16 Vegetables That Grow In Containers

Ready to start growing your own vegetables? That’s awesome! Growing vegetables in containers is a rewarding experience and you only get better at it as the years pass.

Luckily, there are PLENTY of vegetables that can thrive in containers, pots, and even planting bags.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to get started, either.

You can get quality, organic and NON-GMO seeds for excellent prices from seed companies online or at your local garden center.

You can also take an easier route, though, and start some of your veggies from small plants, as long as they transplant well!

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If you think growing vegetables in containers sounds too difficult to attempt – I’m here to tell you it’s not that challenging!

If you want to master container gardening all you need is a container with a drainage hole, soil, water, sunlight, and a little time and patience.

My best recommendation when growing vegetables in containers is this: use self-watering planters! They will make watering SO much easier and convenient and they’ll help to keep your vegetable garden more low-maintenance.

Here’s the thing about growing vegetables: vegetable plants need A LOT of moisture.

The root system needs water to keep the plant healthy and if the plant experiences even one day of drought, the entire growth process can be derailed.

It’s actually very hard for a vegetable plant to come back from this and it’s what makes self-watering containers so invaluable.

Once you start growing your own vegetable garden, you might be surprised at how much water your plants need on a daily basis, especially during the summer when soil dries out quickly.

If you can’t get a self-watering container, just make sure you’re on top of your watering schedule and make sure to check your soil daily.

A soil moisture meter is good to have on hand, too, and it’s one of my favorite gardening tools.

Below I’m going to talk about 16 vegetables that thrive in containers but I think it’s smart to start small and choose a few of your favorites so you don’t get overwhelmed!

16 Vegetables That Grow in Containers


Garlic is one vegetable among many that can thrive in containers!

Yes, garlic is a vegetable and it grows amazingly well in containers!

Choose a wide or rectangular container (or raised garden bed), because you’ll need to space out the garlic bulbs about 5 inches apart when you plant them.

There’s nothing like having fresh, organic garlic to cook with, so plan ahead and plant garlic in the fall for spring and summer harvest.

You can plant in early spring, too.


Tomato Plant. Ripe tomatoes on the vine!

Tomatoes are a kitchen staple because you can use them to cook entrees, salsas, and side dishes.

Who doesn’t love fresh tomatoes?!

Tomatoes thrive when grown in containers, so you don’t even need a spacious yard to grow your own.

They need a lot of water though so this is where I would opt for a self-watering container.

Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow which makes them a very good starting point for beginners ( ok yes…tomatoes are technically a fruit but we all think of them as vegetables so that’s why it’s on this list!).

Keep in mind that your tomato plant will need plenty of sunlight – at least 5 hours a day. Check out these tomato seed options– there are a ton to choose from!

(To learn how to save your precious tomato seeds, head over to this super-informative permaculture post from Hillsborough Homesteading! )


Cucumber is one vegetable/fruit that thrives in containers!

Fresh cucumber (also considered a fruit) can be used in many different dishes, drinks, and cocktails.

Use a large container and be prepared to give your cucumber seeds plenty of water to help them get established.

Cucumber is one of the easiest vegetables to grow in containers, so once you start growing, you’ll reap a good harvest all season long!  You’ll definitely want to use a trellis once the plant begins to grow because this plant grows upward really well.

There are a lot of varieties to choose from and you’ll probably try a new one every year.

If you’re lost on what type to plant, try this cucumber garden variety pack; it includes some of the most popular cucumber varieties and all of the seed types are individually packed so you can keep track of each one. It’s an awesome way to grow and taste different types of cucumber.


Carrot in containers
Carrot Vegetable Plant

Carrots grow easily in containers but they do best when grown in a shaded area. 

Make sure to provide your carrots with enough moisture to help keep the roots cool and moist as they grow. 

There’s nothing like the taste of a home-grown, organic carrot. Try different varieties to see which is your favorite!

5. SQUASH (Zucchini)

Zucchini in Containers
Zucchini Vegetable Plant

Zucchini is another easy vegetable to grow and it’s very productive when grown in containers. It’s one of my top recommendations for beginners!

Start with quality zucchini seeds and you’ll wonder why it took you so long to grow your own squash!

You can also experiment with different seed varieties until you find your favorite! 

Zucchini is an especially convenient vegetable to have on hand if you’re vegan or vegetarian (I use it in soups all the time!).

It may just be my favorite vegetable. It can also be used in place of pasta and heavier carbohydrates if you’re on a low-carb diet. 


Kale is a leafy vegetable that thrive in containers!
Kale Leafy Vegetable

Kale has been all the rage for years now thanks to its super-nutritional benefits. It’s one of the healthiest leafy vegetables you can grow – perhaps the healthiest!

Kale is a cold-weather crop and doesn’t do well during the summer season, so be sure to plant some spinach if you crave leafy vegetables during the summer months. 

This is what also makes growing kale so awesome because you can continue gardening into the fall season. There are plenty of varieties to try, so do a little experimenting and plant a few seed types!


Spinach is one of 16 vegetables that thrive in containers!
Spinach Leafy Vegetable

Spinach is an easy vegetable to grow. Choose a wide container that is at least 6 inches deep.

Spinach thrives in partial shade, so make sure your container doesn’t get direct sunlight for too many hours of the day after you plant your spinach seeds.

Some of these seed varieties can grow all year long, so take a look and see if any appeal to you and your growing zone.

(Head to my How to Grow Spinach post for an in-depth growing guide!)


Radishes in one of 16 vegetables that grow in containers!

Radishes grow rather quickly and bountifully, which makes them fun to grow. Space your radish seeds 3 inches apart and use a bigger container if you want lots of radishes.

They’re incredibly healthy and are perfect for adding crunch to entrees and salads!

Always opt for quilty radish seeds. Radishes come in different colors, too, other than the standard red, so you might try your hand at something different this year!


Green peas are one of many vegetables that grow in containers!
Green peas

Peas pack a lot of protein, which is why you’ll see them in many vegan shakes and meat alternatives.

They’re also easy to grow; they grow on vines that don’t need additional support, unlike other vine-growing plants.

Plant this cool weather crop in the Fall or early Spring and about 5 inches apart for best results.


Peppers are an excellent vegetable to grow in containers!

Peppers and chiles can be very productive in containers – they’re a must-have if you like to make your own salsas.

Pepper plants need plenty of sunshine and a container that is at least 12 inches deep.

Spend a little time picking out the right pepper variety for your culinary needs!


You can grow different types of beans in a container, just be prepared for them to grow upward!

Use a container that is at least 12 inches deep, and you can use a trellis, wooden stick, or pole to stabilize them in your yard or balcony.

Some beans, such as the Lima Been (Thorogreen), however, don’t require a trellis.

Plant beans in early Spring and make sure they get a few hours of full sun each day. 

Also, make sure to look through the different bean varieties out there so you can get one that suits your taste and cooking needs.


Lettuce Is a vegetable that can grow in containers!
Lettuce plants

Lettuce is one of the most versatile and underrated vegetables out there and there are quite a few lettuce seeds to choose from!

Use lettuce in salads, tacos, burgers, wraps, and in place of tortillas or bread if you’re cutting back on the carbs.

There’s nothing quite like home-grown lettuce, so try planting some in a spacious container with good soil and direct sunlight.

There are many wonderful lettuce varieties to choose from, too.   


Beets are vegetables that can grow in containers!

Since going vegan, I’ve grown to appreciate beets – they’re great to add to salads and homemade juice.

They do very well in containers and are an excellent option if you live in an apartment and have a balcony that gets direct sunlight during the day. Start beet seeds in early spring.


Potatoes are vegetables that can be grown in containers!
Potato Plant

Yes, you can actually grow potatoes in containers -hooray!  If you provide the right environment for this starchy vegetable, each container will produce several pounds of potatoes. 

You’ll need a large bucket or container (5 gallon buckets) and well-draining soil. Experiment with different potato varieties


Cauliflower is a vegetable that grows well in containers!
Cauliflower plant

Few things are tastier than cauliflower steaks. Try them – they’re delicious!

Thankfully, cauliflower is an easy vegetable to grow in containers, just make sure you get a container that is at least 8 inches deep, and 18 inches wide so that the plant has plenty of space to grow. Check out different cauliflower options, here.


Broccoli is a vegetable that thrives and grows in containers!
Broccoli Plant

Just as with cauliflower, broccoli is an easy vegetable to grow, even for beginners. Use a container that is at least 8 inches deep and 18 inches wide.

Start broccoli seeds indoors a few weeks before your last frost date to get a head start on the growing season. 

There you have it…. A list of 16 vegetables that can be grown in containers!

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of growing your own produce – just make sure you’re armed with the right tools, soil, and know-how!

If you’re interested in growing your own herbs (highly recommended) this list of the easiest culinary herbs to grow will help you out, as well as this post about how to grow cilantro!


    1. Hi Bobbi,

      Any container will do, the larger the better (use a 1-gallon to 5-gallon pot for 1 plant and a 15-gallon pot for planting multiple plants). Your pot should be at least 10 inches wide and 12 inches deep. It should also have holes on the bottom so that the water can drain. Plastic pots retain more water, which is a good thing. You can also use a wooden half-barrel or a window box.

      1. Would a 5 gallon plastic bucket from the hardware store work? we can drill a few holes in the bottom. I’m thinking for tomatoes and cucumbers?

        1. Hi Darlene,

          Yes – many people successfully grow vegetables in plastic buckets. Good luck!

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