In the most basic sense a VegTrug is a container big enough to grow plants in. VegTrugs are a space-saving way to grow veg, offering an extra slice of garden with perfect soil.
They also look great: you’ll be well-deserving of any bragging rights when your friends are introduced to your new, overflowing VegTrug.
Read on to learn about VegTrug gardening and how it could work for you.
Different Types of VegTrug
There are several different types of VegTrug to choose from depending on your taste, gardening enthusiasm and budget.
The original is a V-shaped wooden container on legs, but more recent additions include:
- Two tiered options
- More lightweight, movable VegTrugs
- Smaller VegTrugs for kids (these are very cute)
- Ornate Trugs with decorative aluminium sides (perhaps a good gift for the gardener who has everything?).
Although these beauties are called VegTrugs, you don’t have to plant veggies in them. They work well with all manner of bedding plants and smaller shrubs too. If you prefer flowers, they look fab filled with daffodils, salvias, lavenders, dicentra, and pansies.
How to Use a VegTrug
A VegTrug is purposely V-shaped, so you can place deeper-rooted plants in the centre and shallow ones around the edge.
For example, tomatoes, onions, beetroot, peas, peppers, cucumbers and carrots work well in the deep V section, whilst shallow-rooted strawberries, herbs, lettuce, radish, and golf-ball carrots (like Paris Market Baron) are perfect around the edges.
If you fancy trailing cherry tomatoes, place them at the ends of the VegTrug. Their foliage will have room to fall over the sides. This technique works well because the deeper soil will help steady roots, but fruits can trail over the edge and dangle above the snails.
The standard VegTrug isn’t suitable for tall veggies like runner beans because you won’t be able to reach them. There are frames and trellises available for climbers, but make sure you can easily reach your produce without a ladder. Consider dwarf runner beans like ‘Hestia’, these work well snuggled down in a VegTrug.
VegTrug Pros and Cons
Time for a side-by-side comparison of the best and worst points of using a VegTrug.
Pros of a VegTrug
- VegTrugs are filled with fresh soil so this means no weeds, no stones, no parasites and (if you don’t like them) no worms. New fresh soil means there’s plenty of nutrients for plants to thrive on.
- VegTrugs are great for anyone who can’t kneel or garden at ground level. Older gardeners and people with disabilities may find it easier to access a VegTrug. The waist-height containers also limit how much bending is required when gardening – ideal for anyone who gets backache.
- VegTrugs are a great starting point for new gardeners who feel a bit nervous about digging up their lawn and want to start small scale. It’s as clean as gardening gets.
- Many of us have small gardens, and there just isn’t enough space to hold all the plants we want, that’s why allotment waiting lists are so long (sort it out, government!). VegTrugs give you extra space.
- If you are renting a house you can still have a lovely garden without losing your entire security deposit.
- VegTrugs warm up quickly when the sun finally decides to visit, so you can begin growing that bit earlier. Place your VegTrug against a sunny facing wall. The sun will heat up the bricks and provide extra warmth. Chase sunlight around your garden with the lighter material-based VegTrugs that are easy to lift.
- If you are a fair weather gardener you can put your Trug away for the winter. If you are hardcore you can continuing growing over winter. Grow some Christmas sprouts, cabbages and purple sprouting in the winter months, just keep them in the centre section and harvest before springtime seeds need a home.
- Cat and ground borne pests find it harder to use a VegTrug as a toilet or buffet. Snails and slugs will try, but Vaseline or copper tape around the edges will stop them.
Cons of a VegTrug
You’ll be pleased to hear there are fewer cons than pros.
- VegTrugs are more expensive than digging up an area of lawn for free, but then turning lawn into a vegetable patch or flower border requires space and a few weekends of hard labour.
- The large VegTrugs are big and heavy, and I mean really heavy, once they are full, so seriously consider where yours will live because you won’t be shifting it without the help of a piano removal firm.
- Watering is the perennial problem for container gardening. You will need a watering routine for a healthy VegTrug. One problem I’ve found is that although the V-shape is great for root depth, it means you potentially drown out deeper-rooted plants by frequently watering the shallow-rooted edge ones.
- You can add some water-retaining capsules to keep soil damp and dig in some manure as this retains moisture. Compost dries out very quickly on its own. Think about mulching the surface with bark to seal in moisture once you’ve planted up.
- Water runs freely from a VegTrug base so it can get a little messy underneath them. They have a liner to keep the soil in but let water out. It’s a good idea to put a VegTrug somewhere suitable for watering and place a growbag full of cut and come again lettuce beneath it. They love shade and will appreciate the second hand water.
Overall, VegTrugs are a useful addition especially if you have a small garden with a lot of hard-standing. The pose factor is huge, they look very smart and once filled with growing veggies you’ll resemble a master gardener with minimal effort. The only drawback is the watering if you go on holiday.
VegTrugs are a good investment in my opinion, as are any types of containers, even simple plastic tubs you can fill with space hungry potatoes. If you have time to water and feed a Vegtrug, and you don’t have the ground space they are well worth the effort. For older people and mobility impaired folk they can be sanity savers. Pop one on your Christmas list this year.