets, 5 plants

Combinations for 1 Gallon Containers

If space is limited on your deck, patio, or balcony, here are a few veggies that can be planted in containers as small as a gallon.

Spinach, 2 plants, 5” depth pot
Parsley, 3 plants, 5” depth pot
Radish, 3 plants, 5” depth pot
Lettuce, 3 plants, 5” depth pot
Carrot, 3 plants, pot 2” deeper than carrot length
Cucumber, 1 plant

Tips from a Veggie Garden Guru

1. Fertilize container gardens with Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus, Tomato-tone.
2. Hand water with a watering can, down low to prevent disease. Do not sprinkle the leaves.
3. Stake or cage tomatoes and some peppers.
4. Trellis cucumbers and pole beans.
5. Plant basil, rosemary, lavender, marigolds, or borage with your veggies to ward off rabbits.