11 Easy Vegetables to Grow in Pots & Containers (+ Tips for a Large Harvest!)

By: Chenell - Lead Writer and Gardening Advocate

Gardening doesn’t have to just be for people with large yards. With a little creativity, even those with the smallest outdoor spaces can create a thriving garden. It’s almost like taking care of potted plants on the patio, but you get to eat them afterwards!

One great option for small-space gardening is to grow vegetables in pots and containers. Container gardening is a versatile and flexible way to grow a wide variety of plants, including vegetables. And best of all, it’s easy to get started.

Let’s talk about some of the best vegetables to grow in pots and containers.

11 Easy Vegetables to Grow in Pots

Here are some of the easiest vegetables to grow in pots.

1. Lettuce

lettuce in a pot

Lettuce and other leafy greens are great options for a container garden.

It is actually quite easy to grow lettuce in containers, which means you can enjoy your favorite salad greens without all the hassle. This vegetable matures in just weeks instead of some others on this list which can take months to get to harvest.

Make sure that your pots get lots of sun since lettuce needs lots of light for optimum growth. Then be sure to water your plants frequently and feed them regularly with nutrient-rich compost or fertilizer in order to keep them healthy and happy.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes can also be successfully grown in containers, making them a great option for small spaces. Container-grown tomatoes typically yield a smaller crop than those grown in the ground, but if you’re growing bush tomatoes or smaller varieties than this is not an issue at all.

Some great tomato varieties to grow in containers are:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Plum Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes

Determinate varieties of tomatoes are best suited for pots and growing in containers. They grow bushier as opposed to tall and viney like their indeterminate counterparts do.

Container-grown tomatoes can be moved around to take advantage of the best growing conditions. With a little care and attention, container-grown tomatoes can be a delicious and healthy addition to any home vegetable garden.

3. Peppers

purple cayenne pepper

Peppers are a great option for container vegetable gardening. They are self-pollinating and don’t need to be planted near another pepper plant.

  • Required Pot Depth: 18-24 inches
  • Plant Spacing: 1 per pot
  • Sun Requirements: Full sun
  • Soil Preference: Well-drained, dryer soil

Most kinds of peppers do great in container gardens as the plants themselves generally don’t get quite large no matter how much space they have.

Peppers need full sun and well-drained soil in order to thrive, so it is important to choose a pot with good drainage and a sunny spot to place it.

Peppers love warmer weather (80-90˚F), so make sure not to plant them outside right when your first frost date ends. I like to wait to start my pepper seeds until early April and plant them out after Mother’s Day to ensure good temperatures for them.

Types of Peppers to Grow in Containers

There are a few types of peppers that are a good fit for containers because they don’t get as big as some other varieties.

  • Shishito peppers
  • Yellow jalapeños
  • Serrano peppers
  • Early jalapeños
  • Goat horn peppers
  • Sweet peppers

As with most plants you grow in containers, they also require regular watering, so be sure to check the soil regularly and water when necessary.

4. Onions

Required Pot Depth: 12-18 inches
Plant Spacing: 6 inches between plants
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil

While some vegetables are content to sprawl across the garden, onions don’t take up much space. This makes them perfect candidates for container gardening. Not only do they take up little space, but they are also low-maintenance.

5. Garlic

growing garlic

Garlic only needs about 6 inches of space, which makes it a great option for growing in containers.

Required Pot Depth: 10-16 inches
Plant Spacing: 4-6 inches
Sun Requirements: Full sun

Garlic is quite hardy and does well even in less-than-ideal conditions. I honestly threw mine in the ground and forgot about it until April and it did really well.

But garlic takes around 8-10 months to fully mature, so you’ll need to have a bit of patience.

6. Swiss Chard

Required Pot Depth: 12 inches
Plant Spacing: 6 inches apart
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil

Swiss chard is an easy-to-grow green that is perfect for container gardening. Not only can it be used in a million ways in the kitchen, but it is also highly resistant to pests and disease. Swiss chard can be grown from seed or bought as seedlings, and it prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

When growing chard in pots, it is important to choose a container that is at least 12 inches wide and deep. The plants will need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather, and fertilized every few weeks.

7. Radishes

Radishes are one of the easiest crops to grow and take up almost no space, which makes them a great choice for those who are new to container gardening. Not only do they require little maintenance, but they can most definitely be grown in pots.

Required Pot Depth: 10-18 inches
Plant Spacing: 4-6 inches
Sun Requirements: Full sun or partial shade
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil

8. Kale

growing kale

Growing kale in pots can be a great way to enjoy this delicious and nutritious leafy green year-round. These compact plants are easy to care for, requiring little water and only moderate amounts of sun or shade, depending on the variety.

Required Pot Depth: 10-16 inches
Plant Spacing: 6-9 inches
Sun Requirements: Full sun, partial shade
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil

Make sure to plant your kale in rich, well-drained soil. Kale likes a lot of nitrogen, so consider adding some compost or organic fertilizer to your soil before planting.

9. Beets

growing beets in containers

Beets are an excellent choice for growing in containers just like radishes. They’re relatively easy to maintain, and will add a color other than green to your garden. Beets prefer well-draining soil and full sun, so it is important to choose a pot that has drainage holes and is large enough to accommodate the roots.

Required Pot Depth: 12-18 inches
Plant Spacing: 4-6 inches
Sun Requirements:
Full sun or partial shade
Soil Preference:
Well drained soil

10. Carrots

growing container carrots

Required Pot Depth: 10 inches
Plant Spacing: 2 inches
Sun Requirements: Sunny
Soil Preference: Well draining soil

All you need is a pot that’s at least 10 inches deep and wide, and you’re good to go. Just be sure to add enough soil so that the carrots have room to develop their roots.

When it comes time to harvest, you can simply pull the entire plant out of the pot and enjoy your homegrown carrots.

11. Peas

types of peas to grow

Growing peas in containers is also relatively straightforward. All you need is a large container (peas need room to spread out), some good quality soil, and some pea seeds. Once you have those things, simply plant the seeds about an inch deep, water regularly, and wait for your peas to grow.

Required Pot Depth: 12 inches
Plant Spacing: 2-3 inches
Sun Requirements: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well draining soil

You will need some kind of trellis for your peas as they have tendrils that are looking for something to climb. If you forget the trellis, they will climb each other and the plants won’t grow as they should – this can mean your yields will be drastically reduced.

You can grow almost all types of peas in a container or pot. They all take up little room and grow vertically, so they can be spaced closer together than other vegetable plants.

How to Be Successful Growing Vegetables in a Container Garden

Container gardening can be very easy to start, especially if you want to grow your own vegetables but have limited space and can’t build a large vegetable garden. Here are some tips to see success with growing in pots.

Moist Soil

Consistent watering can be challenging to keep up with if you’re new to gardening, but you’ll have to find a way to do it. Your plant babies depend on it!

You want to water your plants enough, but not overwater them. Check the soil before you water them each day and if it’s still moist about an inch down, go ahead and skip a day or check them later on if its going to be a hot one.

Choosing the Right Pot

You want to make sure the pot you choose is deep enough for adequate root growth. The pot should have good drainage holes to avoid having overly wet soil. If the roots get waterlogged, your plant can actually drown and develop root rot, so good drainage is important.

If your pot is too small, you will end up with a root bound plant like the picture below. See how the roots are all trying to use up every square centimeter of that pot??

If you don’t choose a large enough pot, the plants growth will stall and you’ll end up with a much smaller harvest, and your plant might start to yellow and die.

rootbound plant
A rootbound plant

Choosing a Sunny Location

The location for your container plants is important for growing healthy plants and your own food. Most vegetables like a sunny and warm place with full sun, so you want to make sure the space your are going to grow them in gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

This isn’t something that can be done by a sunny windowsill, unless you have a partial greenhouse attached to your home. 🙂

Container Gardening is a Great Way to Save Space

Container gardening is easy, and it’s a great way to get started in gardening if you’re new to it. Plus, it’s an incredibly efficient use of space – one that your city-dwelling friends will be jealous of.

Using pots makes it easier to control the soil conditions, making this an ideal choice for gardeners who live in dry climates.



Hi - I'm Chenell! I lived in the city for almost a decade, but after moving to the suburbs in 2020, I decided the logical millennial thing to do was to learn how to grow my own avocado toast. That's what this site is all about. 🥑

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