Grow Fruit and Vegetables on your Patio

Pavestone Patio and Growing Your Own
Growing Fruit and Veg on your Patio

There’s nothing quite like noshing down on food plucked straight from the bush, but if you’re short on space in your garden borders, why not consider growing your own fruit and veg on your patio? Many varieties of food plants will do well in containers, against a wall, or even in hanging baskets, given the right care and attention—and if they’re right outside your kitchen door, then harvesting them is amazingly easy!

Growing vegatables on your Pavestone patio

Spice up the Pavestone PatioMost people know that the trusty tomato is an easy to grow, patio-friendly food plant, but there are plenty of more unusual options with which to adorn your outside space. If you’re a salad fanatic, try growing your own spinach, rocket, beetroot and radishes and you’ll be able to prepare yourself a bowl of crisp, freshly picked produce as a complement to any meal. If you love food that packs a flavoursome punch, then herbs or chillies are a great choice. Most herbs are wonderfully unfussy and will bounce back all season long with regular picking. Choose Basil to pair with homegrown tomatoes in sauces or to make your own freshly prepared pesto for plastering on pasta and pizzas, or go for Oregano, Rosemary and Coriander to add delicious depth to a variety of dishes. Peppers, too, can be thrown into almost any dish for extra colour and crunch and do very well in pots on the patio.

Make your veg patch part of your Pavestone PatioFor best results when growing food plants in containers, give them lots of room to grow. Over-crowding plants or placing them in soil that is too shallow will cause them to struggle and will have a big impact on your crop yield. A brilliantly hassle-free method is to buy a large bag of good quality compost, stand it on its end, and plant your crops directly into that. This gives the roots lots of room to grow and will pay dividends when it comes to harvesting time.

It is important to ensure that your food plants are well-watered, since crops are made mostly of water and cannot be produced without a steady water supply. However, it is also important to ensure that plants have adequate drainage. Few plants enjoy having their roots sat in water at the bottom of a pot and it can lead to root rot and poor crop yields. The key is to water regularly but allow the water to drain away.

Growing herbs on a Pavestone PatioGarden centres sell drainage stones and gravel that can be added to containers prior to the compost. You can also use stones or broken pot pieces from your garden or even chunks of polystyrene. These lift the compost off the pot base, preventing it from becoming waterlogged. Additionally, raising the container off your patio, using small blocks or old wine corks, will help to prevent waterlogging and create the perfect environment for your crops to flourish.

It is especially important to ensure that fruit plants are well-drained, since waterlogging can cause fruit to drop before it is properly ripe. Fruit plants that will do well on sunny patios include cherries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pears, plums and peaches. Who could say no to a homegrown cherry tart or cinnamon apple pie? Planting different varieties with different fruiting schedules will give you a season-long fruit supply—and some can even be frozen to give you a year-round source of homegrown produce. Be aware, though, that some fruit plants are not self-fertile and will need to be planted near other plants of the same type to produce fruit. It’s best to check the details of each plant before you invest.

Growing sucessfully on your Pavestone PatioIf you’re short of space on the ground, then growing up a wall or in hanging baskets is a great way to get maximal use out of your available space. Strawberries, Cherry tomatoes, Lettuce and Mexican Sour Gherkins can all be grown in baskets. Just be sure to water them regularly and to support them well so that they will stay in place even when in crop. You can also get varieties of vegetables that will grow vertically up a trellis. Look for the ‘Marketmore’ variety of Cucumber, the ‘Tromboncino’ variety of Squash, or the ‘Salad Bowl’ variety of Lettuce.

If you’re investing in a new patio for outdoor entertaining, then remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your food-growing ground space for comfort. Simply plump for crop varieties that do well in pots and containers and away you go. Easy!

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David Domoney's Garden & Landscaping Tips & Pavestone's news articles are posted regularly, every few days, in the News & Blogs section of the Pavestone website. Follow David's tips and the hot news from Britain's favourite landscaping brand by following us on Facebook and Twitter.


David Domoney, TV Gardener and Pavestone Ambassador