Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.
Q. The vegetable garden I want to grow this year will have to be in containers on my deck. What plants can I grow in pots?
THE. The easiest vegetables for container cultivation are the smaller ones — lettuce and other salad greens, bush beans, carrots, beets, kale, chard. Look for bush, or “patio” type tomato and cucumber plants. Zucchini is another possibility, given a large pot.
Match the container size to the size of the plants, keeping in mind that, for vegetables, bigger is almost always better. In summer, small containers are difficult to keep adequately watered.
Aim for a container width of at least 30 cm. For a zucchini bush, a width of 40 to 45 cm would be better. Give carrots a deep enough container to allow for good root development.
For plump, vigorous and productive plants, give them a robust, moisture-retentive soil. Look for an “all-purpose” potting mix that has directions for seeding on it. That’s another assurance that it will suit your purpose.
Q. Why do most of my daffodils produce only a few spindly leaves?
THE. Check for narcissus bulb fly damage. Dig up a few of the plants. Infested bulbs will be soft and have a hole in the base. Remove affected bulbs and do not compost them.
Adult flies emerge from pupation around the time of temperatures rising to 20 C in the spring. They lay eggs in the soil next to declining daffodil foliage. Larvae that hatch from the eggs bore into the bulb bases, feed, and overwinter there. The adult flies look like bumble bees. There is usually one large grub in a bulb.
Another pest, the lesser bulb fly, is also small and black. It leaves many small larvae in a bulb.
Bulbs can be protected from the flies by floating row fabric placed over narcissus plants after flowering and leaving it in place until July. Bulbs planted at least 25 cm deep and those growing in dense ground cover will have some protection.
Plan a veggie garden with your family
Basil now grows easily in containers