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Planting something, watching it grow, and enjoying the fruits of your labor is one of life’s greatest joys.

Container gardening can be as fulfilling as large-scale farming when it comes to growing and harvesting your own food.

You don’t need a vast expanse—all you need is some space for buckets and containers and the ability to give your plants what they need.

Whether planting in your backyard, on a balcony, patio, or urban homestead, here are some of the best plants that are simply perfect to grow in containers.

a person wearing gardening gloves picking vegetables in a wooden planter

What You Need for Backyard Container Gardening

Plants need certain things to grow. Gardening, no matter the scale or type, needs the same basic things. To have a successful container garden, there are five key things you will need to make sure you have:

  • Space for the plants to grow
  • Large enough containers
  • Easy access to water
  • Enough hours of sunlight
  • Time to care for your plants 

Plants and Herbs to Grow in Containers

1. Tomatoes

tomato in container
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

This is one of the easiest crops to grow in a home garden; tomatoes are also perfect for containers as the root systems are not overly extensive and thrive with minimal care.

Related post: How to Support Tomatoes

2. Lettuce

Grouping of Sorrel Red Vein lettuce close-up.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Many varieties of lettuce can be grown in a homestead container garden. It’s an excellent way to keep fresh lettuce on hand for your salads.

Related post: How to Wash & Store Lettuce

3. Strawberries

strawberries in a bowl
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

With a more compact growing habit and a good ratio of plant space to crop yield, strawberries work quite well in containers and are a good way to get fruit into your garden space.

How to Grow Strawberries

4. Peppers

cayenne pepper
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Pretty much any variety of pepper, from jalapenos to bells to chillis, can be grown in containers, making a wonderful staple crop. 

5. Onions

onions-drying-in-the-sun
Image Credit: Homestead How-To

So long as the container is deep enough to allow the bulb to grow properly, onions can easily be grown in containers with minimal care.

6. Beans and Peas

pole beans growing in pot
Image Credit: Segray/Canva

You have plenty of options with beans and peas, such as green beans, black-eyed peas, and other crops that grow well in containers with a trellis or growing posts in place.

7. Eggplant

Two raw organic eggplant on old rustic wooden background
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Eggplants can thrive in a large container that supports the root system and provides enough room for the plant to grow freely.

How to Freeze Eggplant

8. Broccoli

Depending on the size of your container, you can grow several broccoli plants in a single container on a balcony, patio, or any other outdoor space with ample room.

9. Cabbage

A little harder than some other crops, cabbage is still a good choice for a homestead garden limited to container gardening due to space constraints and limitations.

cabbage plant in a pot on a brick walkway

10. Potatoes

While you will need large and deep containers for them, potatoes are another edible plant that works well in a container setup and doesn’t require a lot of space overall.

11. Dill

dill
Image Credit: Canva

Small in size but packed with plenty of flavor, dill is a common herb in homestead gardens. It thrives in containers and does well outdoors in a variety of environments.

12. Basil

Fresh green basil on black wooden table, flat lay
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

A staple of kitchens everywhere, when you want to have fresh basil for your cooking adventures, there is no better place to get it than from your container garden spot.

13. Parsley

Bunches of different herbs on wooden background
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

While it is often grown in the garden among other plants, parsley can also thrive in smaller containers, making it a great addition to your gardening layout. 

14. Oregano

oregano on a white plant pot
Image credit: Deposit photos

One of the big appeals of oregano is that it can easily be grown in a container, and it also offers a wonderful aroma that makes any outdoor space all the more inviting. 

15. Garlic

garlic
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

With big flavor and small packaging, garlic plants do not take up a lot of space and offer a good crop yield for the space they take up, which is why they are so popular in container gardens. Having garlic readily available, you can turn it into garlic powder, roast it, or use it as an ingredient in your mashed potatoes

16. Rosemary

Rosemary
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Grown as a flowering plant and a cooking herb, rosemary is another herb well-suited for growing in containers and can be placed in small containers among your other crops.

Related post: How to Dry Rosemary

17. Chamomile

Anyone who wants fresh sleepy-time tea will love having a pot of chamomile on hand for those sleepless nights or when it is time to sit back and relax with some fresh tea. 

chamomile plant with flowers

18. Lemongrass

Fresh lemongrass (citronella) on wooden background - Spice for health.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Full of flavor and tantalizing aroma, lemongrass can easily be potted up and grown in any outdoor space, making it another popular herb for homestead container gardening

19. Cilantro

bunch of green and fresh parsley leaves
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

A common addition to many recipes, cilantro can be kept in your garden space all season long by keeping a container of the flavorful herb.

20. Catnip

If you have a furry feline friend at home, consider making them their own little potted plant and keep some fresh catnip on hand for them to enjoy.

Much of the joy of gardening comes from seeing the fruits of your labor and enjoying it. Container gardening is a great way to practice more sustainably while ensuring you and your family have fresh food on hand when needed!

21. Blueberries

Fresh Organic Blueberries on the bush. close up background
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Blueberries grow very well in containers. It’s a great way to get fresh blueberries. Use it to make your favorite homemade blueberry preserves or as a topping on your pancakes.

Tamara White
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Tamara White is the founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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One Comment

  1. This is great !
    We live in snowy Michigan and it’s not too early to think about spring.
    It will be here before you know it!

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