Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

Container gardening is the perfect way to optimize your chance of a successful harvest. Whether you’re a complete novice or an urbanite with limited space, container gardening is the simplest and easiest way to grow for you.

The key to successful container gardening is to grow container-friendly vegetables. Some vegetables thrive in containers, while others struggle. Growing the right vegetable will ensure that you have success in your garden and can produce an abundant harvest.

Here are the best vegetables for container gardening, including best companion plants, soil, and containers for your growing journey.

Best Vegetables for Container Gardening List

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy/Baby Choy
  • Jalapeños
  • Arugula
  • Sage

Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

Below are the best vegetables for container gardening, complete with tips and details for each vegetable.

Peppers

Pepper Gardens

Season: Warm
Days to Harvest: 60-120
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Peppers

The vegetable varieties of peppers are plentiful — from sweet peppers like bell to hot ones like habanero — and each is a delight to grow for its own reasons. Whatever you grow, peppers love the heat and the sun and are best grown in spring or summer.

Water peppers often. Sometimes, peppers are toppled over by their own weight, so provide adequate growth support using a trellis, stake, or cage.

Tomatoes

Tomato Container Garden

Season: Warm
Days to Harvest: 50-90
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Tomatoes

There’s nothing more exciting to grow in your home garden than tomatoes. As soon as the weather warms up, it’s time to plant tomatoes. When growing tomatoes in container gardens, remember: more sun = more fruit. Be sure to give plenty of growing support to your tomatoes (though stakes or trellises) and water regularly.

Rosemary

Gardenuity Rosemary Herb Box

Season: Year-Round
Days to Harvest: Immediate from transplant / 42 from seed
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

This sweet woodsy herb is a delight to have in the kitchen (and behind the bar). We recommend growing from transplant indoors — best on your kitchen sill. You can also grow in containers on patio, porches, and more. Rosemary is very low maintenance and easy to grow.

Oregano

Oregano Herb Garden

Season: Year-Round
Days to Harvest: Immediate from transplant / 42 from seed Sun Needs: Part to Full (4-8 hours)

Oregano is a great vegetable to grow for beginner gardeners. It requires little maintenance and is quite a hardy herb. Plant from transplant to produce immediate harvests. Oregano offers a host of health benefits, including bacteria-fighting properties.

Carrots

Carrot Container Garden

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 50-70
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Carrots

Nothing is more thrilling than being able to pull a ready-to-eat vegetable straight from the ground. Because of this fun reveal and their universal likability, carrots are a perfect vegetable for families and kids to grow. It’s imperative to grow in a container that breathes and drains well so the roots can flourish.

Broccoli

Broccoli Container Garden

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 100-150
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Broccoli

The easiest way to get your kids to eat your greens is to grow them. Broccoli thrives in containers and has many exciting stages to observe. Smaller containers grow about 1 broccoli head per container, while larger containers can manage a few. Be careful to space broccoli 18 inches apart.

Bok Choy/Baby Choy

Bok Choy Container Garden

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 25-30
Sun Needs: Part (3-5 hours)

Grow something you can’t always get at the grocery store (like asian greens.) Bok choy has a mild and slightly bitter flavor that’s perfect for homemade ramen, stir fries, and seafood. Bok choy is particularly quick to harvest — perfect for impatient growers.

Jalapeños

Jalapeño Pepper Garden

Season: Warm
Days to Harvest: 80-100
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Peppers

Spicy food lovers, this is for you. Jalapeños are a great pepper to grow in container gardens — especially if you live in warmer climates. Grow pounds of spicy jalapeños in your backyard and make delicious homemade salsas, enchiladas, and more.

Arugula

Arugula - Best Vegetables for Container Gardening

Season: Cool
Day to Harvest: 45-60
Sun Needs: Part to Full (4-8 hours)

Arugula is the leafy green with a peppery taste that brightens all food — from pizza to salads. The leafy green is quite tolerant and can be planted for both spring and early-winter harvests. Arugula actually grows best in containers and raised beds, making it a perfect patio green.

Parsley

Parsley Herb Box

Season: Year-Round
Days to Harvest: Immediate from transplant / 70-90 from seed
Sun Needs: Part (5-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Parsley

Bright and green, parsley is a wonderful herb to have on hand. Grow it on your windowsill for a Mediterranean-style garnish at all times. If grown in larger containers or beds, parsley revives itself for a second season before going to seed.

Lettuce

Lettuce Garden Kit

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 45-55
Sun Needs: Part to Full (4-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Lettuce

Lettuce is a quick-to-harvest vegetable that’s perfect for impatient growers. It also is frost-hardy, making it great if you’ve just missed ideal planting times. Homegrown lettuces tastes way better than store-bought and also retains more nutrients!

Radishes

Radish Harvest

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 22-70
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Radishes are particularly fast growers — our #1 recommendation for kid gardeners. With a bright peppery flavor, radishes are roots worth growing. Plant in early spring — as quickly as possible (when the weather is still quite cool), and offer your radishes constant moisture.

Beets

Beet Harvest for Container Gardening

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 45-60 days
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Beets are outstandingly sweet vegetables and ideal container garden growers. In warm climates, they can be grown all winter long. In the north, plant in early spring — but be sure that the soil temperature is at least 40°F.

Basil

Basil for Container Gardening

Season: Year-Round
Days to Harvest: Immediate from transplant / 50-75 from seed
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: How to Harvest Basil (and other growing tips)

Basil is an herb that’s always handy to have. Top your pizza with it or create homemade pesto. Basil grows best when grown from transplant and is ready to harvest immediately after. Be sure to keep it in the sun.

Spinach

Spinach Container Garden from Gardenuity

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 37-45
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Spinach is the superfood leafy green that every household needs. You can grow spinach twice a year if you time it right. If you live in warmer climates, be sure to plant in the shade of a taller plant or awning.

Kale

Kale Concrete Planter

Season: Cool
Days to Harvest: 70-80
Sun Needs: Part to Full (4-8 hours)
Guide: How to Grow Kale

As the temperature drops this year, grow kale in containers. Growing kale from home makes it even more nutrient-dense than it already is. Cold-weather resistant, it’s a perfect candidate for fall container garden growing.

Best Soil for Container Vegetable Gardening

Gardenuity Potting Soil

Soil is imperative for proper vegetable growth — especially in containers. Creating the right soil environment will set your plant up for a good future.

When growing vegetables in containers, do not use soil straight from your backyard. Container gardens require soilless organic potting mixes found at your local store. Organic soils will give your plants better flavor while soilless mixes will aid in moisture retention.

Read more information on garden soil vs. potting soil here.

Alternatively, buy a customized soil option. Gardenuity’s soil mixture is customized to your plant to create the best possible results.

Grow pro tip: Be sure to add compost and other soil amendments to enrich your soil!

Best Containers for Container Vegetable Gardening

Best Containers for Container Gardening

The type of container you choose to grow your garden in is vital to successful growing. There are a plethora of options for containers, including grow bags, terra cotta planters, plastic containers, and hanging baskets.

The container with the most consistent results is a grow bag. Grow bags are usually good at draining and aerating. For example, the Gardenuity grow bag is made of micro-fiber that offers optimal air-flow for your roots. All grow bags are lightweight, making them easy to move in and out of the sun (or inside during a storm).

Terra-cotta pots, resin bowls, and hanging baskets are good alternatives. Just be sure that whatever container you choose has enough drainage, won’t bake in the sun, and can aerate for your plant.

Then, be sure to get a large enough size! Bigger is often better when it comes to container gardening (unless you’re growing herbs on your windowsill). Most vegetables will grow successfully in a 5-gallon container.

Best Companion Plants for Container Gardening

Companion planting is a smart way to aid your chosen plant’s growth towards a successful harvest. Companion planting is when you grow plants that work together in the garden to provide better results.

It’s best to match plants that have a similar need for water and fertilizers — especially when growing in the same container. To maximize space in small containers, combine trailing plants with upright plants.

Below are the complementary combinations and combinations to avoid when companion planting.

Good CombinationsAvoid these Combinations
beans + carrots + squashbeans + onions or garlic
eggplant + beanscarrots + fennel or dill
tomatoes + basil + onionstomatoes or squash + potatoes
lettuce + herbs of all kindsonions + beans or peas
spinach + onionscucumbers + sage

Seasonal Vegetables

Seasonal Vegetables for Container Gardening

Each season, different vegetables are ready to grow. Climate and timing matter when growing, even in container gardens where it’s more flexible. Create your best container garden by growing a plant that suits your season.

The best way to start a container garden is to simply start! To help you get started here’s the complete guide to container gardening here.

Gardenuity Container Garden Kits