I've used containers for tomatos and peppers, but that's the only veggies I've ever grown, because I'm a container planter. Today, I saw some nice looking sugar snap peas in the store, and wanted to ask if it's possible to grow them in containers as well. Does anybody know? Have any of you tried it?
While I haven't tried those, I've done other veggies with a degree of success. My understanding is the peas can be grown in pots that are at least 16-18 inches deep. Be sure to keep them well watered throughout their growth cycle and as you have also container-gardened before, you know the plants must be fertilized.
Be sure to use something to enhance water retention, i.e.vermiculite, perlite or whatever water retainer you prefer, including from reading this site, kitty litter. In gardenology, it is stated that kitty litter adds calcium. Cool! Right?
I'm planning a ton of veggies for container gardening this summer and have ordered a couple of books on the subject. There are others who will post, I'm sure, those who know more, they're on their way and I, for one, am going to hang around to learn more along with you.
Edit - I just remembered something, don't use potting *soil*, use potting *mix*. Soil becomes too compact and causes problems in the long run. I had veggies that looked like they were being held hostage, they weren't planted, they were embedded in soil.
Google Cornell potting mix.
Yes you can, but you will need a fairly large container and use lots of manure as the small amount of soil in a container will need supplemented by good rich soil, the manure also helps retain some moisture, Grow the peas up a wigwam of garden canes, it works every time for me if I run out of space in the veg garden, you can grow almost any kind of veg in containers so long as you use good soil and water them more than you do if planted in the garden, even carrots work, but dont use the large type, pick em young when tender and tastie, potatoes also work if you use a strong Polly bag, say one strong like the ones you buy compost in, cut a few holes in the bottom, some soil to half fill, then pop in the potato's, once you see some green spoutings, add more compost to cover the greenery, keep doing this till the bag is almost full of compost, then leave till the tops (greens start to turn either a yellowish colour or start to flower, slit the bag, and remove your nice new grown potato's, you need to remember to be vigilant with your watering for growing veg in pots as they dry out quicker than growing veg in the earth/garden/ one of our friends who had to move to an apartment has been growing veg for years on her veranda and has a great crop of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, potatoes and even fruit, we were out in my truck one day when she yelled STOP, she had just passed a large canister outside a house for the garbage man and wanted me to go get it in the back of the truck, she's turned into a container freak, but she loves still being able to garden without all the digging and bending as she dont keep too well now, every time we visit her now, instead of flowers or chocolates, we take her bags of compost and she's as happy as pigs among you know what!!!!!!. so happy container gardening, you must try everything out so you know what works best for you, just enjoy, seeing is believing. good luck. WeeNel.
Thank you so much for your help. I think I'm going to give it a try.
WeeNel, I had to laugh when you mentioned that your friend it a container freak, because I think I'm becoming one as well. Right now, I have tomatoes and peppers planted in those huge buckets that kitty litter comes in. lol
This is the third year for me. Year 1 used trash baggies in clothes baskets, with holes cut in baggies for drainage. Had tomatoes, peppers, squash, bush cucumber. OK until really hot weather arrived and some croaked.
Year 2 bought large rubbermaid type containers (18-22 gallon?) and 2 gallon buckets from Dollar Store. Had salad crops first, then tomatoes, squash, climbing cucumber on metal trellis in large containers. Had peas, snow peas on bamboo type trellis, then peppers, bush cucumber, and beans in buckets. Used innoculant for peas and beans. Bought moisture meter to save tomatoes. Squash and climbing cucumber died late (bugs?). Bush cucumber did not like the small bucket. Used new green plastic tomato 3 legged thingie with wood stakes to support the tomatoes - they did not fall down this time. Had to protect soil against rodents with fluffy tails. Used plastic mesh and pinned it down with landscape fabric pins. Had to protect ripe tomatoes - used more plastic mesh and they left them alone. Tomatoes were good (needed more watering), peppers and climbing cucumber were wonderful. Beans were best I have ever tasted. Peas were hit by our late freeze last year and for some reason hated it. But I did get some regular peas and some snow peas. They tasted really good. Peas did not mind the buckets at all.
Year 3, added more potting mix, soil moist crystals, coir peat, 6 month fertilizer, new plastic mesh. Have peas and snap peas in large containers (so I can use tomato support system to help support the snap peas and taller peas. Used innoculant. They are up 1 inch now. Will have tomatoes, squash, climbing cucumber. May have too many peas (all one inch apart, used mesh as guide). Have salad mixes, mesclun, and spinaches in the buckets. They are one inch tall too and look great. Later will use buckets for beans (with innoculant again) and peppers. I only wanted the peas to eat raw but did want the snap peas for cooking. No way am I going to shell anything.
I went overboard and bought too many seeds. I will have to use regular flower garden for the extra squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers that will not fit in the containers. I prefer the salad greens in the containers - they are cleaner. Any size seems to suit them. I have 3 spinach, 2 mesclun, and 8 lettuce mixes.
OK I am happy to say, my friend has competition now, she will be thrilled, the watering thing is the most important part for container gardening as the soil really dries out fast at the blink of an eye, but you get used to this, each day she examines her babies, she also has her watering can at her side, then moves onto the hose pipe as more watering is required, the other thing to remember is, each year, you have to change the compost/soil as the plants growing in so little soil compared with in the ground out in the garden has been depleted of nutrients from heavy cropping in so little soil, but it is still a great way to get food plants going if you are unable to garden for various reasons. good luck all you container freaks, more power to you. WeeNel.
Carolmo Yod did put holes in the bottom of the plastic containers laundry baskets etc? Ac moore always has thier wicker laundry baskts real cheap could use those and drainage would already be there. Yes I have decided if it works do it. deanna
Deanna: To cut the drainage holes, I used a coarse bladed saw. I think they call it a pruning saw now. Each slice took about 8 swipes. This was easier for me than drilling holes, especially in flexible material. I cut slices in the bottom edge of all (side and bottom). I cut the laundry baskets, large gallon containers, and buckets with the saw. The slices were about 2 inches long but not very thick. I cut slices every few inches around.
When I used the trash bags, I also sliced holes in them with a knife. The bag method was the cheapest way and I am glad I tried it. My daughter complained about the appearance, so I got the large containers next. I really like the buckets - I cut off the metal handles at the plastic connection - with the saw. I paid 1 dollar each for the clothes basket and bucket at the dollar store. I paid about 10 dollars each for the large gallon containers at some place like Target (I think). I paid a lot for the potting mix and other items, so I am glad I saved money somewhere.
Thanks for the link. :) After reading through it, I don't think I will grow sugar snaps. It sounds like a plant better suited to cooler weather, and it gets pretty hot here. Especially through the summer. I wonder why the nursury decided to sell them here?
Jdee, you have to remember the nurseries will sell what there is a demand for, also keep in mind that some folks will have the hot weather, but possibly able to put pots, beds etc in a more shady area where they will get warmth, but to a less extent than if planted in full sun, you should seriously try just a few plants to see how they go, then you will know for sure if they are suitable for you or not, with gardening, unless the plants are going to cost you an arm and a leg, then nothing ventured is nothing gained, so be brave and give it a go, it's only either a packet of seeds or a few plants, good luck. WeeNel.
Well here is what I am going to do. Tomorrow I am going to put a thick layer of newspaper in the bottom of a container, then fill with good rich potting soil with chicken litter. After that I am going to plant some sugar snaps. Now get this aftert the seed sprout I am going to hang the container and let the vines grow over the side. Will let you know how it turns out.
Whitewidower - sounds like an interesting experiment. I wouldn't go too heavy on the chicken litter. It will contain a lot of nitrogen which is the one thing peas do not need - they produce their own nitrogen.
Sounds cool whitewidower, please post photos later! I grew sugar snaps in a window box container last year (not on a windowsill though, just that size) and they were doing pretty well until it got really hot. The ones I got to eat were delicious though.
I am using grow bags to my container garden agenda this year. I got 10, 10 gal. bags for $10 thru Greenhouse Mega Store. Also bought 10 of the 7 gal. bags, too. I am going to slip them into something else - a laundry basket might do - that is lighter colored since we get so hot in Oklahoma.
Last year I also picked up the 5 gal. plastic buckets at Lowe's for $2.75 each (silver color) and they also had 20 gal. tubs (different colors, lime green, purple, yellow, etc.) with rope handles for $6. I did put a 1/2" drill bit on my drill to do the holes, though. No time at all and they were done. I put holes on the sides, too, about 2" from bottom, about 6-8" apart around the circumference of the tub. According to Al's instructions, nothing in the bottom for drainage, as thus causes the perched water table to rise even further up inside the container. There is a certain level in a container at which water
"perches" and the soil stays saturated. Roots will generally not grow in this area. If you add a bunch of rocks, styrofoam peanuts, whatever, in the bottom, you are not improving drainage, you are just causing the PWT to develop further up inside the container, so you actually have less room for the roots to grow. You can also add a nice, fat cotton shoestring (with plastic ends cut off) about 1" up inside the container, leaving the rest outside of the container, and that will reduce the PWT in your containers. Other materials that absorb water can be used instead of shoestrings. Tear up an old towel into strips, etc. If you read Al's threads, he explains the issue of a PWT much better than I can.
I also use Al's 5:1:1 mix for containers and it works fantastic. Also, much cheaper to buy the ingredients and mix it yourself, if you want to than to buy commerical potting mix.
Last year I grew potatoes in bags, the bags were a woven fabric like you get at the builders yard, anyway I sprouted the potatoes, 1/4 filled the bag, put the potato tubers in, 3/4 per bag, covered the tubers and added more compost/soil mix every time the green leaves were on show, do this till there is no more room for soil, or the greenery begins to die off, because all tubers need plenty water you must add loads each day, the woven fabric allowed drainage. we had a great crop for such a small amount of cost and soil, soil was reused in other veg bed after crop was used, try it, it is fun, takes up no more time than a very large pot plant. good luck all you container folks. WeeNel.
Not a great picture of the container, but these are Sugar Snap Peas growing in a self-watering windowbox planter, so you don't need a deep container. I added a small trellis about 3' high draped with trellis netting. They are doing fine, although it's not enough plants to provide more than a few pea pods every day. This was my first year growing peas. Next year (or maybe this fall), I'll use an EarthBox or EarthTainer to increase the harvest!
Thanks Gymgirl! They look pretty good now, but it's been a tough crop for me. I direct seeded these Sugar Sprint peas in the container (indoors, under lights) on 2/19 and moved them outside on 3/12. I soaked the seeds overnight, and planted with innoculant, but I had a very low germination rate - less than 50%. I planted more seeds outside on 3/12, but none of them sprouted! I planted more seeds inside in Jiffy Pellets on 3/26, again with low germination, and transplanted those that sprouted outside on 4/18. So, the good news is that this "forced succession planning" may mean that I get peas over a longer period of time. I'm hoping the poor germination rate is just my batch of seeds, but I'll probably try another variety next time as well. Do sugar snap peas usually germinate better than this?
This container is actually half garden peas (Mr. Big) and half sugar snaps. The garden peas also had poor germination, although not quite as bad as the sugar snaps. I'm not getting enough of either pea for a decent serving for 1 person, so I clearly have to plant more next time.
Our average daily highs recently have been in the mid-70's, with lows between 45 and 60. When I first moved them outside, daily highs were in the mid-50's with lows in the mid-30's. We had a stretch of high temps in the 80's in late April. What kind of temps will mark the end for these peas?
I've never grown a successful crop of peas yet! I'm still trying to get the timing right. Which is why I asked about your avg daily temps. From what I've researched, peas grow best when they are growing as seedlings in cool temps (which they can withstand for awhile), and as mature plants growing in to cooler/cold temps, but not enough to freeze or damage the plants.
Most people in my zone are planting around December-January? I believe. I'm getting my schedule ready for the fall/winter and hope to get some in this time.
Also, I'm moving toward planting based on average daily temps vs. Zone temps. All zones aren't created equal, but a daytime temp is the same no matter where it is!
P.S. I'll LUK what I find out about when it's best to plant them.
Linda, wow, if I could grow Sugar Snaps as large as Tucson Jill, I'd be in heaven! I'll try them again this fall, by which time I should have my greenhouse installed. If I can keep the greenhouse above 40 or 45 degrees, I might be able to grow them throughout the winter.
VeggieMan, nice lookin' peas you got there. I bet they never made it into the house, did they? I tend to graze on them in the garden and they never go far unless others pick them and bring a bag to carry them home.
I'm just below you and our weather has been perfect pea weather this year. Congrats on your harvest.
You can plant sugar snaps extremely close together next year, as close as seeds 2" apart. That'll help give you a nicer harvest. As for "If I can keep the greenhouse above 40 or 45 degrees, I might be able to grow them throughout the winter" you might be wasting your time/space. Peas are photosensitive and your best harvest will be with lengthening days (spring), something you won't have during the shorter days of winter. You could plant late January though and get them up in size so they benefit from the longer days and get an earlier and hopefully longer harvest if you want to try them in your greenhouse.
Shoe, who picked a nice bag of sugar snaps today, giving them all to a friend. :>(