Lettuce seedlings growing

Build your own veg box

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, April 23

Build your own veg box

Fresh salad crops, cucumbers and some fruits picked from the garden cannot be beaten and April is a great time to make and create for a bountiful harvest, even in a small space.

Its easy to build your own container or up-cycle something disused to create a veg box, use cast off containers from the local garden centre, old pallets, hessian sacks or even deep saucepans and chicken wire! A small container on the windowsill and even recycled tins can be used.

Choose the ideal planting option for you and get started!

Whatever you use to plant in make sure that it is deep enough not to cramp plant roots. Use a compost specially designed for containers as it will have extra nutrients and hold water longer.

Some varieties can be mixed together. Thumbelina, Short n Sweet and Little Finger carrots and Green Arrow, Maestro and Sugar Bon peas grow quite happily together.

Dwarf tomatoes such as Patio, Tiny Tim and Window Box Roma fit perfectly into small containers, pots or hanging baskets.

Scatter radish seeds, that will grow in the smallest container,mix and match planting broccoli and cabbage together or try something different with Rainbow Chard or Courgettes.

Cut and come again type lettuce are really good for small containers and give you uber stylish micro salads and intensely flavoured garnishes!

Finally, if space is really limited, try a pallet hung on a spare wall. Cover the back and base with landscape fabric and waterproof with either thin plywood or plastic. Fill with good quality container mix and then add your plants. Once they are firmly in position secure to the wall or add simple feet and monitor for a few days whilst plants establish, topping up soil if necessary.

Make sure you water veg boxes regularly as with all containers they dry out quite quickly.


Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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