Gardening Tips: Best Container Gardening Vegetable Varieties

Container Gardening Offers An Easy Way to Grow Plants

by Vijaikumar Pandian

Dwarf and compact bush varieties like this Saladmore bush cucumber are best suited for container gardening.

Container vegetable gardening offers an easy way to grow and maintain plants. Container plants can be accommodated on a window sill, balcony, deck, door step or any unsuitable area where space is limited. You can get a head start in growing plants in containers as the soil media warms up quicker than conventional roto till gardens.  Soil borne diseases, weeds and soil compaction issues can be avoided in container gardening by using soilless media that offers well drained and a clean start for the plant growth. Container gardening is a simple and versatile means to garden for all ages and abilities.

Choosing the right type of vegetables and varieties for the given container is very important. The  container should have right depth and volume to support the entire plant growth. In general, smaller plants like leaf lettuce, spinach, peas, radishes, cilantro, onion sets requires a minimum of 2 gallon size container with a 4-6” deep. Larger plants like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, eggplants, squash, cucumbers and bush beans requires a minimum of 5 gallon size container with a depth of 8-12 inches. Selecting determinate, dwarf and compact vegetable varieties are best suited for containers.

Following are the list of common vegetable varieties suitable for Wisconsin container garden compiled from various seed catalogs sources and State Universities Extension publications:

  • Tomatoes – Atlas Hybrid, Jetstar, Celebrity, cherry cascade,Tidy treats, Super bush, pixie, patio paste, cherry punch, sunrise sauce, power pops, cherries jubilee, patio princess, bush early girl, bush big boy, sweet heart of the patio, maglia rosa, baby boomer, Tasmanian chocolate, tumbler, cherry falls, husky red, lizzano, pear drops, pony express, primo red, terenzo, tumbling tom red, tumbling tom yellow, bush steak, patio choice
  • Eggplants – Patio Baby, Hansel, Gretel, Ivory, Ophelia, Pinstripe, Dusky, Early Midnight
  • Bean – Mascotte, Topcrop, Tendercrop, Derby, Eureka, Porch Pick
  • Cucumber – Patio Snacker, Salad Bush, Space Master, Champion, Iznik, sugar crunch, cucumber bush champion, pickle bush, saladmore bush, Parisian gherkin
  • Pepper – Cajun Belle, Cayennetta, Mariachi, New Ace, Orange Blaze, Cute Stuff Red, Lady Bell, Gypsy, Crispy, Red Chili, Cherry Stuffer,  Tangerine Dream, Sweet Golden Baby Belle, pepper just sweet
  • Radish – French Breakfast, Red Satin, Champion, Comet, Sparkler, White Icicle, Early Scarlet Globe, Rido Red, D’Avignon
  • Carot – Paris Market, Little Finger, Danver’s Half Long, Nantes Half Long, Yaya
  • Peas – Peas in a Pot, Caselode, Sugar Ann
  • Beets – Ruby Queen, Detroit Dark Red Med Top, Burpee’s Golden, Chioggia
  • Okra – Jambalaya, Carmine Splendor, Clemson Spineless
  • Swiss Chard – Bright Lights, Peppermint, Fordhook Giant, Lucullus
  • Squash – Supersett, Multipik, Golden Zebra, zebra zuke, golden scallopini bush, sweet zuke

In addition, many herbs and salad greens are perfectly suitable for containers.  For information on site selection, type of containers, media, watering and fertilization schedule for container gardening, visit