Container Gardening: 11 Fruits and Vegetables You Can Grow in a Pot

2012-07-05T10:01:35+00:00Home & Garden|

I’ve already taken a few pot shots, discussed pots of money, shown you how to sweeten the pot, thrown you into the pot, and given you ideas for a pot luck, I guess it’s time to go to pot with container gardening. But please, if you don’t have a pot to pi$$ in then I can’t help you. I ain’t perfect.

Yeah, this post is about container gardening. Container gardens are the perfect solution for those who don’t have the space or time to build larger square foot gardens. Container gardens are small and perfect for those renting apartments or living in condos – and they’re lots of fun!

container gardening growing tomatoes in pots

I first learned about container gardening years ago while living in an apartment building in downtown Ottawa. My neighbors one balcony over were container growing experts and often shared their extra green beans, tomaotes, and strawberries with me. Since that time I’ve been a huge fan of growing vegetables in a pot and have saved hundreds on fresh produce all while having fun.

If you’re limited on space but would still love to grow your own food then give these 11 fruits or vegetables a green thumbs up and don’t be afraid to throw them into a pot!

grow strawberries in strawberry pots

Stuff You’ll Need:

  • Planter pots: A 10-inch diameter clay pot costs about $5. Plastic containers cost 50% less.
  • Soil: Untreated potting soil costs about $2 to $3 per bag, enough for several pots. Or make your own compost for free!
  • String or Twine: Use to string up beans, tomatoes, or peas.
  • Watering can: A small bucket works fine but a spouted can costing $5 to $10 makes watering a lot easier.
  • Seeds or plants: Growing from seeds is less expensive than potting plants but takes a while longer.

11 Fruits and Vegetables You Can Grow in a Pot!

This list of fruits, vegetables, and herbs all grow well together, so feel free to plant several herbs together in a single pot to save some cash. The only way to fail with container gardening is to not water! You can also pay a little more for special containers though and I know some people who will only grow strawberries in strawberry pots. But I’ve grown plenty of berries in just regualar flower pots. ๐Ÿ™‚ So go find some terra cotta or plastic containers, add some soil, plant and few seeds and let’s get growing!

container gardening growing strawberries in containers

1. Grow Strawberries in a Pot

Who doesn’t love summer sweet strawberries in a yummy strawberry crisp? Anysweettooth, the two best types of strawberry plants for containers are the ever-bearing and the day-neutral varieties. These strawberry plants tend to yield a regular harvest from late spring until early fall. Ask your local garden shop for the best strawberries for your area and be sure to mention you’re growing strawberry plants in pots.

2. Plant a Potted Herb Garden

Fresh herbs bought from the grocery store are expensive. Starting a small herb garden in a pot can provide you with fresh herbs all summer long. Rosemary, basil, thyme and sage can all be planted together in a single container.

3. Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Can I grow cherry tomatoes in a container? The answer is YES! I’m currently growing some outstanding cherry and heirloom tomaotes in containers. While many garden varieties of tomatoes require a large area to plant and grow, there are plenty of newer varieties that thrive in a pot. Ask at your garden centre for “patio tomatoes” and consider planting smaller tomato varieties. Growing tomatoes in pots is pretty easy but you’ll probably have to string them up for some support.

4. String Up Snap Peas, Snow Peas, or Beans in a Pot

Planting snow peas in a container is fun. Over the years I’ve had excellent success with a variety of snap peas, green beans, and yellow beans. Just run some strings up your balcony and get vertical to get some fresh peas and beans growning in a pot and onto your dinner plate.

5. Get Rad with Radishes in a Pot

Radishes are quick and easy to grow in a pot and donโ€™t take much space. Radishes are yummy in salads, are fabulous with hummus dips, and add some bite in the hot summer heat. They’re also a great way to spice up a budget family meal!

6. Sling Fresh Summer Salads into a Container

Get a head’s-up by passing on traditional lettuce heads and opt for spring mix varieties to gets some green into your fresh summer salads. Spring mix varieties grow in less space and can be harvested frequently while heads of lettuce take up a lot of space.

7. Beat It with Beets in a Pot

Beets grow easily in a container and are a part of my container gardening strategy. Just be sure to use a large enough pot to allow for your beeters to root deep and delicious.

8. Get Slawed with Container Cabbage

Container cabbage takes a little bit of work. When the cabbage head is first forming on your plant, slice the top part of it into quarters (when looking down) to grow four smaller heads instead of one large one.

9. Ward off Vampires with Garlic in a Pot

A smaller rectangular planter can grow enough garlic to last you a long time. Itโ€™s easy to grow, and if you dry it after harvesting it could last you well into the winter.

10. Get Spicy with Hot Peppers in a Pot

If you live in a warmer climate, hot peppers such as jalapenos are simple to grow in a pot. They can be used as attractive ornamentals while providing some home-grown heat for your sassy salsa or your homemade chili.

11. Get Cool with Container Cucumbers

Cucumbers are great for cooling sore, puffy eyes and taste great in a summer salad. Just don’t plant the massive field cucumber varieties in your container garden since these require a lot of space. Small pickling varieties grow well in a pot and taste great both fresh and pickled.

Growing vegetables in containers is a fun and frugal way to get some seasonal produce onto your dinner plate for less. If you’ve got a patio, a front door landing, or some modest space for hanging pots then don’t be afraid to get vertical and have some fun with container gardening. You might just find that you’ll love going to pot!

More great gardening stories:


  1. Chiot's Run July 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I grow all kinds of things in pots, mostly herbs that I can bring indoors in the winter. I particularly like cabbage in pots, they’re like giant green roses.

  2. Camilla July 21, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Wonderful post! I live in a small apartment, with a sunlit french balcony in my room. Now I can start actually using it for something fun – and beautiful!

  3. CindyS July 21, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Thanks for mentioning my post, Fox. Don’t forget upside down tomatoes for those of us who are in the bottom of the pot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Beth July 21, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I love pots! I live in apartment with a sunny window and balcony and find I can successfully grow lettuce outside and herbs indoors (starting in August).

    This year I’m growing my own mesclun mix, yum!

  5. Chris July 21, 2009 at 5:17 am

    I put my roof garden in the 3rd week in May. I’ve been eating all sorts of greens and radishes waiting for the tomatoes to ripen. Ohhh…4 early girls look about to explode. I think I’m at around 70 tomatoes in various stages of growth. The next 2 weeks are going to be the longest I can remember wating for tomatoes. It’s been a lot of fun growing stuff on the roof. I haven’t eaten anything this fresh since I left the farm after high school.

    The jalapenos are growing too fast for me, the basil is jungle-like. mint, sage and oregano are everywhere. Beets and turnip greens vie for salad bowl space with the mesclun and radishes. I should have planted cucumbers. and some beans. and some of those nice japanese turnips/ tokyo cross. and some thai eggplants and tomatillos and little zuchinni and yellow crook necked squash…oooh…and maybe those little honeydews or the tiny watermelons…oops. Getting carried away.

  6. Caitlin July 21, 2009 at 5:54 am

    What do you slice up the cabbage with? Just a regular knife? It doesn’t damage it too much?

  7. Sagan July 21, 2009 at 7:47 am

    You can grow so much in a pot!

  8. Garden Gopher July 21, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Once you perfect growing vegetables in a container you can take the next step. Raised bed gardening.

  9. puerhan July 21, 2009 at 11:14 am

    What about slugs where the plants are outdoors? Any help please – our potato, lettuce, courgette plants (maybe sweet corn too) are being consumed by slugs and/or snails before we get a look in!!

  10. […] Squawkfox gives some great advice (with photos!) on how to start your own container garden. […]

  11. […] presents Going to Pot with Container Gardening posted at squawkfox, saying, “Thanks in advance for considering my […]

  12. […] If you live in an apartment or townhouse you might want to check out one of these two articles Going To Pot With Container Gardening and 12 Vegetables You Can Grow In A […]

  13. Trish Fritz August 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Growing plants in a container gardening is a fun to do. And it helps you in many ways. They can beautify your home and add fragrance. They can ease your stress and tiredness. Some can even give you flavor for your dish and some can really be cook. So, it gives not just fun but food and medicine too. Be creative and design your pots. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can recycle. You can ever use your shoebox, can, crack pot, cup or anything that you want. It’s up to you. It should just have a drainage and consider the amount of space your plant needs.

  14. cheapogroovo August 11, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Like Chiot’s Run, we bring our herbs into our bay window for the winter. It is a little drafty there, but they do OK.

    I’m not trying to sell you anything, but I only use High Mowing Seeds. I went from telling my wife “Tear out all the grass, are you nuts” to wanting to grow everything!

  15. Rebecca Lee Bliss November 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Okay this here, is great. I just moved to Arizona from New York (I’m not too happy about it, but that’s a whole other story) The thing is, my balcony in NY was apparently perfect an I had a decent veggie garden. Now my balcony is surprisingly shady, which is good and bad since the temps go up to 118 here. So my dilemma is shady balcony and arid temps. a secondary question is, how much do we yield. Although I would do it for pure fun, I want to know if I could actually make an ongoing practice.

  16. E. March 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    You can also grow the bottom 2 inches of a celery bouquet in a simple bowl of water in a nicely-lit area. Add soil for a richer crop. I found this on an Independent Living article. (I’ve since lost the link, but just look up Independent Living’s website and scroll around it to find the details, and possibly some other money-saving ideas. It should be the site with a red background that’s all about do-it-yourself.)

  17. Amber April 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

    For anyone with slug problems or things
    Ike that. Try lady bugs! They get rid of almost everything!

  18. monique June 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I grow lemons, limes, mint, garlic, and onions in containers.

  19. Pene June 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

    You can also by some topsy turvy’s after the season has passed. I picked 2 of them for peppers for $1 each. They also had some for tomatoes for $2. Both from Big Lots. I was then ahead of the game the next season.

  20. Charlotte June 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Your posts have inspired me to try out container gardening. So far, out of the six plants I carefully researched for ease of growing and tenderly sprouted and planted out, two MAY survive.
    The cucumbers were eaten by something within a week of transferring outside.
    The purple basil made it to 1mm high then promptly died.
    My salad didn’t like the potting soil and stopped growing as soon as it was re-potted.
    And now my Kentucky Wonder pole beans, which were my pride and joy, have developed Mosaic Virus and are wilting faster than the new leaves can grow.

    *cries into my cilantro, the only plant that hasn’t abandoned me*

    I am still holding out hope for my peppers though.

  21. cheryl April 25, 2015 at 4:56 am

    I grow sugar snap peas, sweet bell peppers, garlic chives, onion chives, oregono, parsley, spinach, mixed salad, strawberries and blackberries all in containers on my balcony. They are all doing well and beginning to flower and fruit. My spinach and salad mix are looking and tasting GREAT! I am patiently waiting for the peas peppers and berries. They should be ready to harvest in a few more weeks.

  22. Amanda September 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Charlotte — funny/not funny: the cilantro was one of the few things in my container garden that didn’t survive. Also the lettuce never even really got going and the strawberries that were good were eaten immediately. Peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers have been the most successful. I’m going to do it again next year but start earlier and buy smaller varieties and try local strawberries.

  23. Amber S March 10, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Thanks so much this post was very helpful. I have been working on my container garden for the past two years. Each year I like to add something new to it. I have also found you can grow green peppers and grand bell peppers in containers. They take about a 24″ container and need to be stung up to help with growing straight but are still good producers. Onions can be done as well in a pot though I would suggest depending on the size of your family a rectangular pot and then space them about an 1″-2″ apart diagonally to allow them room to grow. I typically use 1-2 24″ long boxes that hang over the railing so that they are up off the main part of the balcony so that I can go out and enjoy the garden. This year i am looking at expanding my garden to add berries.

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