What are the best vegetables to grow in pots and containers? Beans, beets, chard, sweet or hot peppers, kale, lettuce, onions, raddish, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumber, arugula and eggplant are some of the best vegetables to grow in pots.
I have done multiple hours of research from reputable sources [1,2,3]. Feel free to read my research findings below!
Table of Contents
- Growing Tips
- Types of Vegetables to Grow in Pots
There are many vegetables that can easily be grown in pots/containers. Since most containers are not that big, it is often a good idea to go with the dwarf variety of the vegetable. Pots are especially great for urban gardening, seeing as they do not take up that much space. They also do not require their own garden patch. In addition, pots can be moved around during the day to let the plants get more sunlight.
It can be a good idea to plant varieties that you can’t find in the grocery store. It is important that the pots are big enough for your plants to grow into. Larger pots (at least 12 inches deep and 10 inches wide) can be a good idea for beginners, as more soil gives more moisture to plants. A regular beginner’s mistake is not watering plants enough. However, the pots should also be lightweight enough if you want to move them around during the day. A drainage hole should also be included for the water to drain through the soil, preventing root rot. 
Many vegetables have similar growing needs. Most like full sun and well draining soil. Choosing vegetables with similar growing needs can simplify the growing process.
Types of Vegetables to Grow in Pots
Beans require at least 12 inch pot depth. It is probably best to choose a bushy variety, seeing as they do not require a trellis. The porch pick is a good option, being both sweet and tender. This variety likes direct sunlight and should be ready to harvest in 55 days. You can also choose a climbing variety, although this will require a trellis. If you have little balcony space, using the vertical space will help you maximize the amount you can grow. The pods can be picked after 60-70 days. Pods should be 4-6 inches when picked and can be continuously picked. 
Beets require at minimum 12 inch deep pot depth. They prefer deep pots to let their roots grow down. Chioggia is a type that requires 55 days until maturity. It grows well in full sun or partial shade and is sweeter than most other types of beets. 
Chard requires minimum 8 inch deep pot. Most leafy greens are perfect for container gardens, as they have shallow root systems. This means they can easily be grown in shallow pots. They also do not require much sunlight. The rainbow mixture is beautiful with red, white, pink and yellow stalks. It grows best sheltered in direct sunlight and is mature after 50 days. 
Chili peppers are great for growing in pots! They require minimum 12 inch pot depth and prefer sunny, warm weather. If you leave in a colder region, they can easily be grown in greenhouses or indoors in a grow tent. Jalapeno early is a heirloom variety that blooms early in the season. Maturity is reached in 67-70 days. Thai hot is a very hot variety where you can harvest up to 200 peppers per plant. They require 8-12 inch deep pots and take roughly 85 days until maturity. The hotter the chili pepper, the longer it takes to reach maturity on average. 
Kale is another great vegetable to grow in pots. It requires at least 8 inch pot depth and at least a 12 inch pot diameter. Kale is packed full of nutrients and is perfect for smoothies and salads. Use a well draining potting mix. The dwarf blue curled vates variety has curled bluish leaves. It is mature in 55 days and prefers direct sunlight. Make sure to keep this variety in a sheltered region away from wind. It will tolerate cooler springs and even winter. 
Lettuce requires minimum 6 inch pot depth due to its shallow root system. It prefers the shade. Burgundy delight is a variety that tastes nice and has a beautiful color. It is perfect for salads. You can either harvest the baby leaves or wait until full maturity, which should take roughly 35-60 days. This variety prefers direct sunlight. 
Onions are a staple vegetable for many dishes, so you know you will use them! Onions like at least 4 inch pot depth. Green onions tend to be great for containers. The Tokyo long white variety is mature in 65-100 days and is resistant against many diseases. 
Raddish can grow in small containers. The solaris hybrid varient is small and produces bright red radishes. Only 25 days until mature! They prefer direct sunlight.  Radishes do not like hot weather. They can be cooled down by adding additional water or placing in shade. Good draining moist soil is preferred. 
Spinach is another vegetable that is full of nutrients. It can easily be used in different types of salad or in smoothies. It requires at least 6 inch pot depth, but prefers a wider pot. It likes partial shade. Even a windowsill will work fine. The bloomsdale long standing varient has deep green leaves and prefers both sunlight and shade. It requires 45-55 days until maturity. 
Sweet peppers are another variety that are perfect for salads and stir fries. They can also easily be served alongside hummus and onion dips. The confetti hybrid variety produces 2 inch multi-colored peppers. Maturity is reached in 55-60 days and this variety loves direct sunlight. 75-85 days until mature. The jungle parrot variant creates bright and colorful peppers 2 inches in size. Again full sun and 75-85 days until mature. 
Although tomatoes are technically a fruit, they are so delicious that we will include them. They require at least 12 inch pot depth. Tomatoes can be super productive in pots if you treat them correctly. You can get up to 10 lbs per plant in a single season. Tomatoes require lots of direct sunlight and regular watering. The atlas hybrid varient is a beefsteak type that is very compact. It can produce up to one pound of tomatoes and requires 65-75 days until mature. 
Potatoes are another great vegetable to grow in pots. Garden potatoes have a different taste to store bought potatoes, as they contain more water. Potatoes require lots of soil and water. Luckily, fungus and other disease that can affect potatoes do not spread as easily in containers. They enjoy full sunlight and good draining soil. 
Squash requires lots of space in big containers. It prefers light soil and frequent watering. It is a good idea to choose a smaller type of squash to grow in pots, for example the honeybear acorn squash. It prefers full sun with rich and good draining soil.
Cucumbers love water and moist soil. Therefore, it can be an idea to use large plastic or ceramic pots, which help keep moisture inside the pot. The two regular types of cucumber are bush and vining. The bush is a shorter variant with smaller yields. The vining variety requires a trellis or tomato cage to grow upwards from. They prefer full or partial sun with good draining and moist fertilizer-enriched soil.
Arugula includes many edible flavors and the leaves are super tasty! They prefer at least 8 inch deep and 6 inch diameter wide pots. Preferably 6 hours of direct sunlight, but not too hot. Therefore, it can be an idea for them to receive morning sun and some partial sun or shade during the afternoon. Good draining and moist soil is preferred.
Eggplant has some compact varieties that are suitable for pots like Fairytail and Hansel. They still require quite large containers. They prefer full sun and good draining, evenly distributed moist soil.
If you want to learn more about container vegetable gardening, feel free to click on the link!