Growing in containers is becoming more popular every year. We have grown in containers in and out of the greenhouse for years, so we do have a couple of tips. The most important thing to remember when container growing is that you must provide much more water and fertilizer for container grown plants than for in-ground plants. This is because the roots are confined and cannot range out to find what the plant needs. You have to provide it all in the container. You really must fertilize weekly and stay on top of the watering. A large plant in a pot needs water daily in hot weather.
We have been actively searching out varieties that do well in containers and take up less room. Here are our recommendations:
Excellent for containers:
Baronia Dwarf, New Big Dwarf, Tasmanian Chocolate, Numbat, Fred’s Tie Dye, Purple Heart, Uluru Ochre, Banana Toes
I grow these in 5 gallon containers.
Good for containers:
Grow these in a ten gallon or larger container:
All determinates and compact indeterminates, including Bush Beefsteak, Green Grape, Koralik, Oregon Spring, Cream Sausage, Glacier, Legend, Martino’s Roma, and Stupice.
Peppers and Eggplant
Pretty much all peppers and eggplant are suited for containers. They naturally do not have deep root systems and stay compact. The largest peppers are the super hots and the habanero relatives, so they need at least a 5 gallon pot, and bigger would be better. Eggplant also require at least a 5 gallon pot and lots of fertilizer and water.
All herbs have done well in pots for us, and we definitely recommend only growing the mints and lemon balm in pots unless you want them to take over the garden. The best Basil for pots is Globe basil.
Cucumbers, Squash, and Melons
We have not had much success growing these large, rampant, fertilizer loving plants in pots, but some people do. I’m guessing that they feed them dead bodies or something. Anyway, if you want to try it, stick to the compact varieties like Bush Crop, Bush Pickle, Cocozelle zucchini, Minnesota Midget melon, and Sugar Baby watermelon. And feed and water like crazy.
Tomatillos, Ground Cherries, Garden Huckleberry
These all do well in larger containers. In fact, I prefer to grow ground cherries in pots for ease of harvesting.