Container gardening has been a growing trend. A small yard is no longer an excuse not to grow plants and even edible vegetables. As an avid gardener, I started container training years ago, and the results are very satisfying. Recently, a reader asked me this question: what vegetables can you grow in a pot? Sure enough, my proud gardener side came up with 10 quick options below.
While there’s no foolproof gardening method, container gardening is probably the safest and easiest way to grow crops. It doesn’t require a large space, and it’s easy to start over if ever your first attempt didn’t come to fruition.
The good thing about growing veggies in posts is you can keep some inside your kitchen. As long as a window receives ample sunlight during the day, you can reach harvest time with decent yields.
Container gardening isn’t a plant-it-then-leave-it scheme. You still have to care for your crops to avoid pests and ensure that they will bear fruits.
With this, put on your gardening gloves and let’s start planting the following vegetables on your garden pots:
One of the easiest veggies to grow on a pot is tomato. This juicy plant is well-loved by many container gardeners for a very good reason: it’s very easy to grow. It can bear many fruits, even if planted on a pot.
Remember that tomatoes need a lot of sunlight to thrive, so you must place your pots on direct light. An open-air terrace or balcony is a good option for this crop. It can also grow on a windowsill! You should also water this plant regularly as it’s prone to wilting.
Also, tomatoes hate the cold weather, so it’s best to plant them on dryer seasons. You should also plant the seeds deeply, so you need to use a deeper pot.
Pot depth: 12 inches
Another easy-to-plant veggie is chili peppers. It’s a perfect choice for small spaces with sunny and warm weather. If it gets enough sunlight, the chili plant will bear a lot of fruits.
The Thai Hot pepper will bear yields in just 85 days, while Jalapeno takes only 60 to 70 days to produce fruits. Nevertheless, most chilies are easy to grow and bear decent hardiness against harsh conditions. If you’re planting very hot chilies, you must soak it in water 24 hours before sowing.
Chilies need warmth to germinate, so you should avoid overwatering. Also, try to expose the pot to as much sunlight (about six hours) as you can during the day.
Pot depth: 12 inches
3. Salad greens
Salad greens like lettuce, kale, burgundy delight, arugula, and spinach can be planted on pots. These crops don’t bear fruits, so you only need to wait for the leaves to grow big enough to harvest.
However, your enemy here is leaf-eating insects. You should always check your plants to combat any infestation.
Most salad greens need a lot of sunlight to grow big and crispy leaves. Still, the likes of lettuce are one of the greens that can tolerate some shade. Spinach can also produce decent yields even if planted in the shade.
When it comes to salad greens, you need shallower but wider pots to accommodate the large leaves.
Pot depth: 4 to 5 inches
When talking about what vegetables grow well in pots, many don’t realize that radishes are good options. This crop grows crazily fast that you can harvest yields in just a month. Also, some radish varieties like Solaris don’t need a deep pot to grow.
Radish doesn’t like very hot temperatures, so the shade is your friend here. You should also water them regularly to cool the plant down. For the best yields, you must plant this on moist soil with excellent drainage.
Make sure that you plant the radish seeds about half an inch deep and an inch apart. This should germinate within five days after sowing.
Take note that some radishes have bigger yields, so you must use a deeper container.
Pot depth: 4 to 5 inches, 12 inches for bigger varieties
Like tomatoes, cucumbers are a staple in every vegetable garden. This succulent can be grown in containers, and it loves a lot of moisture. You should use soil with good drainage without making the soil very dry.
You can choose between a bush and vine cucumber since both grow well on pots. Bush cucumbers have smaller yields since it grows shorter. If you opt for grow vining cucumbers, you must put up a trellis where the plant can wrap itself.
When it comes to sunlight, this plant can be grown in full sun with partial shade. If your area has an uneven temperature, you must avoid bitter cucumbers.
Pot depth: 8 to 9 inches
During early spring, you can plant peas on pots. You can choose from snow peas, English peas, or sugar snap peas. Aside from the excellent yields, pea plants are a good way to enrich the soil of nitrogen before planting other crops.
Once it gets warm and the pea plant has produced its yield, pull it out and plant another vegetable. This nitrogen-filled soil will grow a lush and fruitful crop.
If your kids love gardening, peas are one of the easiest options to let them plant. At the right temperature, peas can grow fast. It’s best that you use loamy or draining soil.
You need to put up a trellis or tomato cage since peas are climbing vines.
Pot depth: 6 to 7 inches
Another root crop that you can plant on pots is potatoes. To grow this veggie, you need moist soil and a container that will protect it against fungus.
This plant needs around 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. You can choose between fingerling and early potato varieties. The fingerling variety produces narrower or shorter yields, perfect for shallower pots.
Meanwhile, early potato varieties mature fast. You can harvest yields within 65 to 80 days. If you’re worried about overwatering, you can use grow bags instead of plastic pots. Just make sure that you use a lightweight soil mix to allow the root crop to be fleshy.
Pot depth: 10 to 12 inches
If you want a veggie that also serves as an ornamental addition to your garden, you should try planting eggplant. This one requires large containers since it can get lush and heavy with yields once it matures. If you don’t want very large foliage, you can plant the Hansel or Fairytale varieties that are more compact.
Eggplants grow on hotter temperatures, but it can tolerate the cold as well. You need moist soil and a container that has good drainage without making the soil too dry. If you are to add fertilizer, you should choose a slow-release one.
It’s important that you only plant one eggplant on each container as this can get really leafy.
Pot depth: 8 to 9 inches
What vegetables can be planted in summer? Okra is an annual plant that you must plant during spring. Once summer arrives, your okra plant will be lush with yields. If you want a smaller plant, you should sow the Annie Oakley variety. The likes of Burgundy, White Velvet, Emerald, and Clemson Spineless grow 4 to 5 feet tall.
This veggie will produce the most pods if placed under direct sunlight. It thrives on well-draining soil, and it’s a very hardy plant that can tolerate harsh elements. Okra plants can also handle short dry spells.
If you use rich soil, you won’t need to supplement fertilizer on this veggie.
Pot depth: 10 to 12 inches, shallower for smaller varieties
You can also plant carrots on pots! This crop is very easy to grow on a deep container with soil rich in potassium. You also need to water this plant regularly but avoid making the soil too soggy because the crop underneath may rot. Also, never water the leaves of carrots since it will also cause rotting.
Moreover, you must avoid intense exposure to sunlight as carrots may become bitter. Dry soil will also affect the flavor and texture of the harvest. Overall, carrots thrive on shaded spots and with the supplementation of fertilizer.
Pot depth: 10 to 12 inches, deeper for larger varieties
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are coffee grounds good for tomatoes?
A: Used coffee grounds are healthy soil additions since it is rich in nitrogen. It also reduces the acidity of the soil. Just make sure that the coffee grounds are used and washed as raw ones are highly acidic and will be detrimental to any plant.
Q: How deep does a pot need to be for vegetables?
A: The depth of the container depends on the specific vegetable you’re going to plant. The rule of thumb is that the pot should be at least six inches deep to allow the roots to propagate. However, if you’re going to plant root crops, you should use a deeper container of around 12 inches.
Q: How much sun does carrot needs?
A: Carrots need at least eight hours of direct sunlight to thrive. Such sunlight will play a vital role in the development of the plant. Nevertheless, carrots can tolerate partial shade, but you should see to it that it will get some sunlight during the day.
Q: When should I water my potted vegetables?
A: Regardless of what plant you’re nurturing, it’s best to water it during the early morning. The cool temperature will prevent fast evaporation, which will allow the roots to absorb more moisture. However, if your plant’s leaves look droopy and wilted, you can perform ‘emergency’ watering even in the middle of the day.
Q: What are the benefits of container gardening?
A: Container gardening has less risk of soil-borne diseases since the plants are contained inside a pot. It also eliminates weed problems, and you can move the plants around to chase or avoid sunlight. Container gardening is also suitable for homes with small or virtually no yard.
Planting vegetables on pots will let you enjoy fresh and organic crops right at your doorsteps. Aside from saving space, container gardening also prevents various pests and fungi from infesting the plants. With a little patience, you will be enjoying fresh salads and dishes in no time.