Best Vegetables to Grow in Containers

Whether small yard, sans yard, poor soil quality or bothersome bugs—sometimes it just makes sense to grow vegetables in containers. Get the same fresh, homegrown taste for your greens—all without digging! Here are the best vegetables to grow in containers:


Red and green tomatoes on vine

Growing tomatoes in containers is a fan favorite for a reason—it’s easy and yields delicious fruit. A full-grown tomato plant will need a large pot, between 18 and 24 inches in diameter. For tinier tomato varieties, like cherry tomatoes, you can use a smaller pot. Pots require drainage unless they’re made out of fabric.

Since tomatoes are heavy, containers need a support system. Insert a tomato cage in your container when you first plant it—doing it after the plant has grown can damage the roots.

Tomatoes need at least 6 hours of sunlight and plenty of water. The soil should be consistently moist.


Lettuce growing in container

Lettuce and field greens are perfect contenders for containers. Lettuce has short roots, so they require a shallow container with at least 6 inches of soil. You can grow multiple varieties of lettuce in the same container. Make sure to choose a long, rectangular container.

Just like tomatoes, lettuce requires soil that is consistently damp (not wet). The container should have drainage holes, but the material doesn’t matter.


Cucumber growing on vine

Cucumbers grow fast and produce a large amount per plant. You’ll need to know the type of cucumber you plan on growing before choosing a container. Bush cucumbers grow on short vines and don’t require a trellis. Vining cucumbers are larger and require a trellis for support.

For bush cucumbers, choose a pot at least 12 inches in diameter. For vine cucumbers, pick a pot at least 18 inches in diameter. All pots should have drainage holes unless they’re fabric.

The secret recipe to delicious cucumbers: Sunshine and consistent moisture.


Peppers growing on plant

Whether you prefer hot and spicy or sweet and mild, many pepper varieties thrive in containers with plenty of sunlight. Pepper plants are on the smaller end of vegetable sizes. This makes it easy to transport them indoors if stormy weather ensues.

Keep the soil consistently damp and make sure the container has proper drainage. Their small size makes them one of the best vegetables to grow in containers.

To step up your garden game, try a raised garden bed. To get started, check out our infographic on raised garden bed designs.

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