Vegetables in Containers

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Container Gardening
Vegetables in Containers

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Pots & Planters

 In this Series

Container Intro

Container Rules and Overview
Color and Design
Potting and Repotting
Hanging Baskets
Planting Hanging Bags
Vegetables in Containers
Layering Bulbs and Plants
Vines and Roses in Containers

cherry tomato in hanging basketMany vegetables can be grown successfully in containers.  Select a container large enough to hold the plants and accommodate their root systems.  

Tomaoeos and Peppers in containersPlastic or clay pots, old pails, bushel baskets, old washtubs or sinks, wooden planters or hanging baskets will hold vegetable plants.  Large hanging baskets are great for cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

cabbage plant in a potTreated wood is NOT recommended for growing food crops in containers as the chemicals leech into the soil and then into the plants.

Ensure there is good drainage from the container. Drill four or more 1/4 holes evenly spaced around the bottom of the container.  A one-half inch of coarse gravel at the bottom will help with drainage.

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Container Sizing

Six to ten inch diameter pots are satisfactory for chives, parsley, herbs or miniature tomato plants.  Most tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc. will require a 3-5 gallon container.  Here are some container sizes for vegetables.


Size (minimum)

# of Plants


2 gallon

Thinned to 2-3" apart


1 gallon

1 plant


2 gallon

Thinned to 2-3" apart


1 gallon

2 plants


1 gallon

1 plant

Green Beans

1 gallon

2-3 plants

Leaf Lettuce

1 gallon

4-6 plants


1/2 gallon

1 plant


2 gallon

2 plants


2 gallon

Thinned to 1-2" apart


1 gallon

Thinned to 3 inches apart

Swiss Chard

1 gallon

1 plant


1 gallon
1 gallon

1 plant
1 plant

Conversion Table - pot
size and soil amount

Inside Pot 
Diameter Inches
Amount of
Soil to Fill


1 cup
4 2.5 cups
 5 1 quart
 6 2.5 quarts
7 3 quarts
8 1 gallon
 9 1.5 gallons
10 2.25 gallons
12 3.5 gallons
14 6 gallons

Varieties to Grow

Here are some of the best varieties of popular vegetables for growing in containers.

Crop Best Home Garden Varieties to Grow
Beets Ruby Queen
Cabbage Any are fine 
Carrots Little Finger, Danver's Half Long, Nantes Half Long
Cucumber Salad Bush, Bush Champion, Spacemaster
Eggplant Dusky
Green Beans Topcrop, Tendercrop, Derby
Lettuce Green Ice, Salad Bowl, Red Sails, Black Seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch, Oakleaf
Parsley Dar Moss Curled, Paramount, Italian Flat Leaf
Pepper Lady Bell, Gypsy, Crispy, New Ace, Bell Boy, Red Chili
Radishes Champion, Comet, Sparkler, White Icicle, Early Scarlet Globe
Spinach American Viking, Long Standing Bloomsdale, Melody
Summer Squash Pic-N-Pic (yellow crookneck)
Swiss Chard Fordhook Giant (white ribbed), Lucullus (green ribbed)
Jetstar, Celebrity, Super Bush

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