The weather has been cold this Spring, so crops in pots which can be given a bit of protection have a big head start on plants outside. The broad beans sown in an Air-Pot tray and germinated in the heat, then kept in an unheated greenhouse have done well.
The roots seemed nice and bushy when the young plants were transplanted, lots were poking out the bottom of the tray and were clearly air-pruned.
Once they reached about 15cm in height they were teased apart and planted on the plot, I’m pretty sure beans sown in the cold wet ground would have rotted or been eaten by mice.
The potatoes plants in an Air-Pot potato tower are showing above the soil and are now ready to be earthed-up. The pots were in an unheated greenhouse during the really cold weather but are now outside. The temperature overnight recently has been dropping down to 1 degree C, so the plants have had plastic bags over them, which seems to be stopping the shoots getting nipped by the cold.
Indoors the chilli plants are a good height now and mostly starting to flower, so as soon as the weather warms up they will be ready to start fruiting through the summer in the greenhouse.
I love reading your blog and have been following it for a while now.
I now want to get started with air-pot gardening as well.
Do you have recommendations for the air-pot size for each crop that you grow to full maturity in an air-pot? Because I don’t have a garden I will have to use pots for my gardening.
Hi Zilla, thanks for your comments. I guess when it comes to crops in pots a general rule of thumb is; the bigger the better, use the biggest Air-Pot you can. The large size is best for tomatoes and cucumbers, most peppers will be fine in a medium sized pot or compact chillies could go in a small. Best to avoid a large plant in a small pot unless you have an irrigation system such as a automatic dripper system, small pots can dry out quickly when it is hot if they contain a big plant which is drawing up a lot of water. Having said that it is perfectly possible to grow good crops just hand watering from the top as long as you don’t forget to water, I have some nice salads including radish in Air-Pot trays at the moment.
I have just started using air pots in my new polytunnel. My question is , is it better to start the plants off in the seed trays and then pot on , to larger pots? Or are you as well planting into the airpots to.start with ?
Sorry I am not sure how to post a photo of the set up…
You can put an established plant straight into a big Air-Pot if convenient. If you are thinking about seed sowing it depends a bit on what you are growing, how much space you have and timing. Early season a tray is easy to place somewhere warm to get seed started, if you have sowed quite a few tomato or pepper seeds in a tray you can pot-on the strongest & best seedling, that way the best of the bunch gets the benefit of a big Air-Pot. There is always the possibility that if you sow a single expensive F1 cucumber seed in a big pot it may not germinate or turn out to be a runt, so in that case it is better to start in a small pot or tray. If you have lots of a cheaper seed (or your own saved seed which costs nothing) and the pot is somewhere warm enough, sow several in a little cluster in the middle of the big pot & simply pull out the puny plants. You can cut the bottom off a clear plastic drink bottle and place it over your seeds, this creates a mini cloche to warm the seed and young plants. Good luck.
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Thanks for the reply.
I have a poly tunnel, currently the temp is not a problem it has been in the high 20s low 30s this week. I know that some veg do not like moving or potting on so that was my main concern.
I am trying a couple of new things. Asparagus peas . I have them in a 20L air pot and butternut squash. I have that in a 20L for now… I did wonder if that would need a larger pot ?
I have a rhubarb crown. Is it possible to put that into an air pot ? If so what size would you suggest? I was thinking of a 30L to give it lots of room.
Thanks in advance.