How to Garden Vegetables in Pots


Even in the most urban apartment, you can grow your own fresh produce by using the container method of growing. All you need is a balcony, patio or windowsill, and a few pots, and you're good to go. Plants like peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, onions and lettuce are just a few of the many vegetables that can be grown in containers. Pots for the vegetables can be purchased at any garden center and often at the local dollar store.

Step 1

Determine what type of vegetables you want to grow. Lettuces, herbs and green onions can be grown in smaller pots than vegetables such as tomatoes or eggplant. For a good mixture, choose pots that range from 6 inch in size for lettuces and herbs, up to around a five gallon capacity for tomatoes. See the link in the Resource section for pot capacity sizes for various vegetables.

Step 2

Start the seed in peat pots filled with moist, good quality potting soil. Fill each pot 3/4 full with soil and place 2 to 3 seeds inside. Cover with another 1/4 inch of soil. If you are planting lettuce or herbs, you can plant directly into the growing pot, using the same method.

Step 3

Loosely cover the peat pots with plastic wrap until you see the seedlings emerge from the soil.

Step 4

Keep the pots moist as the plants grow for 1 to 2 weeks. After the seedlings are established in the pot, thin each pot to one plant each by removing the weaker looking plants in the pot.

Step 5

Transplant the seedlings, one per pot, into the containers. Fill the container with fresh potting soil, dig a hole in the center twice as deep and wide as the peat pot. Place the peat pot into the hole and cover with more potting soil. Water the pots thoroughly.

Step 6

Place the pots on windowsills or in front of a large window. Water as needed to keep the soil moist in the pots.

Step 7

Place the pots outdoors on a balcony or patio, if you have one, during warm spring days. Bring the pots indoors anytime a frost is predicted for your area. Once that danger has passed, the containers can be left outside to grow until harvest time.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Peat pots
  • Potting soil
  • Vegetable seed
  • Plastic wrap
  • Garden spade


  • University of Maryland: Container Vegetable Gardening: Healthy Harvests from Small Spaces (PDF)
  • University of Arizona: Vegetable Garden

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M: Container Chart and Info
Keywords: vegetables in pots, container gardening, vegetables in containers

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.