Best Vegetables for Summer Container Gardening

Summer is an exciting and fun time to begin a container garden. With the sun and warm soil, summer is the time you can grow some of the most exciting crops in the garden.

However, consistent sunlight and high temperatures can be as problematic as helpful in the summer. Although having tips for hot weather growing will help, ultimately you need to choose the right vegetables to grow in summer container gardens. This will ensure you have a successful and fulfilling grow.

Here are the best vegetable varieties to grow in your summer container garden.

For the best vegetables to grow for container gardening regardless of the season, you can visit our master list of best vegetables for container gardening.

Best Vegetables for Summer Container Gardening (List)

  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • Squash
  • Beans
  • Greens
  • Berries
  • Okra
  • Eggplant

Grow any of these veggies now with the complete guide to container gardening.

Best Vegetables for Container Garden + Tips for Growing

You can successfully grow any of the below vegetables in the summer. Here are each crop’s needs, guides, and tips for planting.


Cucumber Summer Harvest by Hand

Days to Harvest: 50-70
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Cucumbers are the juicy and fresh-tasting vegetable that’s so perfect for snacking. They’re fast growers (and need to get pretty big), so be sure to weather them regularly — about 1-2 inches of water per week. Try to keep your cukes warm and consider a trellis or stake as they grow larger.


Tomato Garden Kit

Days to Harvest: 40-50
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: Guide to Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the golden child of summer gardens. From cherry to sun gold to roma, there are a thousand delicious varieties to grow. They love heat and particularly thrive when planted next to companion plants like marigold, basil, and chive. Grow from tomato seedlings for best results! Harvesting tomatoes can be a bit tricky so check out our guide to harvesting tomatoes.


Red Green and Yellow Pepper Garden

Days to Harvest: 60-90
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)
Guide: Guide to Growing Peppers

Peppers come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and heat levels — from sweet peppers, to jalapeños, to ghost peppers. Each variety is unique and has a different way to use it in the kitchen. Warm soil and warm sun are key, as is keeping your plants regularly consistently moist.


Squash Growing in a Garden

Days to Harvest: 50-65
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Squash is a fun vegetable to grow that allows for lots of exciting nights in the kitchen. Be sure to plant in a large enough container; squash needs lots of space to thrive. Grow one squash plant at a time in a container.


Strawberries Growing in a Summer Container Garden

Days to Harvest: 30- 50
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

While not a vegetable, strawberries are a particularly sweet and fun thing to grow in the summer. Strawberries grow well with lettuce, spinach, and thyme as companion plants and prefer a slightly acidic soil. Once strawberries begin to reach fully red, harvest every three days by cutting the stem.


Okra Harvest From Summer Container Garden

Days to Harvest: 50-65
Sun Needs: Full Sun (6-8 hours)
Guide: Guide to Growing Okra

Okra is particularly fond of the heat and sun, making it perfect for deep southern growers. Pick your sunniest spot to grow your okra, and water about 1 inch of water a week. Be sure to wear gloves while harvesting — okra has stiff-leaf hairs that can be uncomfortable to the touch!


Harvest a Summer Eggplant
picking up an eggplant

Days to Harvest: 100-150
Sun Needs: Full (6-8 hours)

Eggplants are perfect to grow in plant-based homes. (See this eggplant plant-based recipes for proof). One plant in a container will produce about 2-4 full-sized eggplants. Your harvests are ready when the fruit is glossy, firm, and full-colored.

Best Soil for Summer Container Gardening

The Best Summer Container Gardening Soil

Creating a robust and healthy environment for your plant is imperative to growing good harvests. Since your plant receives many of its essential nutrients from the soil, picking excellent soil for your garden is key to growing success.

When growing vegetables in containers, choose soilless organic potting mixes found at your local store. Organic soils give plants better flavor while soilless mixes aid in moisture retention.

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

Grow Pro Tip: Add compost and other amendments to your potting soil. Compost and amendments enrich the soil and will offer your plants a better home.

Best Containers for Container Vegetable Gardening

Best Containers for Container Vegetable Gardening

When growing in containers, there are many options for containers. You can grow in pots, terra cotta planters, plastic jugs, hanging baskets, creates, and more. Each container has their own merit.

The best container with the most consistent results is a grow bag. Grow bags are good for draining and aerating. Gardenuity’s grow bag is made of a micro-fiber fabric that offers optimal air flow and draining for your garden. Additionally, grow bags are also lightweight, making them easy to move in and out of the sun, shade, or storm.

Whatever type of container you choose to grow in, it’s key that it drains well, keeping your soil moist but not overly wet. Additionally, beware that some containers will bake your plant. (Metal containers are notorious for baking and killing plants).

Lastly, size is important. Bigger is often better when it comes to container gardening. Vegetables need room to grow a healthy root system. Most vegetables do well in a 5-gallon container. Check specifics for each plant.

Best Companion Plants for Summer Container Gardening

Companion planting is a smart way to help your chosen plant grow successfully. When you grow certain plants together, they work together and provide better results for both plants.

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 for each of your summer gardens.

Summer CropBest Companion Plants
CucumberAsparagus, radish, tomatoes, dill
TomatoesAsparagus, basil, marigold, mint, cucumber, garlic, parsley, sage
PeppersCucumber, radishes, carrots, squash, spinach, lettuce
SquashRadish, marigold, peas, beans
EggplantPepper, tomatoes, spinach
OkraCucumber, sweet pepper, eggplant, melon
StrawberriesChives, lettuce, onion, spinach, radish

How to Get Started

Growing your own food is one of the joys in life. Whether you live in a small space or have an endless backyard, container gardens are the easiest way to grow edible gardens.

The quickest way to get started growing is to just get growing. Pick your favorite summer plant from the list above, a container that suits it, and find a sunny spot for your container garden (porch, patio, balcony, fire escape, or rooftop).

Once you’ve done that, the rest is history!

If you want help with starting your garden here’s how to start a garden in four easy steps. 

If you’re a beginner gardener, click here for key spring gardening tips for beginners.

Get your container gardening kit now to begin your summer garden!

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