Growing vegetables in planters is an easy way to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce no matter the size of your outdoor oasis. These container vegetable garden ideas are productive, beautiful, and can be up and running in no time.
1. Use Colorful Containers
Boost the color in your garden by using bright pots. These glazed containers in cheery shades of blue, orange, and yellow instantly add interest to a display of purple basil, Hungarian wax pepper, tomato, parsley, and golden oregano.
2. Hang Natural Baskets
If ground space is limited, why not plant your vegetables in hanging baskets? Compact or “bush” varieties are best, though many herbs grow well in hanging baskets too. This pairing of tomato and basil, for example, creates a delicious and attractive display.
20 BEST Vegetables, Fruits \u0026 Herbs for CONTAINER GARDENING: Growing in the Garden
3. Upcycle Old Containers
Give your garden personality—and save money—by using recycled containers as planters. Here, old wine crates provide a perfect home for small produce varieties, including lettuce, Thumbelina carrots, everbearing strawberries, and signet marigolds.
4. Play With Height
Select containers of different sizes to create a dynamic grouping and offer additional visual interest. These four containers filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, basil, thyme, and parsley add lots of visual appeal to a landscape.
5. Grow Colorful Vegetables
Use vegetables with attractive foliage, flowers, or fruits in your favorite planters for a look that’s both edible and visually stunning. Here, red-stemmed Swiss chard, glowing ‘Lemon Gem’ marigolds, and hot peppers add great color and texture to a container garden scene.
6. Mix in Edible Flowers
Add color and cheer to your container garden (not to mention your salads, desserts, and other dishes) by growing edible flowers. Here, calendula and signet marigolds brighten a patch of Swiss chard, cabbage, basil, and tomatoes.
7. Make A Window Box
Let delicious scents waft into your home each time you open a window by growing herbs in your window boxes along with vegetables. In this example, ‘Pesto Perpetuo’ basil serves as a focal point, while compact ‘Tumbling Tom’ tomatoes, spearmint, lemon thyme, and oregano spill over the side. Purple sage, red-veined sorrel, purple kale, and rosemary all add to the mix of scents, flavors, textures, and colors that make this window box irresistible.
8. Use Textural Contrasts
Make a stunning statement—even if you’re growing all-green plants—by combining textures. Here, rosemary’s fine needles are a perfect balance to the big, bold leaves of an eggplant. A potted citrus, lemon verbena, and thyme further enhance the scene.
9. Add Some Ornamental Grass
Grasses seem to go with everything because their fine textures show off other plants well. Add a few to your container garden, or score a similar look with onions and chives. They work well with the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers shown here. Test Garden Tip: Lemongrass is another great pick for adding a grassy texture.
10. Contain Vining Vegetables
While some vining edible plants like watermelons or pumpkins usually require a lot of space to grow, others will do just fine in a container, like the scrambling cucumber seen here. With its big leaves and bright flowers, it’s a natural showstopper—especially when paired with an upright plant such as rosemary. Look for lemon cucumbers for an added splash of color.
11. Add Stylish Support
Vining edible plants like cucumbers, beans, or peas work best in a container when given a trellis to climb. You’ll also want to stake taller plants such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers to keep them upright. Here, simple bamboo stakes are enough to hold up a ‘Patio’ tomato plant that gets about two feet tall, while pumping out a prolific crop of fruit. At the base, ‘Indigo Moon’ wishbone flower and ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra provide a pretty contrast to the tomatoes’ bold red color.
12. Try Succession Planting
Gardeners can get more produce from a small space by using a technique called succession planting. Once your plants are finished producing fruits or veggies for the summer, replace them with something else (such as a cool-season vegetable like broccoli if warm weather is coming to an end). The lettuce seen in this container will fade in summer, allowing you the space to grow eggplant, peppers, or another heat-loving veggie.
13. Keep It Compact
You may be able to get more plants than you think in a tight space. Here, a container garden showcases a variety of vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, radishes, and herbs. By choosing compact varieties and planting them closely together, you can maximize your yield in a small area.
14. Create a Salad Bowl Garden
Grow all the ingredients for a fresh and delicious salad in one container. This salad bowl garden features lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs like basil and parsley. It’s a convenient and attractive way to have a constant supply of salad greens right at your fingertips.
15. Grow Vertical
Utilize vertical space by growing vegetables on a trellis or vertical garden structure. Vining plants like peas, beans, and cucumbers are perfect for vertical gardening. Not only does it save space, but it also adds height and visual interest to your container garden.
16. Create a Herb Tower
Herbs are a great addition to any vegetable garden, and they thrive in containers. Make a herb tower by stacking pots of different sizes on top of each other. Plant different herbs in each pot, such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint. It’s a practical and decorative way to have a variety of herbs in a small space.
17. Grow Microgreens
Microgreens are young, tender greens that are harvested when they are only a few inches tall. They are packed with nutrients and have a delicate flavor. Grow microgreens in shallow containers and harvest them when they are small. You can grow a variety of microgreens, including kale, arugula, radish, and spinach, for a colorful and nutritious addition to your meals.
18. Build a Raised Bed Garden
If you have a larger space or want to dedicate a specific area to your vegetable garden, consider building a raised bed garden. Raised beds provide excellent drainage, allow for better soil control, and make gardening more accessible. You can construct raised beds using wood, stone, or other materials and fill them with a nutrient-rich soil mix for optimal plant growth.
19. Mix Vegetables and Flowers
Create a visually appealing container garden by combining vegetables and flowers. Choose flowers that attract pollinators and repel pests, such as marigolds, nasturtiums, and calendula. Plant them alongside your vegetables to add color, attract beneficial insects, and create a harmonious and vibrant garden.
These vegetable container garden ideas offer a range of options to suit different preferences and space limitations. Whether you have a small balcony or a spacious backyard, you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your own fresh vegetables in containers. Get creative, experiment with different plant combinations, and enjoy the beauty and bounty of your container garden.