Not everyone has the yard space to grow a large garden, but that does not mean that you should not be able to increase your food and provide for yourself. Here are the 30 best vegetables to grow in pots and container gardens.
Growing up with a large family garden, I started to grow seeds in pots a few years back. I had the most fun growing chives in my container garden on the kitchen windowsill.
As more people experiment with edible crops, green thumb fever doesn’t just affect the rural areas. Urban agriculture is taking off, and people can grow food quickly on almost any corner: rooftop, porch, or window with these easy-to-grow vegetables that thrive in pots and container gardens.
The 30 Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots and Containers
Tomatoes are quite possibly the number one vegetables to grow in pots and it’s easy to see why. Tomatoes grow well in just about any size pot, depending on the variety you are trying to grow.
You just want to make sure that the container is large enough to handle the tomato plant, and you can even start them directly from seeds if you don’t have access to starter plants.
Once the tomato plant starts bearing fruit you can add a cage to the outside of the container for extra support as the plant gets taller and begins to bare delicious fruit.
Cucumbers are easy to grow in large containers, and the growing season can be extended almost year-round. You can also use support trellises to grow them vertically to save space.
Cucumbers are heavy producers that require regular watering and full sun. Give the vines plenty of space to breathe and harvest the fruit regularly to promote production.
Either climbing beans or bush-type bean plants can be grown easily in pots. You can grow them on a trellis near a wall and within just a few short weeks you will get green beans everywhere across the trellis. Beans require a sunny spot, a large pot and a strong support system.
Because of its compact size lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers. Just drop your lettuce seeds directly into the potting soil and wait for your salad to grow. You can even plant lettuce with other greens such as cilantro or oregano to save space.
With lettuce, you just trim off what you will use for a meal and it will continue to grow again.
Strawberries are one of the best fruits to grow in containers, and they can even thrive when grown indoors. Strawberries need a sunny spot and can be supplemented with artificial light which can promote the production of fruit during the winter.
Choose a container that’s large enough to handle the plants and harvest them regularly once they begin to produce to make room for additional fruit production.
Peppers are easy to care for vegetables to grow in pots. You will want your plants to have plenty of room and not be crowded, as production would be affected. Large varieties of peppers can be grown easily in a 5-gallon bucket.
Peppers need at least eight hours of sunlight each day and plenty of water. Regularly harvest the fruit for continued production.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense superfood that can be easily grown in pots. you want to make sure that each plant has at least 8 inches of room. Spinach it should be kept in a shady spot and out of direct sunlight to prevent wilting.
Spinach does well grown indoors by a sunny window and with a bit of water.
Snap peas are easy to grow in containers or planters. They do require some sort of trellis or support to climb up and bear their fruit. The harvest will be abundant if you provide adequate water and sunlight.
9. Collard greens
Collard greens are a good alternative to spinach or lettuce. Collard greens can be grown in containers easily and have a short growing season.
You can cut and harvest young collards and they will continue to grow for a second harvest. In warmer climates collards can be grown in containers year-round.
Zucchini is one a plant that is known for the over abundance crop and that is true of even container grown plants. Bush zucchini require fairly deep nutrient rich soil but even one zucchini plant can provide enough fruit for many families over a season.
Beats do well as container grown vegetables because they like to grow undisturbed in their soil. Choose a large pot that can adequately handle the full-sized plant. Beats are a nutritious and delicious container vegetable.
Carrots make an excellent year round container crops. Plant the seeds directly into the soil and provide adequate water.
Make sure you thin the seedlings to ensure that you wind up with decent size carrots. With a little bit of light and water, you will be able to enjoy carrots all year round.
Onions are excellent for container gardens provided you give them enough space to grow. You can plant onion sets directly in the potting soil of your container as long as you allow a few inches between each plant.
You could harvest the green part of the onion and use that to flavor meals as well as the bowl.
Garlic packs a big flavor punch in a tiny packet. Garlic does well with grown in containers and can even be planted between the onions. The leaf part of the garlic also called the scape is also delicious to eat.
Kale is great for growing in containers as it does not require a lot of room, so multiple plants can be grown in each pot. Avoid over-watering kale and keep out of direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from wilting.
Radishes can be grown in just about any container and are a great way to add spicy flavor to salads and other dishes. Water your radishes every few days and set them beside a window or out to get a little bit of sun and you will be rewarded with an abundant harvest of delicious radishes.
18. Asian Greens
Asian greens like Bok Choy are a great crop to grow in containers because they grow fast and don’t require a lot of sunlight.
You can grow them in a shady spot that receives as little as four hours of sunlight a day. With just enough adequate water, you will be rewarded with a healthy crop.
Eggplants are an easy-growing container crop. Eggplants are a heat loving crop that requires higher temperatures day and night to have a sustainable and plentiful harvest. Eggplants can be grown year-round in southern climates.
Choose a large bucket for growing your eggplants because the plants root system will correlate with the size of the fruit that it produces.
Basil is an easy-to-grow compact herb that is a great addition to soups and many other recipes. Even if you don’t have a full herb garden and basil will add enough flavor to your meals to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Basil requires just a small six or 8 inch pot and fresh soil. When watering avoid getting the leaves of the basil plant wet as that can promote mold and rot which will ruin the plant.
Potatoes are another root crop that thrives in deep containers. Potatoes can grow well year-round and can thrive in 5-gallon buckets which are perfect to easily transport.
Just ensure that whichever container you choose has drainage holes for excess water to escape. You can’t even plant your old potatoes that have started to sprout. Once they start to flower you can start digging for small potatoes.
Oregano is a hearty herb that will grow well in any sort of container. Choose a sunny spot for your oregano and water regularly for it to thrive. In many cases, you will be overrun with oregano.
Chives are an extremely hearty herb and often are considered a weed because they are so hard to kill. Chives have a great flavor that can be added to soups dips and any recipe that calls for onions.
Chives are a perennial so they will come back year after year and thrive. In containers, they can be grown in year-round indoors as long as they receive a bit of sunlight through a window.
Pumpkins are fun to grow in containers but require a little bit of extra room. For pumpkins, the bigger the pot the better your harvest will be. Don’t go smaller than 20 inches deep and 24 inches wide and ensure that you have adequate drainage to avoid root rot.
Depending on what you are looking for you can trim excess fruit so that all the pumpkins energy goes into one or two fruits or you can have many smaller-sized pumpkins.
Similar to carrots, turnips are a fun type of vegetables to grow in pots. Turnips can be grown outdoors or in as long as you provide a bit of sunlight and adequate water. You will want a deeper container to accommodate the length of the turn. Be careful not to overwater because root vegetables are prone to rotting without the proper drainage.
A cousin to the zucchini the squash will also do well in large containers. Squash are very hearty and versatile and will grow just about anywhere.
Harvest the squash regularly once they begin to grow so that the plant will continue to produce fruit. You can expect a minimum of three squash each week if provided with adequate water.
Chard makes an excellent container crop because it can be grown in small pots and can tolerate heat well. Chard can also do well when grown in partial shade or cooler climates.
Watermelons are an easy vining plant that thrives in containers. You can allow the vines to grow up a trellis or trail along a building railing or even just the ground.
Watermelons require heavy watering to ensure a sweet fruit.
Parsnips can be grown in containers but they require at least 18 inches of route space and cooler weather. Parsnips do not like the heat. Parsnips have a sweet nutty flavor and thrive when grown over the winter season.
Cantaloupe can be grown in large containers as long as you provide them with support, sunshine and water.
Smaller plants will produce smaller melons and are the best choice for container gardening because they will have more room to grow. You can use steaks or trellises for vine support
More Tips about Vegetables to grow in pots
Almost all vegetables CAN be grown in a pot. You might need to find a massive pot, but so long as you have a spot for the container, it’s a possibility. So, if there is something you want to grow in pots, you can do it.
If you want to extend the growing season in your area, consider investing in a backyard greenhouse. For more information, check out this article: 5 Best Indoor Greenhouses of 2022 We Tested them!