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No Garden? Grow These 10 Vegetables in Containers Instead

Couple planting container gardens on the roof of their apartment.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

If you lack the space for a proper garden, then container gardening is for you. Growing vegetables in pots is easy, and you get all the fresh produce benefits of a regular garden.

Regardless of where you live, we’ll tell you about plants that do exceptionally well in containers. Your apartment rooftop, driveway, or balcony are all possible places to grow fresh produce, so if you have a spot that gets sun and a container to spare, you’re in business!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the top-rated summer plants grown each year, and the best part is you don’t need a backyard or garden.

Choose a location where the tomatoes will receive at least 5-6 hours of sunlight, with an easily accessible water source. Determinate (or bush) tomatoes tend to do best in containers, so look out for heirloom, Roma, or individual cherry tomato seeds.

For determinate tomatoes, an ideal pot size should have an 18-inch diameter, and be sure there are drainage holes on the bottom. The bigger, the better, so be sure to have a large container as tomato plants can get quite big.

Green Beans

Pole beans, which are beans that need support to grow, tend to thrive in containers as well. For best results, you’ll need a pot measuring at least 12 inches as well as a pole to help the beans travel up.

Once they are ready to harvest, you’ll quickly find a plethora of gorgeous and crunchy beans. Eat them raw or enjoy these along with a lovely grilled fish dinner. For grilled fish and seafood dinner ideas, check out these recipes.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers, hanging off the railing of a deck down towards the planking.
Tortoon/Shutterstock

Growing cucumbers in a container is a great way to maximize space when you don’t have much of that where you live.

You’ll need a trellis or a deck railing close by to ensure they have a proper place to vine up. Make sure they have plenty of space, and as soon as a cucumber is ready for harvest, take your pick and enjoy them on a crisp salad.

Peppers

Both sweet and hot peppers tend to fair exceptionally well in containers. You’ll need to place the container in an area with full sunlight, and they’ll need plenty of water and excellent drainage.

Even better, these plants will do well indoors for a few days, so if you have a storm rolling in, you can keep those little guys safe from the pouring rain and aggressive wind.

Spinach

Spinach grows exceptionally well (and fast) in containers. You’ll want to keep these containers out of direct sunlight, especially during hot summer months, as the leaves are delicate and sensitive to heat.

Spinach grows well indoors during winter months but will need extra water to avoid the soil from drying out from the indoor heat.

Kale

Kale grows well in containers or pots, and the best part is they don’t need as much space as other plants. You can produce as many as five kale plants in one 20-inch pot.

They’ll need a bit of indirect sunlight every day, and similar to spinach, they grow well indoors. Kale is another plant that you can grow all winter long, as long as they are adequately taken care of.

Potatoes

Potatoes are happiest when they have plenty of soil, so be sure to use extra-large containers if you plant these tubers. The pots are excellent for providing extra protection from blight or other fungi.

So, if you want plenty of fresh potatoes this fall, plant your favorites and celebrate the harvest of your garden later on.

Radishes

Radishes growing a wooden container.
cha_cha/Shutterstock

Within a month or two of planting seeds, you’ll have gorgeous bulbs ready for harvest and consumption. Choose from one of the many varieties, and enjoy these tasty veggies (and the leafy tops) all summer long.

Beets

Cooked or pickled, these vibrant and bright beets grow well in containers, indoors, or outdoors. Choose a large pot before planting the seeds, and don’t mess with them too much once planted.

Before you know it, you’ll have fully grown and ready-to-harvest beets to top your salads, or preserve for months of good eating.

Lettuce

You’ll love growing lettuce in containers, because those greens come up fast, which is incredibly rewarding as a beginner. Not to mention, you have an endless supply of salad mix and sandwich filling.

You won’t need as much sun as other plants, so be sure to stick the container in a partial sunlit area. Try growing varieties of loose-leaf lettuce, as they do better than head lettuce.


Container gardening is ideal, especially for beginners, as you don’t have to deal with as many pests, diseases, or fast-growing weeds.

While you are starting to find that green thumb, grow a few different plants in large pots, and enjoy the easy harvest and satisfaction of growing your own food.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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