Growing vegetables in containers are possible but there are some that grow easily and produce heavily in containers. Due to this, we’ve added Best and Most Productive Vegetables to grow in pots.
The productivity of a small garden also improves when you utilize the vertical space. Using a trellis to provide support to trailing plants and vines always helps.
Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots
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.
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 a full sun and feed heavily (like all other plants from tomato family– peppers, tomatoes, potatoes; eggplants are heavy feeders too).
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.
Carrots grow best in cool weather. Carrot plants need regular watering, otherwise, the roots dry out and crack. Growing this plant in containers is easy and it doesn’t take much space too.
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 to part sun (especially in warm climates).
Spinach is one of the best vegetables for containers. It grows well in partial shade and in 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 pot that is least 6-8 inches deep. You don’t need a very deep pot rather use a wide one.
Asian greens are great crops to grow in pots as they grow fast and don’t need a lot of suns. You can grow them in shade in a spot that receives 3-4 hours of morning sun. Providing them plenty of moisture and organic fertilizer is important so that they thrive.
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.
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.
Lettuce grows up quickly and you will have the opportunity to harvest them 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 (6″ deep is enough). When planting, make sure to leave space of at least 4 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.
Most of the beans are climbers or bushier type and they grow upward. They are productive in pots and are 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 place, 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 you can grow summer savory, kale, or celery with them.
Without a doubt, tomatoes are the most productive vegetables you can grow in pots. Tomatoes need ample sun (5-6 hours minimum). The pot size depends on the type of tomatoes you are growing. In containers, growing dwarf varieties of determinate type are best. You should also try cherry tomatoes for higher yield.
Collard greens can be a good alternative to spinach or other green leafy crops. You can grow this biennial as an annual in containers easily. You can harvest kale quickly after 75 days from transplanting. Harvesting young and tender leaves; cut them back and they will come again. You can harvest regularly until the first hard freeze occurs in your region. If you live in a warm frost-free climate, grow collards in winter.
Okra is a warm season crop. It is easy to grow and doesn’t require masterful gardening skills. Providing it warmth, good exposure to the sun and feeding with plenty of fertilizer sets the plant to fruit heavily. Dwarf okra varieties are more suitable for containers.
This exotic and healthy edible is probably one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. Bitter melon is a tropical climber but it can be planted as an annual in summer in temperate. Growing it is similar to squashes, cucumbers, and melons. You’ll need a 12 inches deep pot and a sturdy trellis.
Rhubarb is grown for its red, pink or greenish pink edible stalks. Why we’ve added rhubarb in this list is the reason that growing rhubarb is easy (even in containers), it grows for years and you can harvest the stalks multiple times. Also, this perennial is very cold hardy and can be grown under the USDA Zones 3-8. For growing rhubarb, you’ll need a really deep pot and well-draining soil.
Garlic bulbs are expensive but they are one of the healthiest food too. The best part is you can also grow them at home in containers. Garlic greens can be eaten too, you can use them in salads, in sandwiches, and in many other preparations. For growing garlic in containers, choose a pot that is at least 6-8 inches deep and as wide as possible, you’ll need to leave 5-6 inches of space between each clove you plant.
Mustard greens are not as cold hardy as the above two (Kale and Chard), they love warmth. However, in any climate growing mustard greens is easy and they grow without much attention. You can pick big leaves to prepare leafy green recipes and curries, whereas young tender leaves are more suitable for salads and sandwiches. There are many mustard varieties available that you can choose according to your needs.
Chard tolerates heat better than kale and it is more suitable for you if you live in a warm climate. However, it is still a cold weather crop and if you’re thinking to grow this in USDA Zone 9 and above or in any other subtropical or tropical part of the world– wait for the end of summer. Both kale and chard can be grown in small sized pots. Each plant requires at least 6 inches of space.
Growing kale in containers is a cinch. You can harvest it many times, picking up the young tender leaves again and again or cutting the whole plant at once. The kale is a cool weather crop but it can still tolerate some summer heat. However, this biennial starts to taste somewhat bitter and strong during hotter months. Kale should be planted in full sun in colder regions and in partial sun in warmer regions.