Creating a vegetable garden is a dream for every gardener. Have you always wanted to grow tantalizing veggies in your backyard but never followed through with the plan because of space restrictions?
If yes, your worries are over because container gardening will ensure you are never short on homegrown vegetables again. We have compiled a list of the best vegetables to grow in pots that will help you kick-start a which-vegetable-to-grow brainstorming session.
Growing your food can be a taxing task, but the end product is rewarding and makes the entire gardening process worthwhile. The flexible nature of pots quells all the gardening nightmares, giving you the freedom to enjoy the best of both outdoor and indoor gardening.
What Type of Soil to Use in a Vegetable Container?
There may be a lot of causes for growing vegetables in containers, but the two main ones are poor soil and a shortage of space. Vegetables in the dwarf kind are frequently excellent choices for container gardening. And one of the first things to consider while growing veggies in containers is selecting the right soil.
You should start by selecting a superior potting mix if you want to produce veggies successfully in pots. Always avoid using soil from your yard or garden. The soil mixture should also have a nearly neutral pH, be well-drained, and be well-aerated.
Organic materials like peat moss, compost, perlite, pine bark, and others are used in potting mixes, providing a pH balance appropriate for containerized vegetable plants.
Vegetable plants in containers can grow in a variety of potting mixes, including the following:
- All-purpose potting mix
- Coase sand and pine bark mix
- Light and fine texture mix
- Organic potting mix
- Seed starting soil mix
Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots or Containers
For people who love to garden but do not have an in-ground garden space, pots can be a lifesaver. You can grow tomatoes on your porch or patio and enjoy the fresh and juicy vegetables whenever your heart desires.
While growing tomatoes will be a worthwhile gardening experience, remember to keep these veggies away from frosty weather. They harbor a dislike for the winter climate and cannot survive through one in most cases.
Even without a traditional garden, homegrown tomatoes won’t be a dream anymore. To ensure the success rate of your tomato garden, get the plant a big enough container. From 5 to 15 gallons, select a size suitable to your space availability that also leaves plenty of room for the plant to spread out.
When you search for plants relevant for container gardening, potatoes take the crown.
Growing these staple vegetables in pots simplifies their growth process relative to when sown in the soil. You do not need to find extra space in your garden, and container gardening will prevent the attack of critters like voles.
What’s more, this DIY gardening project will serve as a great bonding time with family members. They grow fast and produce efficient yields. When it is time to harvest, looking for these golden brown vegetables can become a treasure hunt for kids.
Over that, containers also make the dirt mounding process more efficient. They reduce the risk of fungus and blight that spreads quickly when directly planted in the ground.
Bonus Tip: Let your creative spirit out and add to the décor of your backyard by using container options like stacks of tires, nursery containers, and bags.
Everyone enjoys the tart tanginess of bell peppers and sharp spice of jalapenos alike. Why not try and grow them in your yard?
From hot to sweet, peppers add a burst of color to your backyard. Do not let the looks of a young pepper plant fool you because as time advances, this plant spreads out and needs all the space it can get. Opting for a container at least 12 inches in diameter will be a good start.
Plastic and metal pots work better when compared to fast-drying terra cotta, especially because peppers love moisture and thrive in consistently moist soil conditions.
Tip: Peppers are sun-loving vegetables. Thus, if there is stormy weather, moving their containers indoors is the ideal plan of action.
Every dish craves the touch of herbs to rise to new heights. Basil is one of the most useful herbs you can grow in your yard. The tiny leaves are eye-pleasers, but they also taste good.
In addition to that, there are many varieties you can choose from, like Curly basil, Dark Opal Basil, and the traditional Genovese. Its uses do not end at exotic dishes only as you can use it in bouquets or make the classic pesto.
Adding to its never-ending charisma, basil can be grown both indoors and outdoors with similar ease. It needs a warm and sunny spot to thrive, and six to eight hours of direct sunlight is splendid for this plant.
For attaining a bushy harvest rather than tall and lanky produce, pinching the basil is crucial. You can start the process when the plant is about 4 inches tall by taking off the top leaves.
Bonus: When watering basil, avoid wetting the stem and leaves. You should pour the water directly onto the soil.
Coming across a root vegetable on the list of container plants can be astonishing. But, contrary to their appearance, these root crops exceed all expectations. When grown in containers, the soil stays fluffy rather than compact.
With bright green to variegated foliage, beets are a colorful vegetable that will make the perfect DIY gardening project for adding life to patios and decks this summer.
Beets are not only colorful but also versatile. They can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Their shared love for both cold weather and rays of sunshine makes it possible. Even better, they flourish the best when given sunlight for at least six hours a day.
Tip: Consider spreading small pebbles over the bottom of the container to drain excess water from the soil and prevent the roots from getting waterlogged.
#6. Zucchini Squash
When you think of summer, it is hard to forget about zucchini. It is a nutritious hallmark that does fantastic in containers. Zucchini vines are an impeccable addition to your backyard when you want to plant some fresh summer vegetables.
Having a versatile personality, squash can be grown anywhere. There are two types of zucchini to choose from, namely bush and vining.
Vines spread out in all directions and could get a bit out of hand if grown in pots because of their undeterred growth potential. The bush varieties tend to be more compact and form the fruit at the base of the plant, making harvesting much more convenient.
Keep in mind that squash is a fast grower. Harvest it regularly to keep the plant from getting bogged down. If you keep up with the harvesting process, you can get as much as three squashes in a week from your plant.
Leafy vegetables always steal hearts with their low-calories, low-sugar, and low-fat nature. The luscious green leaves are desired for their mild flavor, offering an even richer taste when grown at home.
Plant the lettuce seeds few weeks before the final frost, and you will see the first harvest within a few weeks. Selecting a container at least six inches deep will allow you to plant more lettuce at once.
Using a potting mix containing the right amount of manure and a pot with good drainage ensures a healthy harvest. These greens need a consistent water supply. Remember, containers tend to dry out quicker than ground, increasing the water needs of plants.
Some varieties that make good companions for containers are Black Seeded Thompson and red or green Oak Leaf types. Moreover, leaf lettuce works better than overhead lettuce for pot growth. You can grow those close to each other.
Being a vegetable that often gets overlooked by gardeners, radish is another root crop that does exceptionally well in containers. Their colorful globes are known for their crunchy texture, and they can add a pinch of vibrancy to patios and porches.
As one of the quickest harvesters, a radish garden acts as an engaging DIY project for kids. If you keep the containers close by to provide tender care to these plants, the results will outdo your expectations. Short, red radishes accommodate well in any container, while white radishes thrive in paint buckets and similar pots.
Pots and containers that can retain moisture but have dependable drainage holes at the bottom to prevent the soil from getting soggy are the ideal fit for growing radishes. Even more, radishes are recommended for first-time gardeners because they have such a simplified growth process.
By boasting highly adaptive features, spinach is a healthy green leafy vegetable that can become the center of attention of any edible garden with ease. From sunny patios in the backyard to the comfy spot on your windowsill, spinach can be grown anywhere.
Wide rectangular boxes about 6-8 inches deep create enough room for the plant to allow proper spreading of roots. Over that, containers are moveable, as and when you wish. Thus, your plants won’t have to suffer harsh climate conditions if you planted them in a slightly wrong spot.
Loamy soil that has a crumbly texture and a well-balanced dose of organic matter mixed in it serves as the best growing grounds for this vegetable.
Bonus Tip: Remember to check if the pH level of the soil is neutral.
Notable for its health benefits, kale has gained popularity as a container-friendly plant. In terms of space, kale does not require much. That makes it the perfect vegetable to fill the tiny spots of your windowsill.
For a pot that is 20 inches, you can grow as many as five kales at once without any hassle. Especially their ability to burgeon in harmony with other perennials is astonishing. It allows plantation in the pots of annuals and perennials that share the same water, light, and fertilizer requirements.
Adding mulch around the base of your kale plant will help with water retention and maintain the cool temperature of roots. It is crucial to balance the amount of sun kale gets because too much heat can cause wilting of this plant.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when envisioning summers? It is the wave of freshness cucumbers bring to dishes and salads. Do not let the sprawling vines scare you away, and grow it on your patio!
Cucumbers can be grown vertically to maximize the available space. You can let them vine around the deck railing or construct trellises to support them and turn them into decorative items.
Opt for containers that can allow enough room for the root systems. They support the vigorous growth of the plant, building a sturdy foundation for growing cucumbers.
Tip: Self-watering planters can act as good prevention against drying out because they have a built-in reservoir. It will give you more leisure time between watering.
Another root vegetable that does not disappoint with its sufficient yield is carrot. The most beneficial feature of growing carrots in containers is the prevention it gets from wild critters as the pots are within the visible range all the time.
Since carrot is a root crop, meaning the carrots grow where the roots grow, it needs a deep pot ranging from eight to ten inches to provide proper accommodation for the roots to spread out. They thrive throughout the year if taken care of properly.
Carrots do not inhibit the growing areas. It can grow even during winters in the snow with a little bit of sunlight or artificial light. If your pots have proper drainage holes, you will see these orange vegetables sprouting in seven days.
Also Read:- When Is the Best Time to Plant Carrots?
The large size of this vegetable can often trick you into believing that they cannot flourish in pots. But fascinatingly, these plants have shallow roots that allow their growth in containers readily.
Cauliflower seeds that are dark brown with a roundish shape are the best varieties for containers. They can be sown in spring and summers and reap a nutritious harvest. It makes them a suitable contender as the best vegetables to grow in pots.
Rather than a deep container, focus on finding one that is wide enough. Also, make sure not too many are planted in one container. It could lead to competition, which will result in a poor harvest.
Add a tinge of the fall aesthetic to your lawn by planting pumpkins.
Are you intimidated by their gigantic size? Do not worry because these giant bloomers can be grown in containers effortlessly if you use the correct varieties.
Using a container that is 20-25 gallons is the perfect starting point for pumpkin gardening. They are heavy feeders that require sufficient nutrients to give good produce. Thus, try to blend in some natural compost and use fertilizers once every few weeks.
Bonus Read: Miniature pumpkins can kick-start your pumpkin growing journey comfortably. They can be used as decorations and work efficiently as vegetables too.
If there is a vegetable that prospers on container gardening, it is mushrooms. A great addition to any diet because of its high fiber, potassium, and selenium percentage, this vegetable is a garden stunner.
All gardening enthusiasts should branch out from traditional plant choices and try to grow this plant once. From a lonesome spot on the porch to the secluded areas of the windowsill, mushrooms can be grown anywhere the temperature and light conditions are readily manageable.
Above all, many varieties are container-friendly. It will help you find the plant that will be fit for growth and meet all the needs of your backyard.
Peas are ideal for container gardening. Peas don’t need a big pot, either. As a result, you may cultivate this vegetable without worrying about using big, heavy pots. But pay attention to the types of peas you can grow in containers.
We advise cultivating a bushier or dwarf type. Peas are simple to raise and take care of. Just be sure to give your plant regular waterings and position the container in direct sunlight. Your pea plant will thrive and produce delicious peas.
Tip: Pea plants typically trail. They require scaffolding or trellis to grow. As a result, you can add a stick to the container to support the vines or set it up on a patio or fence that can act as a trellis.
Although they are vulnerable to pests, eggplants are simple to grow in pots. In addition to being a vegetable plant, eggplant serves as a decorative plant. Having said that, staying away from the varieties that develop dense and hefty foliage is preferable if you intend to cultivate this crop in a container. Instead, find smaller varieties like Hansel, Fairytale, etc., as an alternative.
For eggplants, pick a large pot, and don’t forget to fertilize your plant once every two to three weeks. Additionally, eggplants adore spending time in the sun. So, place the container somewhere with direct sunshine, such as a patio, veranda, or porch.
Pro tip: For eggplants, use consistently moist soil with good drainage.
To grow onions in containers, choose a large container (4-5 gallons) with a minimum depth of 10 inches. Each onion plant should be spaced 4-5 inches apart in a plastic container or a planter box. However, ensure adequate drainage holes—there should be at least 2-3 of them. Additionally, keep in mind that onions enjoy bright sunlight. Consequently, placing the container in an area that gets at least 6-7 hours each day of direct sunlight is best.
Tip: Onions are heavy feeders. Therefore, choose potting soil that is extremely fertile, abundant in organic content, and has a pH range of 6-7.5. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to fertilize onion plants using an organic slow-release fertilizer.
If you want a constant supply of sweet and spicy ingredients in your meal, consider growing arugula in containers. Arugula plants should be grown in 8″ by 6″ pots. About 6 hours of direct sunlight are required for arugula.
Therefore, position the container in a location with plenty of bright, direct sunshine. However, protect your plants from the sweltering afternoon sun. The optimal conditions for this plant are full morning light and some afternoon shade.
Pro Tip: Use moist and well-drained soil for arugula.
Choosing the Right Container to Grow vegetables
Uncertain about the best type of container for growing vegetables? Do not worry. Most vegetables care little about the type of container they grow in. However, it is always a good idea to consider drainage, size, and material when selecting the ideal container for your vegetables.
One of the basic requirements that a container should have is proper drainage holes to drain out excess water.
Water-logged soil encourages bacterial growth and increases the chances of root rotting. Hence, choosing a container or planter with a good number of drainage holes is absolutely crucial.
The larger the container, the better when it comes to size. We say this because a larger container will hold more soil and moisture. Also, when your vegetable grows, you won’t need to transplant as often. A larger pot will accommodate your veggie plant for many years to come.
Look for containers that are 12 inches deep and 10 inches broad. And don’t limit yourself to using simply circular containers. You can choose shapes like squares, rectangles, bushel baskets, etc. Additionally, you can use recycled shoe boxes, baskets, and water cans.
Here is a table of veggies with their respective container sizes for your reference.
|Vegetables||Preferred Container Size||No. of Plants to Grow|
|Green beans||5 gallons||2-4|
|Leaf lettuce; spinach||2 gallons||3-4|
|Cauliflower||3 to 5 gallons||1|
Note: Install a wire cage within the container to provide physical support for veggies that grow on vines. To reduce the chance of toppling, it is also a good idea to use a heavier pot for these veggies.
Even though the material pot is not in the spotlight, it is still important to examine this aspect. This is significant since the type of container used frequently affects the amount of irrigation. For instance, clay or terracotta pots often include pores that allow water to seep in, necessitating frequent watering of the plants. Furthermore, terracotta pots become very heavy after being planted and watered, making moving them challenging.
Here is a list of pots for your reference for growing vegetables:
- Terracotta or clay pots
- Mesh baskets
- Coir hanging baskets
- Plastic pots
- Wooden pots
- Fabric pots
- Self-watering planters
Vegetables ideal for growing in pots include eggplants, beans, peas, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, etc
The top 6 vegetables that can easily be grown in pots at home are:
2. Green beans
Some of the fruits that can be grown in pots are:
In a 2-gallon container, you can grow:
• Lettuce (3-4)
• Spinach (3-4)
• Carrots (2-3)
• Basil (3-4)
• Parsley (2-4)
• Rosemary (1)
• Turnip (2)
• Broccoli (1)
The depth of the container should depend on the type of vegetable you are planning to grow in it. However, to grow your vegetables, you should typically choose a planter with a depth of at least 12 inches.
For small spaced containers, you can choose fruits/ vegetables like strawberries, blueberries, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and similar plants.
Gardeners! Do not let the lack of in-ground space stop you from basking in the glory of your gardening hobbies. Container gardening is an efficient and versatile way to add a variety of plants to your lawn.
But the most luring fact is that you can add even out-of-season vegetables to your dishes, as and when you desire, with your homegrown vegetable garden.
Bonus Read: You already have a list of vegetables. Now, all you need are some tips to boost the summer yard and provide it with the most radiant zeal.