21 Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots


Give beets an early start. After the chance of a hard freeze passes, sow them in a container that is at least 10 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Thin the seedlings to 3 to 4 inches apart so the roots have room to grow and mature. Try ‘Baby Ball’ and ‘Chioggia’.


A crop that thrives in cool weather, broccoli is easy to grow in a large pot. Plant it in a pot that is at least 24 inches wide in early spring. Grow one plant per 24-inch-wide pot. If the weather remains cool, broccoli will produce several small heads after the initial flower head is harvested.


For tender, sweet heads of cabbage, start seeds indoors four to five weeks before the last frost in spring. Transplant into a 24-inch-wide pot when the chance of frost passes. ‘Pixie’ and ‘Little Jade’ grow well in tight quarters.


A trellis is essential for growing cantaloupe in a pot. Use a large, heavy container that will support the weight of the mature fruit. The pot should contain at least 10 gallons of potting soil. When vines begin to form, tie the stems to the trellis to encourage the plant to grow up rather than out. ‘Sugar Cube’ produces small melons and has excellent disease resistance.


Seed carrots into a container that is at least 24 inches deep. Keep the potting soil evenly moist to promote germination. Thin the small seedlings to 2 inches apart so the roots have plenty of space to size up. ‘Babette’ and ‘Nantes Half Long’ are just 4 to 6 inches long, making them ideal for growing in a container.


A trellis or tripod is helpful when growing cucumbers in a pot. Build a simple trellis by sinking three bamboo poles into the potting soil and tying them together at the top with garden twine. Train the cucumber vines up the poles. Bush-type cucumbers are also great for growing in a container. ‘Bush Pickle’ and ‘Patio Snacker’ are two excellent varieties for pots. Plant just one cucumber plant per container.


Productive eggplants require a large container. Choose a pot that contains at least 5 gallons of potting soil. Plant one traditional-size eggplant per 5-gallon pot. ‘Patio Baby’ produces 2-to-3-inch fruits on compact plants. ‘Little Prince’ is another petite variety.

Green Beans

Grow bush-type green beans in a container that is at least 24 inches wide. After the danger of frost has passed, sow seed directly into the container. Thin the young plants so they are at least 6 inches apart. ‘Derby’ and ‘Porch Pick’ promise a prolific harvest.


Sow kohlrabi in a large container that is 10 to 12 inches deep in early spring. Thin the seedlings to stand 4 to 6 inches apart so the bulbous stems have space to develop. Try ‘Quickstar’ or a unique purple variety named ‘Kolibri’.


Lettuce is ideal for growing in small spaces and easy to grow from seed planted in early spring. Plants will thrive in any container that has ample drainage. Maximize the harvest in a small container by planting leaf lettuce instead of head lettuce. ‘Cut and Come Again’ mesclun is a tender, fast-growing option.


Hot weather is perfect for producing handfuls of tender green okra pods. Start with transplants to ensure okra plants are right-sized to flower and fruit as soon as the heat arrives. ‘Jambalaya’ is a compact variety for containers.


Start onions from seeds or plants in early spring. A 24-inch-wide or bigger pot is essential for growing large bulb onions. Plant seeds or plants in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Thin the seedlings to 4 inches apart to allow plenty of space for the bulbs to size up.


Peas thrive in cool weather and large containers. Plant seeds directly in a 12- to 24-inch-wide container in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Add a trellis at planting time for vigorously vining cultivars. ‘Little Crunch’ and ‘Snack Hero’ grow just 24 inches tall.


One pepper plant can produce two dozen or more peppers over the course of the season. Give plants plenty of space to grow by planting one plant per large pot. The ideal pot holds at least 5 gallons of soil. ‘Sweetie Pie’ is a small bell pepper that thrives in containers.


Ready for harvest just 30 days after sowing, radishes are easy to grow in any container. Plant the seeds in soil as soon as it can be worked in early spring. Plant a second crop two weeks after seeding the first crop.


Plant spinach seed directly in a container of any size as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Harvest tender young leaves at any point in development, snipping stems near the base. Plants will send up a new flush of leaves. ‘Catalina’ and ‘Little Hero’ are petite varieties well-suited for pots.

Summer Squash

Plant summer squash in a large container that holds at least 5 gallons of soil. Direct sow zucchini and other summer squash varieties in the pot when the last chance of frost has passed. Thin to one or two vigorous plants per pot. ‘Papaya Pear’ has small yellow fruit on a compact plant.

Swiss Chard

Start Swiss chard from seed or transplants planted in the 12- to 24-inch-wide container in early spring. Begin harvesting the tender leaves when the plants are 4 to 5 inches tall. Grow ‘Bright Lights’ for its colorful red, yellow, and orange stems.


The best tomato plants for pots are small bush-like varieties. Some varieties specially selected for growing in pots include 'Bush Early Girl’, ‘Patio’, ‘Tiny Tim’, and ‘Tumbler’. Plant one tomato plant per 24-inch-wide container. The pot should contain at least 5 gallons of soil to provide adequate space for root growth.


Yes, you can grow watermelon in a container. Grow ‘Cal Sweet Bush’ in a pot that is at least 24 inches deep and wide. This unique selection will likely produce one 10-to-12-pound fruit per plant.

Winter Squash

Plant winter squash in a large, sturdy container that can handle the weight of the developing fruit. Choose a container that is at least 24 inches wide and deep, such as a half-whiskey barrel. Add a trellis if needed to support a vining variety. Plant just one winter squash per pot. ‘Honeybaby’ is a butternut squash with short vines that grow just 2 to 3 feet long.

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