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Five Easy Vegetables to Grow in Pots This Spring

Not all of us have the space for large, rambling vegetable gardens. If you’re short on a space but still want to flex your green thumb this spring, then container planting is a great option for you. But not every vegetable takes well to growing in a pot on your balcony. Thankfully, there are plenty of vegetables that do. Here are five easy vegetables to grow in pots this spring.

Peppers

First on this list is peppers. Incredibly versatile, this crop comes in a wide range of varieties. Choose your variety based on your preferences. Adjust for flavor, spice level, and intended use. Both hot peppers and sweeter peppers will grow well in pots, and the color of the crop can really spice up any balcony or smaller living space.

To really take off, peppers planted in pots need a good amount of room and plenty of sun. Make sure to choose a large container with good drainage, and ensure consistent watering, but be careful not to drown your poor plants. Too much or too little water can be a death sentence for container crops, so make sure to check soil moisture frequently.

Early seedlings should be started inside, moving larger, established plants to outdoor pots once all threats of frost have passed.

Peppers can be grown annually in all zones, making them a good choice for nearly any of our readers.

Tomatoes

There are few of us who don’t spend the winters dreaming about tomato season. There’s very little that beats slicing up a freshly picked tomato. These heroes of summer produce come in endless varieties, and the determinate varieties grow perfectly in pots. Make sure to give them plenty of room, and stakes or caging to support their fruiting vines.

You can certainly grow larger tomato varieties, but keep in mind that the bigger your tomato fruit, the bigger pot your plant will need. These guys like plenty of space, with ample soil and room to grow. Full sun is a must for most tomatoes. Be sure to pick containers according to your plant to avoid any crowding issues.

While some crops can find themselves to be frost resistant, tomatoes are not part of that club. A bit of cold weather can stunt your crop or kill it all together. If you started your tomatoes from seed this year, be sure to gradually acclimate them to cooler outdoor temperatures, or ensure to plant them well after the risk of frost.

Like peppers, tomatoes are great for all of our readers, and can be grown annually in all zones.

Lettuce

Get ready to eat your greens this year! Lettuce and other popular salad picks are great to grow in containers. In fact, some people even prefer it. Planting in containers means you have more control. Weeds, pests, and unwanted organic material can all be cleared more quickly from a pot than from a vegetable bed.

For success, pick moderately sized pots filled with rich, fertile soil. Water plants regularly and ensure that you supply your containers with excellent drainage.

To time lettuce, start a little earlier than you would with peppers or tomatoes. Lettuce is a spring crop, and most varieties will wilt in the hot summer heat. For extended grow time, move your pot into shadier areas as the dog days of summer encroach. Unlike tomatoes, lettuce appreciates more limited time in the sun.

Unfortunately, lettuce doesn’t love every climate. Readers in growing zones 4 to 9 can try their hand at growing lettuce this year.

Summer Squash

If you’re a beginner and are nervous to plant vegetables in pots this spring, then summer squash is here for you. Unlike tomatoes which demand sun and faint in cold, or lettuce which wilts in the heat, summer squash is easy to grow and relatively durable. They are tolerant to a longer growing season, and while they prefer full sun, a few shady days shouldn’t set you back too much.

To grow summer squash, opt for a large container. The crop can get big fast, and the squash will need room to rest without putting stress on the plant. Pick rich, high quality potting soil and water regularly.

Summer square is great for those readers in growing zones 3 to 10.

Snap Peas

Talk about a long growing season! Peas split their growing season in two. Put in containers once in early spring, and then try another round when the cooler fall weather comes. This is great news for those who want the joy of home grown vegetables well past the peak of summer. 

You can even reuse the potting soil you have grown your peas in, as these plants are great at adding valuable nitrogen to the soil. These plants grow quickly, are fun to harvest, and prepare your container for another, more finicky round of vegetables directly after harvest.

For the highest degree of success, place your pot in full sun and fill with enriched or loamy soil. Good drainage is a must, as always.

Readers in growing zones 2 to 11 can enjoy a double harvest of peas this year.

Grow Your Own Veggies in Pots This Spring

If you’ve been waiting for space or time to install that garden bed you’ve always dreamed of, then why not try your hand at something you can do right now? There are a long list of vegetables that can be planted in pots and containers. So whether you’re in an apartment, or your outdoor space is simply limited, you too can enjoy fresh produce this spring and summer.

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