10 Great Vegetables You Can Grow In Containers

A Way to Grow Veggies If You Do Not Have a Patch of Land

There is no such thing as a foolproof vegetable, but container vegetable gardening reduces the threats posed by weather and critters while also making it easy to grow your own produce in the smallest spaces. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers include the nightshades like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, and as well as fast-growing crops like peas and lettuce. Take a look at 10 vegetables that you can grow even if you do not have a patch of land for gardening but do have a patio, porch, or balcony with good sun exposure.

Tips

The larger the container, the more potting soil it will hold, so the more margin for error you will have. A larger volume of soil will hold moisture and nutrients for a longer amount of time.

  • 01 of 10

    Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

    Tomato plant growing in pot

     

    Cavan Images / Getty Images

    Growing tomatoes in containers is easy and incredibly satisfying. Most tomatoes also are happiest in big containers and will need staking. This keeps the heavy fruit from bending and breaking the vines. If you are buying tomato seedlings, look for short, stocky plants that do not have blossoms yet. Tomatoes do not like to be cold so do not be tempted to put them out too early; be sure to harden off or gradually acclimate seedlings to outside living well before you plant them. And, when planting tomato seedlings, plant them deep—much deeper than you would most plants.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Consistent water with good drainage
  • 02 of 10

    Peas (Pisum sativum)

    Sugar snap peas dangling down from a pea plant
    Jenny Dettrick/Getty Images

    Peas can be planted in early spring and then again when it gets cool in the fall. They are perfect for succession planting, so plant them in early spring and then when it gets warm, and they are finished producing, pull them out and plant something else in that container. Peas actually improve your soil, by adding nitrogen to it, so your next batch of plants will have a leg up. Peas are also one of the best vegetables to grow with children: They are fast growers and super easy.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Consistent water with good drainage
  • 03 of 10

    Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum)

    Garden potatoes

     

    Wildroze / Getty Images

    Freshly picked potatoes taste completely different than the potatoes you buy. While it does take some effort to grow ​potatoes in containers, as well as a fair amount of soil and water, the rewards are fantastic. If you have never had a freshly dug potato, you are in for a total treat. They are also a great vegetable to grow with the help of kids.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Keep moist; provide good drainage
  • 04 of 10

    Squash (Curcurbita)

    Zucchini growing in container

     

    tacojim / Getty Images

    Squash is an easy vegetable to grow and squash blossoms are beautiful and edible. Most squash takes up a lot of space and will need a fairly large container, lots of light, good soil, and consistent watering and feeding. If you are going to grow winter squash in a container, make sure the variety you choose is not one of the giants. Those squash can weigh in at well over 20 pounds. 'Honeybear' is an award-winning smaller variety of acorn squash and there are even tiny pumpkins you can grow.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Water deeply when top soil is dry to the touch
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Lettuce and Salad Greens (Lactuca sativa)

    Lettuce growing in container

     

     

    Alphotographic / Getty Images

    Growing lettuce and other salad greens in containers is easy, fast and gives you a bang for your gardening buck. You also do not need as much sun as most vegetables, and it is super easy to grow lettuce from seeds. There are all kinds of great salad green and mesclun mixes you can buy that are great for containers. Some like Johnny's Elegance Greens Mix and Hudson Vally Seed Library's Mesclun Mix, are so beautiful, you can also use them in decorative pots.

    • Light: Partial sun
    • Water: Keep moist; provide good drainage
  • 06 of 10

    Hot and Sweet Peppers (Capsicum annuum)

    Chili plant

     

    ruvanboshoff / Getty Images

    Both hot and sweet peppers can be spectacularly beautiful, especially orange and purple sweet peppers in containers. They thrive in grow boxes but can be grown in any large container with plenty of sun, good drainage, and consistent watering. Hot peppers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They range in spice level from mild to searing to hardly edible as measured by the Scoville Scale.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Keep moist; provide good drainage
  • 07 of 10

    Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)

    Cucumber Plants on Trellis
    Cucumber Trellis. Kerry Michaels

    Cucumbers are another popular vegetable to grow in containers and for good reason. They are crisper and tastier when freshly picked and they are pretty easy to grow. You can grow almost any cucumber in a container, but they vary widely in taste and disease resistance.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Keep moist; provide good drainage
  • 08 of 10

    Radishes (Raphanus sativus)

    Radish plant

     

    mzajac / Getty Images

    Radishes grow ridiculously quickly; most go from seed to harvest in just a month. There are many varieties, which means you can select your seeds based on appearance and flavor; some varieties are gorgeous. The tops or greens of radishes are also edible, as are the pods. Keep in mind that they do not like to get too hot.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Keep moist; provide good drainage
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Arugula (Eruca vesicaria)

    Growing arugula

     

    temmuzcan / Getty Images

    While the spicy taste of arugula leaves can be tasty, the flowers are to die for. They are sweet and spicy at the same time and are also beautiful. While some may not care for the texture of some edible flowers, arugula has a completely delightful texture and is really easy to grow.

    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Water: Keep soil evenly moist
  • 10 of 10

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena)

    Fresh eggplant

     

    Nataliia_Melnychuk / Getty Images

    Eggplant is one of those great vegetables that also works as an ornamental. Some small varieties are very pretty and easy to grow. The flowers are gorgeous as is the foliage. Some eggplant varieties to consider for your container garden are 'Fairytale' and 'Hansel,' which are both compact plants with beautiful and tasty fruit (eggplant is ​botanically considered a fruit). You can pick them very young or wait until they get a little larger. These varieties are both thin-skinned, so there is no need to peel them before you cook them.

    • Light: Full sun
    • Water: Keep soil evenly moist