Growing vegetables in containers? Learn about the best and most Productive Vegetables to Grow in Pots to have the bountiful harvest this growing season.

Growing vegetables in containers is possible, but there are some that grow easily and produce heavily in containers. For your help, we’re adding 20 Best and Most Productive Vegetables to Grow in Pots.

A Tip: The productivity of a small garden also improves when you utilize vertical space. Using a trellis to provide support to trailing plants and vines always helps.

Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots

1. Tomatoes

Without a doubt, tomatoes are the most productive vegetables you can grow in pots. Tomatoes need ample sun (five to six hours minimum). The pot size depends on the type of tomatoes you are growing. In containers, growing dwarf varieties of determinate type is better. You should also try cherry tomatoes for higher yield. Click here to learn about the best tomato varieties for containers.

Also Read: How to Grow More Tomatoes in Less Space

2. Beans

Most of the beans are climbers or bushier type, and they grow upward. They are productive in pots and easy to grow. You can grow them on a trellis near a wall, and within weeks, you will get a green wall of beans running across the trellis. For growing beans, you need a sunny spot, and a pot that is minimum 12 inches deep (the bigger, the better) and a strong trellis-like structure for support. Since beans fix the nitrogen most of the vegetables that require more nitrogen are good to grow underneath them. If you’re growing beans in a very large pot, combine summer savory, kale, or celery with them.

Also Read: How to Grow Adzuki Beans

3. Lettuce

Lettuce grows up quickly, and you will have the opportunity to harvest this leafy green multiple times throughout the growing season. As lettuce is a cool season crop, you’ll have to decide what is the right time for its growth according to your climate. Usually, seeds are started in spring. But if you live in a warm climate, grow lettuce in winter.

For growing lettuce, choose a wide planter rather than deep (six inches deep is fine). When planting, make sure to leave space of at least four inches between each plant. Remember, leaf lettuces can be grown more closely than head lettuces. Use well draining soil and do shallow and frequent watering to keep the soil slightly moist always. Must check out our lettuce growing guide to learn more.

4. Peppers and Chillies

Peppers and chilies are super productive and excellent candidates for growing in containers. They look great in pots and need a sunny and warm place to thrive. If you keep the pot in a sunny spot and provide right soil and fertilize the plant time to time, it will fruit heavily. A large pot that is at least 12 inches deep is optimum.

Also Read: How to Grow Bell Peppers in Pots

5. Radishes

Radishes are one of the quickest growing vegetables and suitable for container vegetable gardening as you can also grow them in small and wide pots. A planter that is just 6 inches deep is enough but if you want to grow larger varieties use 8-10 inches deep pot. Allow 3 inches of space between each plant.

Also Read: Fast Growing Vegetables For Container Gardeners

6. Asian Greens

Asian greens are great crops to grow in pots as they grow fast and don’t need a lot of sunlight. You can grow them in part shade, in a spot that receives at least 4 hours of morning sun. Providing them plenty of moisture and organic fertilizer is important so that they thrive.

Also Read: How to Grow Bok Choy

7. Spinach

Spinach is one of the best vegetables for containers. It grows well in partial shade and any kind of space. Growing spinach in containers is easy too, you can even grow it indoors on a windowsill. For growing spinach in pots, choose a container that is least 6-8 inches deep. You don’t need a very deep pot rather use a wide one. Learn how to grow spinach in pots here.

8. Peas

Peas prefer moderate conditions, they are a perfect crop for container gardening and don’t require a large pot. They grow quickly without attention. You can even grow peas on a balcony. Choose a dwarf or bushier type varieties and do regular and frequent watering as peas prefer slightly moist soil. Keep the plants in a spot that receives full sun.

9. Carrots

Carrots grow best in cool weather. They need regular watering and moist soil. Otherwise, the roots dry out and crack. Growing this plant in containers is easy, and it doesn’t take much space as well. Learn everything about growing carrots in pots here.

Also Read: How to Grow Oregano in Containers

10. Cucumber

Cucumbers are heavy feeders and require regular watering too. Grow them in a medium to large sized pot (depending on the variety) and in full sun. You can have your homegrown successful crunchy cucumbers within a few months. To learn more about growing cucumbers read this article.

Also Read: Growing Cucumbers on a Trellis

11. Eggplant

Although eggplants are susceptible to many garden pests, still growing them is easy. They are heat-loving plants and need high temperatures both day and night, thus a suitable summer crop. But if you live in a warm climate, you can grow it year round.

Also, it is easier to maintain them in containers than in a large vegetable garden. It is necessary that you keep the pots in full sun and feed heavily (like all other plants from tomato family–peppers, tomatoes, potatoes; eggplants are heavy feeders too).

Also Read: How to Grow Eggplant in a Pot

12. Squash

Squashes are easy to grow plants. Summer squashes (Zucchini) are more productive than winter squashes. You can harvest bountiful even in containers. It is one of the most suitable crops for rooftop, balcony or patio gardeners.

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The list below includes some of the easiest vegetables you can grow in pots but remember there are many more options depending on your preference. Our list is ideal for a beginner gardener and represents a good range of the basics, for more information on growing vegetables in containers please feel free to contact us.

Most vegetables can be successfully grown in pots or other growing containers provided you use a nutrient rich compost or soil mix. If you are growing vegetables in smaller pots make sure you use compost rather than soil because soil will dry out too quickly and your plants will struggle.

For larger pots you can use a soil mix with approx 40% good quality loamy soil and 60% compost. As a rule of thumb I would recommend compost for plants grown in pots for one season and soil based mixes for more permanent planting like woody herbs or fruit bushes.

We recommend using a good multipurpose compost as a base with the addition of a slow release organic fertilizer like our ‘Seafeed’ seaweed and poultry manure pellets. ‘Rockdust’ ground volcasnic basalt is also a helpful addition in soil-less compost mixes as it provides the mineral content usually provided by the soil.

OK, here we go:

Size of Pot:
Salad crops are among the easiest and quickest crops to grow, they also need very little room so ideal for your first attempt at growing on a windowsill. Lettuce seeds are best sown on the surface of your compost and covered with a very fine layer of compost as the seeds need light to germinate, sow to deeply and they won’t come up. Lettuce can be sprinkled over the surface of your pot to grow a mat of baby leaf salad leaves or sown at the spacings recommended on the packet if you want to harvest a full head of lettuce.

Oriental Salads
Size of Pot:
Oriental salads offer a broad range of fast growing salad crops which include rocket, mizuna, pak choi and mustard leaf, the range is vast. Oriental salads are fast growing and are ideal for ‘cut and come again’ growing where three or more harvests cab be taken from a single pot. Flavours of oriental leaves range from mild in the case of pakchoi and mizuna through to spicy and hot for rocket and mustard leaves.

Size of Pot:
Freshly picked homegrown radishes are delicious with a satisfying crunch and slightly spicy flavour. There are a broad range of varieties with the most popular being ‘Cherry Belle’ or ‘French Breakfast’, all are very easy to grow and take approx 4 weeks for sowing seed to harvest. Radishes are ideal for growing in pots due to their size and ease and make a tasty windowsill crop where space is limited.

Baby Carrots.
Size of Pot:
Smaller pots are ideal for baby carrots which are harvested at an immature stage so deliciously small and sweet. Full size carrots will need to be grown in very large and deep pots or raised beds due to their deep root systems.

It is an advantage to grow baby carrots in pots as one of the main issues with growing carrots in the garden is a heavy clay or stony soil, using a fine compost in a pot will make it easy for the carrot to grow down and produce fine straight roots.

Spring Onions
Size of Pot:
Spring onions or scallions take up very little space and can be planted in bunches which are harvested as you need them, they are a perfect crop for small container growing.

Spring onions also look fantastic when planted in as part of a display of potted vegetables with their long slender stems graduating from white at the bottom through to dark green at the tips of their leaves. Sow a small pot every 2 or 3 weeks to have a continuous supply throughout the Summer.

Beetroot & Swiss chard
Size of Pot:
Beetroot swiss chard are from the same plant family with one being grown for the roots and the other for the leaves. Both are easy to grow and suit growing in containers in a good quality compost.

Beetroot seeds are actually clusters of 4 or 5 individual seeds so a single seed can be planted in a 5 litre pot and will produce a number plants depending on how many germinate. Smaller baby beets are recommended for growing in pots as larger beets which are checked in growth by the size of the pot can become woody and unpleasant.

Chard is a very productive crop as it will produce new leaves when cut so one or two plants will provide nutritious leaves for a full season. Leave plenty of room, ideally one plant per 5 litre pot.

Peas & Beans
Size of Pot:
Peas and beans work very well in pots and are a very attractive addition to a container garden especially when flowering before the pods are produced. Make sure you use a pot large enough to hold the plant support, a wigwam structure made from bamboos is ideal.

Dwarf bush varieties are also available for smaller pots which don’t climb so don’t need support like pea ‘Tom Thumb’ or the excellent ‘Purple Teepee’ dwarf French bean.

Peas and beans will stay productive longer if harvested vigourously, the more you pick the more you get!

Size of Pot:
Depending on the climate where you live tomatoes are grown either outside in a sunny sheltered spot or inside in a greenhouse, polytunnel or bright conservatory.

Tomatoes are easy to grow and well suited to pots providing they are fed well; bear in mind a single tomato plant can produce hundreds of fruit so nutrient demands are high. Mix a poultry manure and seaweed pellet in with the compost and feed plants when required with a liquid tomato feed high in potassium.

Climbing and bush varieties are available depending on your preference, climbing varieties tend to be more productive and can be supported with a single pole fixed in the centre of a large pot.

Size of Pot:
Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable with the added advantage of being a virtually bullet proof plant able to survive all but the worst Winter temperatures. There are a number of varieties suitable for growing in pots with Russian Kale and Nero Di Toscana Italian kale being recommended.

Kale will also appreciate a well fed compost with poultry manure added, the final size of the plant will be relative to the size of the pot and the nutrients available.

Size of Pot:
I am including potatoes here as they are easy to grow in a potato bag planter which is essentially a very large pot. Potatoes are ideal as container grown vegetables providing you keep the well watered, lack of irrigation is the most common reason for small yields. For best (dare I say fantastic) results mix ‘Living Green’ wormcast compost with ‘Envirogrind’ soil improver at a ratio of 60/40.

Early varieties are more suitable for growing in pots as they mature quicker and are usually harvested before the the most common potato disease, blight, becomes an issue in late Summer.

Container vegetable plants: The best varieties for success

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Growing flowers, vegetables, herbs, and even fruits in containers is not only an easy way to grow, it’s also beautiful and productive. We’ve written lots of articles on container gardening here on the blog, including posts on the best berries for containers, how to care for a container garden, and inspiration for growing herbs in pots. But, today’s post is a bit different. Today, I’d like to share some specific varieties of container vegetable plants for your garden.

Growing Vegetables in Containers

Before sharing what I consider to be some of the best container vegetable plants for your garden, I’d like to take a moment to point out that choosing the right varieties to grow is just one step in successful container gardening. You also need to make sure you choose the right-size container, fill it with high-quality organic potting mix, and locate the container in as much sun as possible. My fellow Savvy Gardening contributor, Niki Jabbour, wrote an excellent post on the importance of these three factors last year. You can read her post here to make sure your container garden gets off to a good start.

Now, onto the topic at hand: Choosing the best vegetables for container gardening.

Lettuce is one of the easiest crops to grow in containers.

The Best Container Vegetable Plants

While you can grow just about anything in a container, it pays to select varieties that are tailor-made for growing in tight quarters. Breeders have taken notice of the increased number of gardeners who want to grow food in containers, and as a result, the diversity of container-specific vegetable varieties has been on the rise for the last decade or so. This has been a huge boon to gardeners looking to grow short-statured, compact vegetable varieties in containers; we have a wider selection than ever before!

I’ll start by introducing you to five of my favorite tomato varieties for container gardening in this short video:

When writing my most recent book, Container Gardening Complete (Cool Springs Press, 2018), I did a lot of research into the best vegetables for container gardening. What I discovered was hundreds of different varieties, each full of flavor and beauty but bred to be a perfect fit for container gardens. The result of all that research is a list of container vegetable varieties that are high-yielding, disease-resistant, and delicious!

The list I’m including in today’s post is a sampling of the more-extensive collection of container vegetable varieties you’ll find in my book, but the following varieties are an excellent place to start.

Unlike some other veggies, almost all types of peppers are easy to grow in containers.

Vegetable Varieties for Container Gardening

(Seed sources and more info can be found by clicking on any of the individual variety names found in this list.)

• ‘Peas-in-a-Pot’
• ‘Tom Thumb’
• ‘Little SnapPea Crunch’
• ‘Snowbird’

• ‘Romeo’
• ‘Tonda di Parigi’
• ‘Little Finger’

Carrots are fun to grow in containers, including these round ‘Romeo’ carrots.

• ‘Tiara’
• ‘Caraflex’

• ‘Little Gem’
• ‘Red Cash’
• ‘Tom Thumb’

• ‘Patio Snacker’
• ‘Salad Bush’
• ‘Bush Champion’

• ‘Spacemaster’

• ‘Bush Sugar Baby’
• ‘Sugar Pot’

‘Sugar Pot’ watermelon is quite happy in a container. This one has just started to set fruit.

• ‘On Deck’

• ‘Patio Baby’
• ‘Pot Black’
• ‘Morden Midget’

‘Fairy Tale’ is another excellent eggplant for containers. It reaches just 18″ tall.

Summer Squash:
• ‘Burpee’s Best’
• ‘Bush Baby’
• ‘Patio Green Bush’

Winter Squash:
• ‘Butterbush’

• ‘Honey Bear’
• ‘Bush Table Queen’

• ‘Patio Princess’
• ‘BushSteak’
• ‘Sweetheart of the Patio’

• ‘Tumbler’
• ‘Glacier’

You’ll find plans for this DIY self-watering container in my book, Container Gardening Complete. This one has two ‘Glacier’ tomatoes, some basil, and a patio cucumber plant in it.

As you can see, there are many wonderful container vegetable plants worth growing. Try a few new varieties every year to ensure a delicious yield of fresh veggies from your container garden. And, to save money and grow a great container garden, head to our article on homemade potting soil recipes for container gardening. For a more extensive list of vegetables for containers, pick up a copy of Container Gardening Complete.

Do you grow vegetables in containers? Which varieties are your favorites? Share them with us in the comment section below.

Related posts about container gardening:
The best fertilizers for container gardens
Tips for summer container garden maintenance
3 container garden ideas to give as gifts
Container gardening trends
Container gardening cheat sheet

One pot, ten crops: how to grow food in one container all year round

• Multipurpose, organic, peat-free compost

• A wigwam support made from bamboo canes or any strong flexible sticks such as willow

How to do it

Drill several drainage holes in the base of the container if necessary, fill with compost and push in the wigwam support. Now plant up according to the time of year.

A large rubber trug is ideal for growing vegetables


You will need

• 3 tomato plants (a cordon or staking variety such as ‘Sungold’ or ‘Gardener’s Delight’)

• 2 cucumber plants such as ‘Ridge Perfection’ or ‘Rocky’

• Up to 8 lettuce plants

How to do it

Plant the tomatoes and cucumbers next to a vertical support, evenly spaced apart, and tie in. Fill the gaps with lettuce plants. Water well. Once fruits have set on the tomatoes and cucumber, feed fortnightly. Place in a sunny, sheltered position and tie the climbing plants into the supports as they grow. Watch out for mildew on the cucumber leaves and pinch out sideshoots on the tomatoes regularly to encourage plants to produce more fruit. By late summer, all of these crops will be over and can be removed to make space for the next ones.

•Home grown tomatoes are healthier and taste better

Cucumber, cherry tomatoes and lettuce all share a pot (Sarah Cuttle)


You will need

• 3 kale plants such as ‘Cavolo Nero’ or ‘Red Russian’ (you can sow this in advance yourself in small pots in midsummer or buy plug plants)

• 4 chard plants such as ‘Bright Lights’ (raise as for kale, above)

• Broad bean seeds for autumn sowing, such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’

• 5 early maturing garlic cloves such as ‘Early Purple Wight’

How to do it

Remove your summer crops (see above) and the top 5cm of compost. Top up the pot with fresh compost and sow two broad bean seeds at the base of each vertical support, then plant the kale in the centre of the pot with the chard around the outside. Plant the garlic cloves by pushing them into the compost, pointy end up, so their tips are about 1cm under the surface. Water well. The chard and kale can be cropped over autumn and winter but the biggest crops will come in spring. At this time, the broad beans will also set pods. Pinch out the growing tips of the broad bean plants (about the top 5cm) in spring – these are delicious steamed, and removing them will deter blackfly too.

Tying in Broadbean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’to willow stakes (GAP photos)


You will need

• Salad rocket seed

• Spring onion seed

• Radish seed

How to do it

By mid-spring you should have harvested all your kale and chard, so there should be a few gaps in which to sow some radish, salad rocket and spring onion seeds. Simply sow a few on top of the compost and ruffle the surface slightly to cover them. Since these are quick-growing crops they will be ready to harvest within two months, leaving space for your summer crops.

By late spring, the early maturing garlic should be ready to harvest. You can eat this sort of garlic – known as green or softneck – straight away, with no need to dry and hang them. Leave the broad beans to mature – they will probably be ready by midsummer.

Radishes will be ready to harvest withing two months of sowing (Alamy)

•Helen Yemm’s tips on container gardening

Taken from Gardening on a Shoestring by Alex Mitchell. Published by Kyle Books, priced £16.99

Buy Gardening products from the Telegraph Garden Shop

Grow crops in pots

About container-grown fruit and veg

There is a whole range of crops suitable for growing in pots. For the greatest choice of plants, grow from seed, but if you don’t mind too much about the variety, buy ready grown plants or plug plants from garden centres or mail-order suppliers.

It’s best to try compact plants such as sweet peppers, chilli peppers, aubergine and tumbling varieties of tomatoes, rather than tall growing vegetables such as Brussels sprouts that demand lots of water and can be blown down easily. With lettuces, go for varieties that you pick a few leaves at a time rather than the whole head at once. Herbs can be planted on their own or try growing ten different varieties in a strawberry planter. Most plants are ideal in multi-purpose compost, but some have special needs, for instance thyme prefers well-drained soil and blueberries need acidic ericaceous compost.

If growing from seed, check the instructions on the packet. Either raise in small pots before planting into larger ones or scatter across the surface of the compost and water in. For larger fruit bushes such as blueberries, figs, peaches and apricots, select a larger pot and make sure you check the compost requirements on the plant label.

What to do

Choosing pots

Choose containers that are large enough for the eventual size of your plant. A good rule of thumb is to choose pots between 20-45cm (8-17in) in diameter. Many compact herbs are ideal in smaller containers, while vigorous plants such as mint will need a bigger pot to spread. Root vegetables need deep pots with plenty of compost and big pots are needed to support top-heavy plants such as tomatoes. Plastic pots are cheap to buy, while glazed or plain terracotta look attractive. However, these absorb water which makes compost dry out more quickly. Remedy this by lining the inside of the pot with polythene, pierced at the base for drainage.

How to plant

  • Mix a handful of water-retaining crystals into your compost and fill your chosen pot to 2cm (1in) below the top.
  • Gently tap to settle the compost and firm down with your fingertips to leave a level surface.
  • Scoop out compost in the centre of the pot to leave a hole slightly bigger than the rootball of your plant.
  • Remove its pot and place in hole.
  • Replace compost around the plant and firm, making sure the surface of the plant is level with the top of the compost.
  • If growing from seed, either raise in small pots before planting or depending on variety, scatter across the surface of the compost or sow in rows.


  • Keep leafy herbs compact and productive by removing flower buds and picking regularly.
  • Keep all pots well watered and feed fruit or vegetables with a high potash feed when flowers form.
  • Support aubergine and chilli peppers with canes to prevent the stems snapping under the weight of their fruit.

Five groups to try

  • Mixed salad leaves
  • Aubergines, peppers and tomatoes
  • Bueberries
  • Parsley, basil, mint
  • Potatoes

Pot Grown Garden Peas: How To Grow Peas In A Container

Growing and harvesting your own garden veggies gives one huge sense of satisfaction. If you are without a garden proper or just low on yard space, most vegetables can be grown in containers; this includes growing peas in a container. Peas can be planted in a pot and kept inside or outside on a deck, patio, stoop or roof.

How to Grow Peas in a Container

Container garden peas will undoubtedly yield a smaller harvest than those grown in a garden plot, but the nutrition is all still there and it is a fun and low-cost means of growing your own peas. So the question is, “How to grow peas in containers?”

Keep in mind that pot grown peas require more water than garden grown, possibly up to three times a day. Because of frequent irrigation, the nutrients are leached out from the soil, so fertilization is key to growing healthy peas in a container.

First of all, choose the pea variety you wish to plant. Almost everything in the Leguminosae family, from snap peas to shelling peas, can be container grown; however, you may wish to select a dwarf or bush variety. Peas are a warm season crop, so growing peas in a container should begin in the spring when temperatures warm to over 60 F. (16 C.).

Next, select a container. Almost anything will work as long as you have drainage holes (or make three to five holes with a hammer and nail) and measures least 12 inches across. Fill the container with soil leaving a 1 inch space at the top.

Create a support for the potted pea with bamboo poles or stakes set into the center of the pot. Space the pea seeds 2 inches apart and 1 inch beneath the soil. Water in thoroughly and top with a 1-inch layer of mulch, like compost or wood chips.

Keep the seeds in a lightly shaded area until germination (9-13 days) at which time you should move them to a full sun exposure.

Caring for Peas in Pots

  • Keep an eye on whether the plant is too dry and water until the soil is moist but not drenched to prevent root rot. Don’t over water when in bloom, as it may interfere with pollination.
  • Once the peas have sprouted, fertilize twice during the growing season, using a low nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Be sure to protect your container grown peas from frost by moving them indoors.

Last time, we looked at how the hours of sun in your space will influence what can grow productively.

Of course, your choice of what to grow will also be influenced by what you love to eat. You might also want to grow things that are expensive or hard to find in the shops, such as sorrel, chard, agretti, or tomatillos (all easy to grow and productive in containers). Or you may want the crops that taste amazing when they’re home grown: cucumbers (unrecognisable from the bland, flabby supermarket version), tomatoes, or mange tout (that haven’t been drained of flavour in a 4,500 mile journey from Kenya) for example.

Before you start turning your edible dreams into reality, you will of course, need to get pots and compost. We’ll start with pots this week and go on to compost next time.

The first question about pots you need to ask is ‘Does size make a difference?’

The answer is definitely yes. In general, all crops grow better – and bigger – in large pots. Big pots are also easier to look after: they need less feeding with fertiliser and less watering. So, if you have space, large containers (or even raised beds) are the way to go.

Of course, the one thing that most container growers can least afford is space. Big pots also weigh more, and need more compost – which is a serious issue if you have a fourth floor balcony and no lift.

With this in mind, you’ll probably want to know which crops need a big pot and which will grow well in something smaller. There are few hard and fast rules, but here are some guidelines to help you choose the right size:

Most fruiting vegetable plants (such as tomato or runner beans) and root vegetable plants (potatoes or beetroot) need big pots to yield well – at least 12 inches in diameter and 10 – 12 inches deep. Generally, the bigger the fruit, the bigger the pot it needs – squash need very big pots, 40 – 50 litres or more.

On the other hand, most leafy vegetables and herbs will grow fine in smaller pots, around 6 inches deep – your typical window box, for example. They may not grow to their full size but they will still be productive, and taste just as great.

Container depth is important, particularly for root vegetables, but volume is most critical – the larger the volume, the better.

However well you get on with your downstairs neighbours, you probably won’t want one of your pots to fall through the ceiling on to their breakfast table … or worse. It’s just common sense really, but you do need to be confident that your structure can support the weight of pots filled with soil (and water). If you have ambitious plans, seek advice from a structural engineer first.

When it comes to finding your containers, you’ll soon discover they come in all shapes and sizes. You can spend as little – or as much – as you want. You can buy stylish designs, cheap practical pots, or enjoy a creative and resourceful journey into upcycling – or a bit of all three.

Good places to find containers include:

• Pound shops: these often have plastic pots in a range of sizes and, occasionally, attractive hanging baskets. This is an easy way to get started quickly at a low cost.

• Garden centres and online retailers: suppliers worth exploring include Elho for stylish designs to fit on top or railings or round your down-pipe, and Woolly Pockets for planters that can be hung on walls or railings. Some of the fancy containers are a bit small for serious vegetable growing, so check the size carefully.

• Skips, back alleys, behind restaurants, vegetable or fish markets, or the recycling centre: it’s amazing what you’ll find when you keep your eyes peeled. It’s more time consuming, but richly rewarding and free! Good containers include old recycling boxes, veg crates, mushroom boxes, large oil tins, plastic buckets, bags for life, old hot water tanks, baths, basins, and old drawers – the only limit is your imagination and what people throw away. To convert them into containers, all you need to do is make sure they have plenty of holes in the base for drainage. Avoid any container that might have contained anything toxic in a previous life like paint buckets, or those that are coated with anything toxic like wood preserver. And remember, however fun it is to grow in small volume containers like old boots, larger containers are easier to grow food in successfully.

There is much more to say about containers: the pros and cons of different materials, how to beautify them, and the benefits of containers with water reservoirs. I’ll return to all these points later in the series.
Next week we’ll look at the one thing that can make more difference to your container growing than anything else: the soil mix you use in your pots.

• The Vertical Veg man: getting started

The early bird booking on Mark’s container growing course, The Art of Growing in Small Spaces, closes at midnight on 31 March.

Interested in finding out more about how you can live better? Take a look at this month’s Live Better Challenge here.

The Live Better Challenge is funded by Unilever; its focus is sustainable living. All content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled advertisement feature. Find out more here.

They are quite a demanding crop, though, needing a relatively large amount of room and daily watering to ensure big, juicy peas.
I have always had much better success with mange tout, the flat bean-like peas that are eye-wateringly expensive in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Both are grown in exactly the same way, and once they are producing both need to be picked regularly to encourage more to grow – just like sweet peas.
You can sow peas and mange tout straight into well-dug and composted ground from mid-March until mid-July, and it is a good idea to sow two or three times during the summer – especially in July so that you can still be picking peas in September.
However, you might find it safer to sow your seeds in pots or modules and transfer them into well-composted soil once they are big enough to survive an onslaught from slugs and snails.
I always start peas and beans in the cardboard cores of toilet rolls filled with seed compost, so they can be planted straight into the ground without disturbing the roots.
Plant them with the cardboard sticking out of the ground an inch or two and it might protect the seedlings a little, too.
But whether you decide to sow seeds into the ground or into modules, they need to be about six inches (15cm) apart in staggered rows about 12 inches (30cm) apart.

With spring and summer often comes the desire to plant things. If you are someone who enjoys growing and preserving your own food but you’re also someone who just doesn’t have the outdoor garden space that you need, we’ve got a great collection of projects for you.

We’ve found 35 fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. These range from bananas and citrus fruits to tomatoes, cucumbers, and just about anything else that you would normally plant in a larger garden.
The difference is, you can grow these on the deck or porch or wherever you have room because they’re all in some sort of container. Plus, these foods grow very well in containers so there are no worries of getting smaller than average tomatoes. If you want a huge beefsteak tomato in a container, that’s just what you’ll get.
So whether you have a huge gardening space or not, if you want to grow your own foods, you can and we’ve got the perfect foods for you to grow in those containers. Take a look, pick out your favorites, and DIY your way to more homegrown food on the table all year long.

Table of Contents


It’s not surprise that tomatoes grow well in containers. After all, they do sell them in those upside down growing containers, right? If you love fresh tomatoes throughout the year, you can easily grow them in just about any sized container, depending on the variety of tomato that you want to grow. You will want to be sure that the container is large enough to handle the plant and you can begin with seeds or starter plants, whichever you prefer. Also, add a cage to the outside of the container for extra support as the plant gets taller.

How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers

Growing Tomatoes in Containers

5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Containers


You can grow basil indoors or out and it’s great for adding to soups and other recipes. Even if you don’t have an all-out herb garden, you can grow a bit of basil for your favorite dishes. You’ll need a six inch planter, some fresh potting soil, and of course, the basil. Keep in mind that when you water basil, you need to avoid getting the leaves and stem wet. It’s best to pour water directly onto the soil. You also need to provide it with a bit of direct sunlight every day so if you are planning to grow it indoors, make sure that you use containers that you can easily move to the deck during the sunniest part of the day.

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Growing and Using Basil

Container Gardening : How to Plant Basil in Containers

Zucchini and Summer Squash

All types of squash grow well in containers, particularly summer squash. Squash will actually grow just about anywhere you plan it. It’s a very hardy and versatile plant so if you want to add fresh summer squash to your dinner table, grab a few containers and plant those seeds. Keep in mind that you will need to harvest the squash regularly when it begins to grow so that the plants don’t get bogged down. You should be able to get about three squashes each week when they start growing so be sure to get them off the plant to make room for new growth.


Parsley grows very well in containers so if you love adding fresh parsley to your dishes, this is the perfect herb to grow on the balcony or porch. Parsley grows well in small containers and only requires partial sunlight so it’s the perfect food to grow in apartments or other tight spaces. You will need to keep the soil moist for the best results and take care that you don’t overwater your plants. It grows best in temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees which makes it perfect for winter container gardens. Just remember to bring it indoors at night so that it doesn’t get too cold.

How to Grow and Care for Italian Parsley in Containers

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Strawberries actually thrive in containers despite being known as a plant that needs plenty of room to grow. They are actually one of the best plants to grow in pots and they thrive even indoors so you can grow your own fresh strawberries all year long. You need to choose a sunny spot and this can be by a window. Strawberries can also be supplemented with artificial sunlight, which makes them perfect for winter growing. You do need to choose a container large enough to handle them and make sure that you harvest them regularly when they begin to produce to make room for additional growth.

How to Plant and Grow Strawberries in Containers

Growing Strawberries in a Strawberry Pot


You can enjoy pineapple any time during the year by growing it yourself, even if you don’t live in a tropical area. Start with a fresh pineapple and cut off the crown, leaving a bit of fruit at the top. You’ll want to soak the crown for a day or so in water to allow it to soak up moisture and then plant in a gallon sized plastic container. You will want to choose a warm, sunny spot for your pineapple which makes it a great choice for balconies and decks. If you are growing during the winter, be sure to bring the plant in at night.

How to grow pineapples in pots or containers and enjoy the tropical fruit at home

How to: Grow Pineapples at home


Yes, you can grow cantaloupe in a container. If you love this sweet melon and you don’t really have a garden spot to grow your own, just pick up a couple of rather large containers and you can grow enough to last you all summer. Any variety of cantaloupe can be grown in containers and you can let the vines spill over the side or support them with sticks. Smaller plants which produce smaller melons are the best choice for container gardening because they have more room to grow but you can do larger varieties as long as you have somewhere the vines can fall or if you are going to use bean poles or other support.

How to Grow Cantaloupe


Oregano is a very popular choice for container herbs and it grows very well in any sort of container. In fact, growing oregano in a container helps to prevent spreading so if you want to keep your oregano under control, containers are actually recommended by most expert gardeners. You just need a small container for each plant and a bit of potting soil. Oregano is an easy to grow herb and it’s very hardy so you should have no trouble getting it to grow well. Choose a sunny spot to put your oregano during the day and then bring it in at night, especially if you are growing it during winter.

Vegetable & Herb Gardening ” How to Grow ” Growing Oregano


Having an herb garden doesn’t actually mean having a large garden space. You can grow many herbs in containers and rosemary is one that does very well with regards to container gardening. Choose potting soil that has a minimum of peat moss. Rosemary prefers alkaline pH so the acid is great for helping it to thrive. You’ll want a bit of sand in the bottom of the container for drainage and the surface should be allowed to dry out just a bit between waterings although it should never be completely dry.

How to Grow Rosemary in Containers or Pots


Sweet peppers really thrive in containers so if you love adding red, yellow, or green peppers to your favorite foods, you can grow them easily even without a garden space. Choosing the right size container is important here. You want the peppers to have room to grow and not be squashed. Smaller peppers will require at least a 2 gallon container while larger varieties will need a 5 or 10 gallon pot. You will want to allow the peppers at least 8 hours of sunlight each day when possible so choose a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. You can bring them in at night if you want, just take them back out each morning for full sunlight.

Growing peppers in containers

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Chives are without a doubt, one of the hardiest herbs that you can plant. They grow very well in containers or just about anywhere else you want to plant them. Chives are great for adding flavor to soups, dips, and of course, baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so once you plant them, they’ll come back year after year. You can move them indoors if you want to keep your harvest going all year long, but they do prefer a bit of sunlight throughout the day so choose a spot where they can get some sun at least through a window during the winter.

Cheap ‘n Easy Container Idea – Chive Basin

Growing Chives, Indoors or Out


If you love bananas and even if you don’t live in the tropics, you can grow a banana plant inside the house, even during the cold winter months. Dwarf banana plants grow perfectly inside and they are perennials so once you plant them, you’ll have bananas year after year. You’ll want to make sure that the container you use is fairly deep and has a drainage hole so that you don’t drown out your banana plant. These thrive indoors or out and are perfect for balconies and decks during the summer. Plus, you can grow them indoors all winter long.

How To Grow Bananas Indoors


Spinach is so good for you and it grows really well in containers. You will want one 8 inch container for each spinach plant. Keep in mind that spinach is a bit heat sensitive so to keep leaves from wilting, avoid direct sunlight. Containers tend to get rather warm during the summer so choose a nice, shady spot to place them outdoors. You can also grow spinach indoors and they grow very well during the winter months. You do need to keep them well watered during the winter though to avoid drying out from indoor heat.

Growing Spinach is Easier Than You Think

How to Grow Spinach


Thyme is another herb that does exceptionally well in containers and you can grow it indoors or out. You can actually have an herb garden in containers and plant your thyme with basil, oregano, and other herbs if you want or just have a container for thyme alone. Clay pots work best for thyme because they prevent drying out between watering. Thyme will not grow well if you overwater it so be sure to choose a container that has an adequate drainage hole in the bottom. You can grow it indoors during winter but it is recommended that you allow it some fresh sunlight during spring and summer months.

Growing Thyme Indoors: How To Grow Thyme Indoors


Get ready for those turkey dinners by growing your own sage. Sage is an herb that grows very well in containers and you can grow it indoors or out. Sage does prefer sunlight so if you don’t have a big enough window to supplement it during the winter, you may need to use artificial lighting. If you are planning to grow it on the balcony or even in a window box, you should be fine. Just place the containers somewhere that the plant has access to plenty of direct sunlight. You can grow it indoors as well, as long as you provide sufficient lighting for most of the day.

Care Of Potted Sage Herbs – How To Grow Sage Plant Indoors

Vegetable & Herb Gardening ” How to Grow Sage


Cucumbers are very easy to grow in containers and you can keep them growing all winter long in most cases. You can also grow them vertically to maximize the space that you have available. Just let them vine up your deck railing or even the side of your house if you are putting the containers outdoors. Salad bush hybrids, midget picklets and spacemasters are the best varieties of cucumbers for container gardening although any type will thrive if you care for it properly. Be sure to allow plenty of space for the vines and harvest regularly once they begin producing so that they don’t weigh the vines down and weaken them.

Grow Cucumbers in Containers and Your Garden

How to Grow Cucumbers in Pots


Kale is great for container gardening and really doesn’t need much space. You can grow about five kale plants in a 20 inch pot and growing in containers allows you to move them about into the shade or inside out of the cold during the winter months. It is relatively easy to grow and allows you to have a fresh supply of kale all year long. You can begin your kale containers with transplants or direct seeds, whichever you prefer. Don’t let them get too dry but don’t overwater, either and make sure that you allow a bit of indirect sunlight every day.

How to Grow Kale in Pots and Containers

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Lettuce is one of the easiest of all plants to grow in containers. You can sit the containers out on the balcony or deck for sunlight and you can begin your own seedlings at the end of winter for the next planting season. Just sow your lettuce seeds directly into potting soil inside a large container. You can plant lettuce with other greens such as cilantro or arugula if you need to save space. You may need to transplant into a larger container when the plants begin to grow but keep the containers small enough so that you can easily move them inside and out for sunlight.

Lettuce Growing Guide

How To Grow Lettuce – Growing your own lettuce is easy!


Radishes add great flavor to salads and other dishes and can be grown easily in containers. Short, red radishes can be grown in just about any container that you have on hand. Longer, white radishes thrive very well in paint buckets or similar containers. Radishes are actually a recommended vegetable for first time gardeners because they grow so well. You are sure to get a great harvest from your radish containers. Just make sure that you water them every few days and sit them beside a window or out on the patio for a bit of sunlight a couple of hours each day.

Radish Container Care: How To Grow Radishes In Containers

How to Grow Radish


Quinoa is a whole grain that is packed full of nutrients and it’s a food that you can easily grow in a container. It’s actually a very hardy plant that is not terribly picky about where it grows, which makes it perfect for growing indoors or on patios. Plant the seeds directly into potting soil in a rather large container. Quinoa plants grown in containers only reach about two feet in height so they won’t take up much room and you can begin harvesting them in the fall. They are very hardy plants and very low maintenance which makes them perfect for container gardening.

Unexpected Container Gardening: Quinoa

Collard Greens

Collard greens do very well in containers as long as you place the container in full sunlight during the day. Plan to give them at least six hours of sunlight during the spring and fall months. If planting during summer, you will need to move the containers from indoors to somewhere slightly shaded during the afternoon hours. During fall and spring however, you will need to give them direct sunlight. You can actually grow collard greens during every season but winter, unless of course you want to provide it with artificial sunlight during the colder months.

How to grow collard greens in containers


Believe it or not, potatoes actually thrive in containers. In fact, you can keep your potatoes growing all year long and never have to buy them in the store again. They do very well in five gallon buckets and the containers are perfect for moving in and out of the sunlight. Make sure that you drill a few holes into the bottom of the bucket before planting so that your potatoes don’t get overwatered. You can expect to get between one and two pounds of potatoes per bucket so depending on how many you go through each week, you may only need to plant a couple of buckets per growing season.

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Carrots, like many other root foots, can be grown in containers and they will actually thrive throughout the year when cared for properly. Sow the seeds thinly because they will really take off. Be sure to provide adequate water but don’t overwater. Growing them in containers is about the same as growing them in the garden. Make sure that your containers have holes for drainage and you should see some growth after about seven days or so. You’ll be able to enjoy carrots all year long provided you can give them a bit of sunlight or even artificial light if you are growing during the winter and live in a really snowy area.

How to Grow Carrots in Pots

How to Grow Carrots in Containers


You can grow watermelons indoors or on the balcony. If you have a deck or porch rail, allow the vines to travel up the trellis or rail, which gives them more room and will yield you more fruit. Watermelon is really easy to grow in containers and can even thrive indoors during the winter months in most cases. A self-watering container is perfect for growing watermelon in containers because after all, they do need plenty of water. You also want to be sure to give them a bit of sunlight every day and this can be direct, artificial, or through a window if you have a large enough one.

How to Plant Watermelons in a Container


Beets can be grown easily in containers. Whether you love cooked beets or you prefer to pickle them, you can grow them indoors during most seasons and have an endless supply right at your fingertips. You don’t have to germinate in one container and then transfer into another. In fact, beets prefer to grow undisturbed so choose an adequately sized container before you plant. Sow the seeds thinly but still be prepared to need to weed them out after a couple of weeks. Beets grow fairly well in any condition so you should have no problem getting enough for a great harvest.

How to Grow Beets in a Pot


Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and other cole crops will grow very well in containers. These are actually among the easiest of all vegetables to grow in post although you should try to avoid planting a lot of different types in one container. Choose a container for each cole crop so that they will thrive. You do need to choose a container that is at least eight inches deep and about eighteen inches wide in order for cauliflower to thrive. Be sure that you allow for adequate drainage and give your cole crops plenty of sunlight every day.

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Growing cauliflowers in pots, difficult but not impossible

Pole Beans

Imagine having a great supply of fresh green beans and from a container garden. Pole beans actually do very well in containers so whether you are planting an entire container garden plot or just adding a few plants to your deck or balcony, if you love fresh beans then by all means, plant some in a large container. You need at least a twelve inch container for best results and you’ll need a pole of some sort to allow the bean to travel up once it begins growing well. This also makes it much easier to pick off those beans when they are ready to harvest.

How To Grow Green Beans In Containers

Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas are delicious in stir fry or just by themselves. You can grow these pretty easily in planters so even if you don’t have room for a traditional garden, you can still enjoy fresh sugar snap peas from time to time without spending a fortune on them when they aren’t in season. You do want to provide some sort of climbing ability so a trellis or porch rail may be necessary when the plants begin to grow fairly well. They also thrive much better outdoors than inside so grow them on your balcony or patio during the spring/summer growing season for best results.

How To Grow Peas in Container Gardens


Onions, especially green onions, have been known to grow very well in containers, provided you get them adequate space. Choose a planter that is at least five inches deep, which allows the onion to grow to full bulb size. Just plant the onion sets in potting soil in your chosen container and you should be able to get several in a container, allowing an inch or so between for growth. Green onion tops are great for adding flavor to salads and soups and the bulbs can be left until they reach a pretty good size.

How to grow onions in pots and containers


Grow your own mushrooms for adding extra flavor to all of your favorite dishes and you can do it in a container. If you have never grown mushrooms before, don’t fret. This is one of the easiest of all foods to grow in a container and you can keep the planter on the porch or balcony or even in a windowsill planter if you want. There are many different types of mushrooms that will thrive in containers so whether you like one or like them all, you can add fresh mushrooms to your dishes without having to drive to the store and pick them up.

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Growing eggplant in a container is really easy and depending on the size of your planter, you can get a couple of seeds in each one. You should choose containers that are at least five inches deep so that you don’t crowd the eggplant as it grows. Clay pots are excellent for eggplants because they allow heat in to the plant although you can use gallon buckets if that’s what you have on hand. You will want to keep the plants relatively warm so no setting them outdoors during winter and as they begin to grow, you may want to add a bean pole or something similar for support.

10 tips to growing eggplant in a pot or container


Turnips thrive very well in containers. Root plants, turnips are great for growing indoors and out and you can grow several containers on the balcony or deck. Make sure that your planters are at least eight inches deep to allow room for the roots to grow. You also want to ensure that there are enough holes in the bottom of the container for adequate drainage. Overwatering will cause the plants not to thrive and could kill them so plan to drill at least three or four drainage holes and add gravel to the bottom of the planter to help with drainage as well.

Turnips container gardening howto


If you love asparagus but don’t love paying high prices for it, grow it yourself and you can do so easily in containers. Asparagus is a really hardy plant and one that doesn’t require a lot of attention or care. Just make sure that your container is large enough to accommodate the plant as it grows, which will be up as opposed to root plants. You can use a shallow planter but make sure that the diameter is relatively large. These do very well indoors so if you don’t have any room outside, you can still grow it and just sit the planters out on the balcony for a little sunlight every day.

Growing Asparagus in a container. Little baby homegrown stalks!


Artichoke hearts are an acquired taste and a somewhat expensive one at that. Instead of paying out high dollars for those in the store, just grab a planter and grow your own. Artichokes grow very well in containers and aren’t really something that you have to mess with often. They are relatively low maintenance and because they take a bit longer to germinate, you can plant them in the fall and have them ready to eat by spring. Give them just a little water and sunlight regularly and they should really thrive.

How to Grow Artichokes in Pots and Containers


If you like adding parsnips to your dishes but have a difficult time finding them, especially out of season, you can grow them in containers and they do very well. Keep in mind that you’ll need a relatively deep container for planting parsnips because they tend to get pretty long. A five gallon bucket is a great choice but you have to remember to cut or drill holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. You can get several seeds in each container provided the planter is wide enough to allow them room to grow without crowding them. Note that you will need to weed them out after a couple of weeks if you plant a lot in one container.

How to Grow Parsnips in Containers

How to Grow a Plentiful Container Vegetable Garden

Why go to the effort of growing vegetables rather than simply buying them at the store? Well, vegetable gardens allow you to grow produce that you typically cannot find at your local supermarket—and they’re way easier than you think! A container vegetable garden places delicious veggies right outside of your door. Use our tips and tricks to learn everything you need to know before planting your own container vegetable garden.

Our Best Vegetable Gardening Ideas Image zoom The materials that we used to make our container vegetable garden were organic soil, sage, eggplant, purple basil, hybrid tomato, and banana pepper.

Vegetable Container Garden Materials

Type of Container

Not sure what type of container to grow your vegetables in? Don’t fret—typically, you’ll care more about this than your plants will. Happily, most vegetables aren’t fussy about what kind of vegetable container garden they grow in. The only basic requirements are that the vegetable container garden is large enough to hold the plant and that it has drainage holes so excess water can escape.

In general, plants in terra cotta (clay) need more attention to watering for a vegetable container garden than other types of pots, because of the porous nature of the terra cotta. Also think about the color. Dark colors absorb heat—so they may make the soil too warm for some vegetable crops in summer, especially in hot-summer areas. And avoid vegetable container gardens made of treated wood, as it may contain chemical compounds that could be absorbed by your vegetables.

Size of Container

When it comes to size, the bigger the pot is, the better, especially for beginners. The reason for this is that large pots hold more soil—and thus, hold moisture longer so you don’t have to water as much. Look for vegetable container gardens that are at least 10 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Large flowerpots, half barrels, plastic-lined bushel baskets, window boxes, planters, and large containers (like 5-gallon buckets) work just fine.

Some vegetables need particularly large pots to grow in a vegetable container garden. Standard-size tomatoes and vining crops, such as cucumbers, will do best for you in containers 20 inches or more across. Peppers like pots at least 16 inches in diameter. In a pinch, most will still grow in a 5-gallon or larger container.

Plants that grow tall or produce vines—like tomatoes and cucumbers—will be more productive if grown up a support in a vegetable container garden. A wire cage, inserted into the container at planting time, will do. Use larger, heavier containers for trellised plants to minimize the risk of tipping.

Related: Planting Your First Vegetable Garden

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What Type of Soil to Use in Containers

While your vegetables aren’t fussy about the kind of pot they’re in, they do care about the potting soil in your vegetable container garden. As is the case with most other types of container gardens, your vegetable container garden will do best in organic potting mixes made for containers. Bonus: organic soil will give your vegetables better flavor. Ask at your nursery for a mix designed for use in larger outdoor containers, or save money by blending your own vegetable container garden mix. Use equal parts of peat moss, potting soil, and vermiculite, perlite, or clean sand. Fill the containers to within an inch or two of the rim.

To determine how much potting mix you’ll need, figure:

  • 3 pints of soil per 6-inch pot
  • 3 1/2 gallons of mix per 12-inch pot
  • 6 1/2 gallons of mix per 20-inch pot

Related: Grow an Organic Vegetable Garden

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How to Plant Vegetables in Containers

Start Seeds

Plant your vegetable container gardens at the same time you would plant in the garden. Depending on what types of vegetable you want to grow, you can start seeds in your containers, grow transplants from seeds started indoors, or purchase transplants from a garden center. Editor’s Tip: Start vegetable container garden crops such as beans, corn, carrots, radishes, and spinach, from seeds sown directly in the container.

Fill Pot with Soil

When filling your pot with soil, stay 2-3 inches below the edge of the pot so that you have room to fill with water. Regardless of whether you are planting seeds or transplants, thoroughly water the container before you plant. Soak the potting mix completely, then allow it to sit for a few hours to drain excess water.

Add Plants and Fertilize

Leave 3-4 inches of space in between each plant, and adjust according to the seed package directions. Because not all seeds will germinate, plant more than you need, then thin the excess later. Set transplants or starters at the same level they were growing in their pot (except for tomatoes, which you can pinch off their lower leaves and plant them deeper in the container). Bury plastic tags to help with identification of each plant.

Sprinkle organic fertilizer in soil, either before or after planting. Don’t over-fertilize—plants will grow too quickly, get soft, and the flavor won’t be as intense. Starting about a month after planting, feed your vegetables about once a week with a water-soluble fertilizer, following the package directions. After planting, water gently but thoroughly to settle the seeds or transplants. Keep the soil in your vegetable container garden from drying out as fast by mulching with straw, compost, leaf mold, or a similar material. Water every few days to keep your plants healthy.

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Care Guide for Vegetables

Watering is the most important thing to watch for in your vegetable container garden. So inspect your vegetables regularly to make sure the potting mix hasn’t dried out. Editor’s Tip: Make watering your vegetable container garden easier by installing a drip-irrigation system. It can automatically irrigate your vegetables for you.

To keep your vegetable garden its most productive, keep an eye out for weeds and other pests. While plants in containers usually aren’t as susceptible to disease as varieties grown in the ground, you’ll still want to watch for problems. Remove or treat any plants that show signs of disease or insect damage.

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Vegetable Harvest Tips

Harvest is the most satisfying step, and all it takes is a few harvesting tips to get it right. Pick your crops as soon as they reach a size where you will enjoy them. Most vegetables are more productive if you harvest early and often. Letting plants “go to seed” will often cause a drop in fruit set.

At the end of the season, add the vegetable container garden soil to your compost pile. Reusing soil from year to year can spread infections and insect infestations. So, it is important to first thoroughly scrub the container to remove all soil. Rinse in a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water, then rinse with clean water and store in a dry spot.

Related: 10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes You’re Making

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Top Vegetables for Containers

Below are the basic instructions for growing a variety of vegetables in containers. Note that the suggested planting instructions are for optimal growth. You can often grow vegetables in small containers with acceptable results.

  • Beets: Direct seed into a 2- to 5-gallon window box.
  • Broccoli: One transplant per 5-gallon container.
  • Cabbage: One transplant per 5-gallon container. Or with small varieties, one plant per gallon container.
  • Carrots: Direct seed into a 2- to 5-gallon deep container. Thin to 3 inches apart.
  • Cucumber: Two transplants per 5-gallon container. If using vining types, grow on trellis or cage.
  • Eggplant: One transplant per 5-gallon container.
  • Green Beans: Sow directly into a 5-gallon window box.
  • Kohlrabi: Direct seed into a 5-gallon container. Thin to three plants.
  • Lettuce: Direct seed or transplant into 1-gallon or larger container. Thin to 8 inches apart. Thin to 8 inches apart
  • Onion: Direct seed into 1-gallon or large container. Thin to 2 inches between green onions; for bulb onions, thin to 6 inches apart.
  • Peas: Direct seed into 5-gallon container. Grow taller varieties on a trellis. Thin to 5 inches apart.
  • Pepper: One transplant per 5-gallon container.
  • Radishes: Direct seed into 2-gallon or larger container. Thin to 3 inches apart.
  • Spinach: Direct seed into 1-gallon or larger container. Thin to 3 inches apart.
  • Summer Squash: Direct seed or transplant, two plants per 5-gallon container.
  • Swiss Chard: Transplant or direct seed four plants per 5-gallon container.
  • Tomatoes: Transplant one plant per 5-gallon container.
  • Winter Squash: Direct seed one plant per 5-gallon container.
  • By BH&G Garden Editors

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