Best crops for pots

Some veggies are more suitable than others for container gardening

Best crops for pots
Photo: Norman A. Plate

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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