Vegetables you can Grow in Pots – Top 10

how to grow vegetables in pots

The list below includes some of the easiest vegetables you can grow in pots but remember there are many more options depending on your preference. Our list is ideal for a beginner gardener and represents a good range of the basics, for more information on growing vegetables in containers please feel free to contact us.

Most vegetables can be successfully grown in pots or other growing containers provided you use a nutrient rich compost or soil mix. If you are growing vegetables in smaller pots make sure you use compost rather than soil because soil will dry out too quickly and your plants will struggle.

Compost mix in plant potFor larger pots you can use a soil mix with approx 40% good quality loamy soil and 60% compost. As a rule of thumb I would recommend compost for plants grown in pots for one season and soil based mixes for more permanent planting like woody herbs or fruit bushes.

We recommend using a good multipurpose compost as a base with the addition of a slow release organic fertilizer like our ‘Seafeed’ seaweed and poultry manure pellets. ‘Rockdust’ ground volcasnic basalt is also a helpful addition in soil-less compost mixes as it provides the mineral content usually provided by the soil.

OK, here we go:

Lettuce leaves in containerLettuce
Size of Pot:

Salad crops are among the easiest and quickest crops to grow, they also need very little room so ideal for your first attempt at growing on a windowsill. Lettuce seeds are best sown on the surface of your compost and covered with a very fine layer of compost as the seeds need light to germinate, sow to deeply and they won’t come up. Lettuce can be sprinkled over the surface of your pot to grow a mat of baby leaf salad leaves or sown at the spacings recommended on the packet if you want to harvest a full head of lettuce.

Oriental Salads
Size of Pot:

Oriental salads offer a broad range of fast growing salad crops which include rocket, mizuna, pak choi and mustard leaf, the range is vast. Oriental salads are fast growing and are ideal for ‘cut and come again’ growing where three or more harvests cab be taken from a single pot. Flavours of oriental leaves range from mild in the case of pakchoi and mizuna through to spicy and hot for rocket and mustard leaves.

Grow radish in a plant potRadish
Size of Pot:

Freshly picked homegrown radishes are delicious with a satisfying crunch and slightly spicy flavour. There are a broad range of varieties with the most popular being ‘Cherry Belle’ or ‘French Breakfast’, all are very easy to grow and take approx 4 weeks for sowing seed to harvest. Radishes are ideal for growing in pots due to their size and ease and make a tasty windowsill crop where space is limited.

Baby Carrots.
Size of Pot:

Smaller pots are ideal for baby carrots which are harvested at an immature stage so deliciously small and sweet. Full size carrots will need to be grown in very large and deep pots or raised beds due to their deep root systems.

It is an advantage to grow baby carrots in pots as one of the main issues with growing carrots in the garden is a heavy clay or stony soil, using a fine compost in a pot will make it easy for the carrot to grow down and produce fine straight roots.

growing spring onionsSpring Onions
Size of Pot:

Spring onions or scallions take up very little space and can be planted in bunches which are harvested as you need them, they are a perfect crop for small container growing.

Spring onions also look fantastic when planted in as part of a display of potted vegetables with their long slender stems graduating from white at the bottom through to dark green at the tips of their leaves. Sow a small pot every 2 or 3 weeks to have a continuous supply throughout the Summer.

Growing beetoot in a containerBeetroot & Swiss chard
Size of Pot:

Beetroot swiss chard are from the same plant family with one being grown for the roots and the other for the leaves. Both are easy to grow and suit growing in containers in a good quality compost.

Beetroot seeds are actually clusters of 4 or 5 individual seeds so a single seed can be planted in a 5 litre pot and will produce a number plants depending on how many germinate. Smaller baby beets are recommended for growing in pots as larger beets which are checked in growth by the size of the pot can become woody and unpleasant.

Chard is a very productive crop as it will produce new leaves when cut so one or two plants will provide nutritious leaves for a full season. Leave plenty of room, ideally one plant per 5 litre pot.

Growing peas in a potPeas & Beans
Size of Pot:

Peas and beans work very well in pots and are a very attractive addition to a container garden especially when flowering before the pods are produced. Make sure you use a pot large enough to hold the plant support, a wigwam structure made from bamboos is ideal.

Dwarf bush varieties are also available for smaller pots which don’t climb so don’t need support like pea ‘Tom Thumb’ or the excellent ‘Purple Teepee’ dwarf French bean.

Peas and beans will stay productive longer if harvested vigourously, the more you pick the more you get!

Toamtoes in a plastic containerTomatoes
Size of Pot:

Depending on the climate where you live tomatoes are grown either outside in a sunny sheltered spot or inside in a greenhouse, polytunnel or bright conservatory.

Tomatoes are easy to grow and well suited to pots providing they are fed well; bear in mind a single tomato plant can produce hundreds of fruit so nutrient demands are high. Mix a poultry manure and seaweed pellet in with the compost and feed plants when required with a liquid tomato feed high in potassium.

Climbing and bush varieties are available depending on your preference, climbing varieties tend to be more productive and can be supported with a single pole fixed in the centre of a large pot.

Kale growing in a planterKale
Size of Pot:

Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable with the added advantage of being a virtually bullet proof plant able to survive all but the worst Winter temperatures. There are a number of varieties suitable for growing in pots with Russian Kale and Nero Di Toscana Italian kale being recommended.

Kale will also appreciate a well fed compost with poultry manure added, the final size of the plant will be relative to the size of the pot and the nutrients available.

Planting potatoes in a potPotatoes
Size of Pot:

I am including potatoes here as they are easy to grow in a potato bag planter which is essentially a very large pot. Potatoes are ideal as container grown vegetables providing you keep the well watered, lack of irrigation is the most common reason for small yields. For best (dare I say fantastic) results mix ‘Living Green’ wormcast compost with ‘Envirogrind’ soil improver at a ratio of 60/40.

Early varieties are more suitable for growing in pots as they mature quicker and are usually harvested before the the most common potato disease, blight, becomes an issue in late Summer.

Wooden raised garden pond shop

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2 Responses to Vegetables you can Grow in Pots – Top 10

  1. have been gardening for a long long time 50 plus years and i am learning a lot from you guys have got all the ingredients and looking forward to growing in pots this year the videos and written articles are great thank you for all the advice ATB Stephen

    • Andrew says:

      Hi Stephen. Thank you for getting in touch, I am glad you are finding our site useful. Let me know if I can be of any more help with your vegetable garden, I always learn a lot from hearing about other peoples gardens, it’s a 2 way street! I hope you have a great season. ATB. Andrew

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