By Kathi Thistlethwaite, Colorado Master Gardener
This is the fifth of a six-part series focusing on container gardening in Colorado.
How rewarding it is to grow vegetables at home! The July-August 2020 issue of The Garden Buzz newsletter focused on container vegetable gardening basics to guide gardeners in the use of pots, buckets, bags or vertical growing systems. The CSU Container Gardening Fact Sheet and the chart below can help gardeners purchase the proper plant varieties for the best container size. Varieties can be found at local garden centers or online seed companies. Whether using plants or growing from seed, the varieties are ideal for containers.
|Name||Container Size, Number of Plants||Varieties|
|Arugula||1 gallon, 2 plants||Red Dragon Apollo Astro III|
|Carrot||1 gallon, 2-3 plants. Use pots 2 inches deeper than the carrot length.||Scarlet Nantes Little Finger Baby Spike Thumbelina|
|Cucumber||1 gallon, 1 plant||Spacemaster Salad Bush|
|Eggplant||2 gallon minimum, 1 plant||Black Beauty Long Tom Bambino|
|Green Bean||2 gallon minimum, space plants 3 inches apart||Topcrop (Pole) Blue Lake Kentucky Wonder|
|Green Onion||1 gallon, 3-5 plants||Beltsville Bunching Evergreen Bunching|
|Leaf Lettuce||1 gallon, 2 plants||Buttercrunch Romaine Mesclun|
|Pepper||2 gallon minimum, 1-2 plants||(Hot) Jalapeno Sweet Banana Padron|
|Radish||1 gallon, 3 plants||White Icicle Scarlet Globe|
|Spinach||1 gallon, 2 plants||Any cultivar|
|Squash||3 gallons, 1 plant||Bush Acorn Bush Crookneck Silver Bush Zucchini|
|Tomato||3 gallons, 1 plant||Patio Pixie Tiny Tim Saladette Toy Boy Tumbling Tom Small Fry|
|Turnip||2 gallons, 2 plants||Any cultivar|
|Herbs||1 gallon, 3 plants. Can plant several different herbs in one container.||Any cultivar|
While this is an extremely condensed list of the many container vegetables available today, it will provide a good start toward growing vegetables in containers.
When searching for other container-suitable cultivars, look for words like “bush, patio, dwarf, mini or compact” in the plant or seed description. Follow the instructions for planting and care.
Finally, choose soil specifically formulated for containers, and when growing from seed, choose a soil designed for seed starting. Both these mixtures are available at local garden centers and online.