The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How much space do vegetables need in pots?

Potted brussels sprouts

For about a week after deciding to move, I basked in the knowledge that there was no point in weeding our garden. Then...I went into withdrawal and started pondering potted plants to take with us. But how much space do you need per plant when growing vegetables in pots?

Vegetable
Gallons per plant
Asparagus
1 gallon
Broccoli
5 gallons
Brussels sprouts
3 gallons
Cabbage
2 gallons
Celery
2 gallons
Chives
1 gallon
Cucumbers
1-5 gallons
Kale
1 gallon
Peppers
2-3 gallons
Squash
5 gallons
Swiss chard
2 gallons
Tomato
10-20 gallons

I drew the information in the table above from various sources, some of which I'm dubious about. (Broccoli needs 5 gallons but the larger Brussels sprouts only need 3?) Still, it seems like a good starting point, and I potted up celery and a pepper out of the aquaponics setup along with five Brussels sprouts Wednesday afternoon.

Now for the big questions --- was I nuts to fill the pots entirely with well-composted horse manure? (I usually mix manure half and half with potting soil for containers, but I didn't want to buy any and had lots of manure on hand at the potting area.) Will I be able to keep the pots irrigated in the summer heat far from any water source? And if I continue to be this exuberant with my potting up, will there be room in the car for anything else when we drive north? Only time will tell....



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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Pot away - these need to all go in the enclosed trailer for transport - so get all you can get to make it worth while
Comment by Jayne Fri Jul 14 08:41:57 2017

First, I wonder if the clay pots are the best, for the 1 gal and under...I seem also to remember my mother sinking clay pots into holes in the ground, to insulate them, in summer droughts. I might try wrapping my plastic pots in newspapers or paper bags.

think of what the actual Pilgrims brought, besides perennial herbs, either linden (basswood to us) seeds, or a tiny sapling? That linden tree was still there, in Plymouth, in the 60s!!!

Comment by adrianne Fri Jul 14 08:48:22 2017

Jayne --- Thank you in advance for the loan of your covered trailer! It's definitely going to make our move easier...if only because we won't have to rush to carry out everything we own against a ticking clock. I really appreciate the support!

Mom --- Actually, from what I've read, plastic pots are better for most plants than clay because they hold in moisture. (The exception would be things like rosemary that like it really hot and dry.)

I do feel a bit like a colonist trying to pack up all the little starts I need for a long sea voyage. It sure is nice to have so many more backups than they had in place!

Comment by anna Fri Jul 14 10:18:41 2017





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