Small space gardening

Everything you need to know to plant in containers, leverage vertical gardens, and more

Best crops for pots

Some veggies are more suitable than others for container gardening

Best crops for pots

Norman A. Plate

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Any vegetable that grows in the ground can be grown in a container. But some crops, such as corn and pumpkins, may not be worth the effort. You don't have to stick with so-called patio (dwarf) varieties. Most standard-size vegetables are suitable for container culture. For beans and carrots, plan to sow seeds directly in the soil-filled container. Grow other types of vegetables from seed, or purchase ready-to-plant s. Eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes started from seed take about eight weeks to develop seedlings ready for transplanting.


Pot depth: 14-16 in.

Soil temperature (at planting time): At least 60°.

Spacing: Direct-sow seeds 2-3 in. apart.

Pole beans are more productive over the long run than bush beans (which produce their crop all at once). Train the 6- to 8-ft.-tall vines on a trellis or tepee made from bamboo poles. Try 'Blue Lake Pole', 'Helda' romano, or heirloom 'Kentucky Wonder'.


Pot depth: 9-14 in.

Soil temperature: At least 55°.

Spacing: Direct-sow seeds 1/2-1 in. apart; thin seedlings 1-2 in. apart.

Choose a deep pot for carrots with long roots, such as 'Nantes' half-long type (7 in. long). Shallower pots are adequate for shorter carrots such as 'Short 'n Sweet' or round ones like 'Thumbelina' (shown). Don't let the soil dry out.


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