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What vegetables can be grown in pots and containers?

vegetables growing in containers

vegetables growing in containers

No matter how small your garden or yard is you can always find room to grow some vegetables in containers. These containers can be anything from window boxes to dustbins/trash cans, and the results you can achieve will impress your family with the superior quality of the produce and the depth of flavor they have compared to commercially grown supermarket vegetables. Your next question will no doubt be 'what vegetables can be grown in containers then?' The answer to this question is that most vegetables can be successfully grown in containers providing the containers are of a suitable size and you ensure the plants get enough sunlight, water and food. I have been doing this for many years so I can speak from experience, and whilst I do grow on my own large vegetable allotment, I also have a number of crops growing in containers throughout the summer months, (not least because I exhibit them, but also because sometimes it is quicker to harvest enough vegetables for our evening meal when they are located closer to home.)

Now you might ask yourselves why should you grow vegetables at home? My answer to this question would be that you will know the food is fresher, has been grown organically, is tastier, and of course it is usually cheaper. Growing vegetables at home is also an excellent way to get your children interested in growing vegetables too.

So let's assume you have decided that you want to try growing vegetables in containers for yourself. Now you need to know which are the best ones to grow for you and your family that will be successful and productive when grown as a container plant. Your initial decision should obviously be based on what vegetables you and your family actually like to eat. There is no point at all in growing broad beans for instance, if no-one in your family actually likes the taste of broad beans. It never ceases to amaze me how many people grow vegetables they actually hate. Golden rule, only grow the vegetables you buy in the supermarket, or would do if you could afford them (vegetables like asparagus can be expensive, but are much more affordable if you grow your own.)

Make sure you have a range of containers or planter bags in differing sizes and depths. Certain vegetables like potatoes will require a deep bag, bucket or a trash can/dustbin, whilst other vegetables like lettuces or land cress will cope well with a container or planter bag that is only 6-12 inches deep. Using the right sized bag can save you a lot of money on compost.

Remember to buy a good quality multipurpose compost for your vegetable containers, and it is also worth buying slow release plant food granules to add to the compost prior to planting up so the plants get fed over the entire growing season, (apart from carrots and parsnips that cope better in a low nutrient growing medium.)

bell peppers growing in containers

bell peppers growing in containers

Vegetables Ideal for Container Growing.

  • Salad leaves and lettuce.
  • Spring onions/scallions/green onions (take your pick on what you call them.)
  • Carrots.
  • Parsnips
  • Tomatoes, (although technically a fruit.)
  • Cucumbers, (also a fruit.)
  • Runner Beans.
  • French Beans.
  • Onions.
  • Radishes.
  • Shallots.
  • Herbs (all kinds.)
  • Peppers (chilli and bell peppers.)
  • American Land Cress.
  • Mangetout.
  • Asparagus.
  • Potatoes.
  • Courgettes/Zucchini.
vegetables growing in containers

vegetables growing in containers

If you want to learn more about growing vegetables in containers then an article I wrote to explain how to grow vegetables in containers may prove beneficial to you, and will help you to get started in your first year. To read the article you need to click here.

Personally I can't encourage you enough to try this out for yourselves. The excitement of harvesting and eating your own vegetables is indescribable, and the results will speak for themselves when you first taste the produce you have grown for your family.

Growing Vegetables in Containers

Growing a Tomato in a Container

vegetable growing in a confined area

vegetable growing in a confined area

potatoes growing in a container

potatoes growing in a container

#26 of 30 in the March 2012 Challenge


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on July 14, 2016:

Thanks MarleneB, really pleased you found this article so helpful.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on July 13, 2016:

This is a very informative article about growing vegetables in containers. I grow just about everything on your list and it is such fun. I do have a few growing directly in the ground, but I am really impressed with how well the ones in containers are doing. Your tip about having a range of containers is quite valuable.

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Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 20, 2016:

Agree totally, mine are so sweet I eat them like grapes. I even used my food dehydrator to make 'sun dried' tomatoes in olive oil with them last year. We are still eating them now.

Anne from United Kingdom on April 20, 2016:

Very true. Here in Valencia Spain, I can only describe the locally grown Tommys as " Orgasmic". I´m just starting a hub about making Tomato Frito, Spanish style. I must thank you for the inspiration :-)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 20, 2016:

So true what you are saying about supermarket tomatoes bac2basics. Probably because they are picked too soon and ripen off the plant rather than on the vine.

Anne from United Kingdom on April 20, 2016:

Lovely hub. Here in Spain I get given so much homegrown fruit and veg I rarely grow any myself, but when I return to the UK I will definitely start growing my own tomatoes and beans again. I couldn´t bear to eat Tomatoes from the supermarket after so many years of enjoying Tomatoes that taste of Tomato, and it´s rare to find that in shop bought ones.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2012:

Thanks very much carol, you will be delighted with the results. You might also enjoy the article on my personal vegetable growing website about vegetable growing in containers, the link to it is:

carol stanley from Arizona on October 21, 2012:

This is of special interest to me. We really cannot grow much where we live, so pots it will have to be. ANd I am so happy to hear that you can grow so many things in pots. I am bookmarking this and voting up.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on August 20, 2012:

Thanks 'mypassion', So pleased this has also been helpful to you. I actually do have articles published on making compost if that is what you mean in your comment about 'organic manure'. You can read my main article if you click on the link below:

mypassion on August 17, 2012:

Another useful hub about gardening. I found what I was looking for all these years.

It would be nice if you could write a hub about preparing organic manure :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 19, 2012:

Really glad it is working out for you Kelly. Even at this warm time of year I am still using mine to germinate some seeds, and I have equally got 18 tomato plants and 5 cucumbers growing in it. :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 19, 2012:

I ended up getting a small portable green house - it was 40 bucks and really did the trick. Everything germinated so much faster that way and so far so good - everything is coming along nicely!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 07, 2012:

I am sure you will do fine Angie, just don't neglect the watering as in a greenhouse you have to water pretty much daily unless the day has been overcast.

Angie on May 07, 2012:

I just planted my whole green house full of containers. Cross my fingers they do well!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 29, 2012:

Delighted you liked this Nell, good luck with your veg :)

Nell Rose from England on April 29, 2012:

This is such a great idea! I have loads of pots ready for my plants on my balcony so I will give some veg a try! wonderful info and can't wait to start now! great idea misty, voted up!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 23, 2012:

Hi Eddy, so glad you liked this and thanks for the feedback :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 23, 2012:

Hi Kelly, so difficult with these conditions. You could try using cloches or cold frames to protect your veg until the weather is more consistent :)

Eiddwen from Wales on April 23, 2012:

What a great hub;brilliant work and take care


Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 23, 2012:

Hey Cindy - it is that time of year! I think I'm finally good to plant all my stuff for outside here. Thanks for the great advice! I already started my herbs...and as it is I hardly know when the last freeze will be:). Today it's 80 degrees tomorrow it will be snowing! Who knows anymore?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 19, 2012:

Thank you Greenie, I am sure you will do very well with the French Beans as they cope very well with containers and provide and excellent crop :)

Greenie on April 18, 2012:

This article was very useful to me and as a result I have started growing my own dwarf French beans in a container and look forward to seeing the end product. Growing vegetables in containers are a great idea for people living on a small plot of land.Great hub. One vote up!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 28, 2012:

That sounds great CMENYART1, I love the idea of growing citrus trees in containers, but am not sure we have a warm enough climate here, although I know people who grow them indoors.

CMENYART1 from North Cackalackie on March 28, 2012:

I grow my citrus trees in containers and they do very well. I have meyer lemon, key lime, mandarin orange, and lime trees and all take very well.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 27, 2012:

You are welcome anglnwu, I do hope you will now venture on to new and more exciting vegetables too :)

anglnwu on March 27, 2012:

I think I should start growing vegetables in containers. I've grown chilli and tomatoes before. Thanks for the list of vegetables that will do well in containers.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 27, 2012:

Hi Tony, ouch, that could get expensive if you grow a lot of stuff in containers. I usually put most of my 'spent' compost into my compost bins in layers between old veggie peelings, teabags, cardboard, old foliage, lawn mowings and other such compostable materials. This boosts its nutrient levels again to some degree. The following year I mix this with fresh compost at approximately a 50/50 split and add plant food granules to the compost where appropriate and use it again. After the third year I use it as a soil conditioner on my allotment. This saves me a load of money and providing none of the compost had diseased plants grown in it beforehand it works fine.

Spent compost can also be used for carrots and parsnips the following year without doing anything to it because they prefer little or no nutrients in the earth they grow in anyway.

I hope this might save you some money.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 27, 2012:

Thanks very much dinkan53, I am glad you are already growing your own. I must admit I didn't mention spinach simply because I don't like it personally, but of course it is very good for you. I truly hope this hub does inspire lots of vegetable lovers to 'have a go' even if they only have a very small area to grow in.

Tony Mead from Yorkshire on March 27, 2012:


interesting and well organised hub. I grow everything these days in containers including potatoes and beans. I find the only problem is having enough compost to keep up. I like to renew mine every year and put the old stuff on the garden which means about now every year I'm looking for deals at garden centres.



dinkan53 from India on March 26, 2012:

Excellent hub with beautiful pics and videos. I love vebetables, especially spinach. We have here green and red spinach and my terrace is full of those beautiful and more over a healthy stuff. Your hub is really inspiring one for lot of vegetable lovers and those planning to have a small vegetable garden in their houses. Voted up and rated as useful and interesting.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Thanks Prasetio, lovely to have you comment on any of my hubs. I hope your Dad likes this hub too :)

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 26, 2012:

Very inspiring hub. I really love this hub and I'll share with my father. He love gardening as well. He planted chili and lettuce in very "long containers". This containers can accommodate several vegetables just in one container. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up!


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Thanks Cookware Bliss, I hope you do give this a try as there is no looking back and it is incredibly satisfying. You will be so glad you did :)

Really pleased you enjoyed this hub, and thanks for the votes :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Hi joelipoo, I totally agree with you on everything you said. I grow in both containers and an allotment, but only because it is better for show vegetables and because I like the fact I can harvest vegetables when they are close to the house easier than I can when they are three times the distance on the allotment.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Hi Lisa, cheers for the fabulous comment, really over the moon that you enjoyed this and that you already grow veggies in containers :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Hi Eileen, that is brilliant news. Between you and me I reckon us women often have the feminine touch that makes all the difference to growing veg at home. Follow my tips and I will make sure you do well, (contact me if you have any questions or problems).

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Hi Susan, so delighted you enjoyed this and I totally agree with you :)

CookwareBliss from Winneconne, WI on March 26, 2012:

I really enjoyed this hub, I never gave any thought of growing my own vegetables in containers. I might have to do this since I live in Wisconsin I could have fresh vegetables all year round. Thanks for the great hub, voted up and interesting.

Joel from Ohio on March 26, 2012:

We have enough room to grow vegetables that we don't use containers. However, in the past I have grown in containers. I actually have a chilli pepper plant in a pot that I put outside over the summer and bring in the house during the winter. It grows well in the container. I think container gardening can be ideal for people with a small amount of space living in the city. You really can't be the taste of home grown stuff.

Liz Rayen from California on March 26, 2012:

This is a FABULOUS hub! I have always loved container (planter) gardening. It's perfect for those who live in small places with no yards. It's also so easy to maintain! Your pictures, videos and descriptiions compliment each other very well! Voted up up and up! Lisa

Eileen Goodall from Buckinghamshire, England on March 26, 2012:

This is a great hub, although we have an allotment my husband does most of the growing there, so I have decided to grow some vegetables from our home garden - this will be really helpful. Voted up and pinned.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 26, 2012:

With the cost of food these days growing your own vegetables makes so much more sense. Excellent article!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Thanks Michele, you are so right about the nutrient content in store bought vegetables. Fresh from your own garden is always best and healthiest :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 26, 2012:

Thanks for commenting so fast donnaisabella, it sounds like you are off to a great start. I guarantee you that once you have tasted produce fresh from your own garden you will be addicted to growing vegetables at home :)

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on March 26, 2012:

This is a wonderful hub. Growing your own vegetables is better then buying them at the store in a can or even if they are "fresh" They lose about 50% of their nutritional value after one day of being processed by the company they come from. So, if you grow your own vegetables they are much better. Great hub. Voted up!

Isabella Mukanda from Fort Myers on March 26, 2012:

I have been growing plants in containers and gardens for many years now, but in a tropical climate. I am getting ready to start my first real garden here in Florida. I believe spring is the best time to do this or so I have learned from others. A few days ago, I bought annuals and some perennials to plant in our garden, then I bought some flower seeds as well and I cannot wait to see what comes of it. I am currently looking for partitions that I could use to make my vegetable garden and of course I intend to get a few flower pots for some of the plants I was just given - chillies and green pepper. I think I am off to a good start. I loved the pictures provided on your hub and I cannot wait to have plants that healthy and eat some organic veggies from our own garden!

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