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5 Easy Vegetables To Grow In Pots – Great For Small Spaces

No room for a garden? Don’t despair: you can still grow veggies in pots. Let’s look at some ideas for easy vegetables to grow in pots for your eating pleasure.

Homegrown cherry tomatoes, one of the easy vegetables to grow in pots

Best Vegetables to Grow in Pots

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes growing in pots

With so many choices in sizes, colors, and culinary uses, it’s easy to see why tomatoes are so popular. Don’t let lack of outdoor space stop you from growing these tasty treats. Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in pots, including hanging baskets.

Tomatoes are a warm-season vegetable, so make sure all threats of frost have left your region before planting. However, you can get a head start by starting your seeds indoors several weeks before the last frost. Start your seeds in peat pots, planting about 1/4 inch deep. Place the pots in a warm and sunny location. Once the weather warms up, plant the entire pot in its permanent container and place outdoors in a sunny location.

And when the weather cools, you can bring these indoors for an extended season.

Use a container with bottom drain holes and fill with a rich, well-drained potting mix. For bigger plants, use a 5-gallon container per plant. Placing a cage inside the pot at the time of planting helps support plants as they grow. Hanging baskets also work well for smaller growing cherry types.

Tomatoes have two types of growth habits: determinate and indeterminate. Determinate produce all their fruits at one time and indeterminate produce fruits throughout the season. Determinate plants generally grow smaller, making them a good choice for potted growth.

Best tomato varieties for planting in pots

Some good tomato varieties suitable for container growth include:

    • Tumbler Hybrid: Good for hanging baskets, producing fruit in about 50 days. Produces 1-ounce, red cherry tomatoes on very productive determinate vines.
    • Tumbling Tom Yellow Hybrid: Great selection for hanging baskets and containers. Produces 1-inch, yellow cherry tomatoes on determinate vines. Ripe in around 70 days.
    • BushSteak Hybrid: Good choice for containers, producing 12-ounce fruits in around 60 days. Determinate plants produce red, beefsteak fruits.
    • Better Bush Hybrid: Great choice for containers. Produces red 4-inch, juicy fruits that ripen in about 68 days on indeterminate vines.

Learn more about growing tomatoes here.

2. Eggplants

Striped and deep purple eggplants

Eggplants are a staple ingredient in many cuisines. They also make a tasty meat substitute. Like tomatoes, eggplants are warm-season vegetables performing best when temperatures warm in spring and summer. During summer, eggplants thrive when many veggies wilt. They also are easy vegetables to grow in pots.

In addition, your selection of eggplant varieties is wide and varied. Colors include white, green to purplish-black, and sizes from long and thin, to large and bulky. All are suitable for growth in containers. Their compact size and growth habit, make eggplants a must-have in your potted vegetable garden.

If growing one eggplant, a 5-gallon container is sufficient for proper growth. However, dwarf types are suitable for 3-gallon containers. Use a 7-gallon container if you’d like to grow two plants in the same pot. Make sure the container drains well and fill it with a rich, well-drained potting mix. Eggplants are sun-lovers, so place the container in a sunny spot and water when the top inch of soil feels dry.

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Best eggplant varieties for containers

Some good choices in eggplant varieties include:

  • Patio Baby Hybrid: Grows well in 3-gallon pots. Heavy producer of 3-inch diameter, purplish-black fruits. Fruits are ripe in about 45 days. The average plant height is 24 inches, with about the same width.
  • Comet White Hybrid: Grows well in 5-gallon pots. Asian variety producing long, 10-inch, white fruits with few seeds. Fruits ripen in around 70 days.
  • Black Beauty: Grows well in 5-gallon pots. An all-time favorite producing large, 8-inch long purplish-black fruits. Fruits ripe in about 80 days on 3-foot tall plants.

3. Peppers

Colorful pot of hot peppers

Whether sweet or hot, peppers pump up the flavor in a variety of dishes. They are another easy vegetable to grow in pots. Peppers are a warm-season crop that takes the heat and sun without skipping a beat. If your climate is consistently warm, you can grow peppers almost year-round and until temperatures cool in winter.

You can get a head start on the season by starting your seeds indoors several weeks before the last spring frost. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in peat pots and place in a warm, sunny location.

As soon as the weather warms up, plant one pepper per 3-gallon container and place it in a sunny location outdoors. Just make sure to use a draining container and a fertile, well-drained potting mix. When the top inch of soil feels dry, apply water.

Best pepper types for containers

Peppers come in a host of sizes, colors, and range of sweetness or heat. With so many choices, you’re sure to find a hot or sweet pepper that suits your taste. Listed below are just a few of the selections in hot and sweet peppers that grow well in containers:

  • Hot Dragon Cayenne: Peppers are hotter than jalapenos and produced on 30-inch plants. The red, slim peppers are 3 inches long and used in Asian and Mexican dishes. Peppers take about 70 days to mature.
  • Habanero: Hot peppers are known for their searing heat. Green peppers ripen to their signature orange color in around 95 days. Plants grow about 24 inches tall.
  • California Wonder: The standard in sweet bell peppers. Peppers start as green and mature to red in around 75 days. Plants grow around 24 inches tall.
  • Lemon Dream: A yellow, 3-inch long sweet pepper with tons of flavor, the lemon dream is a prolific producer on plants about 18 inches tall. Peppers mature in about 70 days.

Have you had a large harvest of peppers? Try some roasted peppers: they are delicious!

4. Lettuce

Freshly picked lettuce

There’s nothing quite as sweet and tasty as homegrown lettuce. It’s another vegetable that’s easy to grow in containers. You’ll have a constant supply of healthy greens right out your door. Most lettuce varieties don’t grow well in the summer’s heat, so be sure to grow them in spring and fall.

You can start your seeds indoors in peat pots several weeks before the last spring frost. Just cover the seeds with 1/4-inch of soil. When the weather warms the peat pots are ready for planting in their permanent pot. Just make sure the permanent pot has bottom drainage and fill with a fertile, well-drained potting mix.

Lettuce varieties are broken into loose leaf and heading types. If you plan to grow a loose-leaf type, you can grow one or two plants per 3-gallon container. If you are growing a heading type, grow one per 3-gallon container. Remember to place the container in a sunny to a partially sunny spot outdoors and add water regularly.

Best varieties of container lettuce

With so many lettuce varieties, there’s sure to be one or two that will tempt your taste buds.

  • Buttercrunch: A bib-type lettuce forming loose heads with a buttery texture. The lettuce forms 6-inch wide heads and takes about 65 days to mature.
  • Black-Seeded Simpson: A hardy looseleaf variety with a 6-inch spread, producing green, ruffled leaves. Matures in around 45 days.
  • Igloo: An iceberg type forming crispy, mild heads of green leaves. Plants grow about 6 inches wide and mature in 70 days.
  • Red Salad Bowl: A looseleaf variety producing crisp, deeply cut, green, and maroon leaves. Plants spread about 6 inches and mature in 45 days.

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5. Broccoli

Broccoli plants ready to go in the garden

Broccoli not only tastes good, but it’s also an easy vegetable to grow in containers. For the best performance, grow during the cooler seasons of spring and fall. The plants won’t perform well during the hot temperatures of summer.

Several weeks before the last spring frost, you can start your broccoli seeds indoors in peat pots. Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep and place in a sunny and warm location. Wait for the temperature to go up and then transplant one broccoli plant per 3-gallon or 5-gallon container.

Make sure the container you’re using to plant these has draining holes. Then fill with a rich, well-drained potting mix and set the pot in a sunny location outdoors. Water as needed when the top inch of soil becomes dry to the touch.

Best broccoli types for pots

You have a variety of choices in broccoli cultivars, with some withstanding heat better than others do.

  • Waltham 29: Plants produce 4- to 6-inch, green heads on long stalks with side shoots. Each plant grows about 24 inches wide and matures in 74 days.
  • Sun King:  Plants produce 6- to 8-inch blue-green heads that take the heat better than some varieties. The broccoli matures in about 71 days on plants spreading around 18 inches.
  • Romanesco: An Italian heirloom, producing crisp, nutty flavored, 8-inch heads that are whorled and lime green. Plants spread about 12 inches and the broccoli is mature in 75 days or a bit longer.

Need more details about growing broccoli? Read this.

Even black-thumb gardeners will have success growing these easy vegetables in pots. Gardening in pots takes the hard work out of growing tasty veggies, as there are no beds to weed. Locate the pots in an area close to an entry way and water source so they’re easier to maintain. With a little loving care, you’ll be enjoying your fresh harvest of homegrown vegetables before you know it.

Red and yellow cherry tomatoes growing in containers

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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

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