Growing vegetables in containers is becoming extremely popular. Container vegetable gardening is a viable solution for small urban lots, patios and balconies. The following space-thrifty varieties thrive in containers.
- Tomatoes – Any determinate variety will most likely thrive in a container. Dwarf cultivars work wonderfully –as well as standard cultivars.
- Squash – Although bush types are well-suited to containers, trellises placed in large containers can be used to grow vining types. ‘Honey Bear’ is a 2009 All-American Selections Winner is just the right size for two people. Bush acorn (winter) and Crookneck (summer) are great options.
- Peppers – Many hot peppers will work well in containers, including the classic ‘Jalapeño.’ Some newer varieties to try that will also add ornamental interest include the extra hot ‘Black Pearl’ and the multi-hued ‘Riot’ (can be pickled). Sweet pepper types including bell, red cherry and sweet banana also thrive in containers.
- Greens – Many European and Asian greens are good cool-season choices for containers. Harvest leaves when young for best eating quality. Warm season greens such as beets, spinach and chard also do well.
- Eggplant – Eggplants are warm season vegetables, planted after frost and useful in Mediterranean cooking. The black ‘Hansel’ and white ‘Gretel’ (the ideal companion to Hansel) are non-bitter selections, suited to containers and great for grilling.
- Cucumbers – Cucumber vines can be grown in trellised containers or choose compact vine varieties. ‘Bush Baby’ provides blocky medium-sized fruits on compact multi-branching vines. Lucky Strike variety may be eaten fresh, but is also well-suited to pickling. Other options include: Salad Bush, Bush Champion, and Spacemaster
- Potatoes – Yukon Gold, Red Pontiac
- Corn – Kandy Korn, Golden Bantam
- Kohlrabi – Grand Duke
- Garlic – German Extra Hardy
- Celery – Early Snowball
- Carrots – Tiny Sweet
- Cabbage – Baby Head
- Beets – Ruby Queen
- Beans – Bush Blue Lake
- Sweet Potato – Beauregard, Georgia
- Strawberries – Alpine, Sarian
- Spinach – any variety
- Radish – Champion, Icicle
- Pumpkin – Baby Boo, Small Sugar
- Peas – Early Patio, Sugar Daddy
- Onion – White Bunching, Early Yellow Globe
- Turnips – Purple Top White Globe
These containers are often incorporated into the outdoor living space, so consideration should be given to visual appeal.
Thank you to our friends at CSU extension “Plant Talk” for this article.