My Experiment for the Summer – Growing Potted Vegetables

For the last few summers, I have gotten a green bell pepper plant from a shop in North Carolina called DeWayne’s. I’ve always brought it home + let it grow in the pot, and just let nature do its thing!

This year, I decided to also pick up cucumbers + zucchinis for my meal prep + dinners.

I had two 5-gallon pots in the garage so I put all of the zucchinis in one + all of the cucumbers in the other. I kind of cheated + bought them already a little bit grown! But as a beginner, I needed the head-start!

I potted the vegetables on May 18, 2019. They stayed in front of the garage to get full sun for about a week before I moved them to the patio. (above)

During the last week of May 2019, I moved all of my vegetables onto the patio steps. All three need a good amount of sun but warm – not hot – temperatures. Since it gets so hot during the day, I moved them to the back so they would get phases of direct + indirect sun, but still plenty of warmth! (above)

The cucumbers, in the top photo, got off to a questionable start but the zucchinis started so strong.

A few days later, the cucumbers caught up. All of my vegetables were looking good! However, cucumbers + zucchinis are vining vegetables so I had to figure out what I was going to use to support them when they grew more.

In early June, the cucumbers grew so much + spread out, and really needed something to vine onto.

Later in June, I decided I had to do something with them. Luckily, I had an old trellis and some 2x4s in my garage so in the corner of my patio, I laid out the 2x4s to a height of a couple inches lower than the tops of the pots. I put the trellis on its side so the vegetables could grow upwards + to the sides.

A week later, they had grown so much that I needed to relocate them – again. I moved them up on the patio so they could grow on the rails. At this point, it was mid-June. By this point, the temperature was, on average, high 80s everyday. So a little hotter than cucumbers + zucchinis prefer. By this point, I moved my green bell pepper plant to the front garden where it got partial shade from some of the bigger plants in the front.

I was out of town for the rest of June + came back in early July. When I got back, the vegetables were still going strong but it was just so hot every day. I think having 8 plants in each pot was too much + overcrowded everything. The cucumbers really dominated the zucchinis, which I think is why they never grew any zucchinis until later in July.

I also think they were getting too much direct sunlight + it was pretty much frying the soil + roots. The vegetables were getting watered around lunch time + again at dinner time.

In total, I got 9 cucumbers to grow. They all reached a mature size but turned yellow. My dad ate one + said it tasted totally normal! I think the overcrowding caused some struggles to get nutrients into the plants. Also, there was so much plant for the vegetables to support. I think it was just too hot as well. In July, it was high 90s almost every day.

So far, none of the zucchinis have fully grown. They would grow to be 1-2 inches + then get yellow + fall off. Again, I think this because there were too many vegetables in one pot + the cucumbers pretty much choked them out.

However, it’s just been so hot everyday that the cucumbers have pretty much died. Now there are a few zucchinis that are a couple inches long. I’m interested to see if any end up growing now that it’s typically cooler, relatively speaking. It’s usually low 90s/high 80s – which definitely beats the high 90s from June + July!!

On the other hand, my green bell peppers were pretty productive this year. I think next year I am going to put them in a big pot. I think plants grow respectively to the size of the pot they are in. So my pepper plant has been growing peppers the size of tennis balls. Hopefully, next year in a bigger pot, they will grow to be a little larger!

Do you have any experience with growing any of these? If so, share in the comments below!

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