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What to grow in containers?

Saint Paul, MN


I'm relatively new to container gardening. The only thing I've successfully grown in containers has been tomatoes. I've been using Home Depot 5 gallon buckets (painted to look better) as my containers thus far. I grabbed some cucumbers, zucchini and sweet potatoes from the farmers market this year, so we shall see how that goes. Any other easy plants to grow in containers (I'm a very novice gardener!)? Will the 5 gallon buckets be okay for the 3 plants that I mentioned above? Or would bigger/smaller be better?


Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

I regularly grow dwarf tomatoes, peppers and herbs in containers, partly to save space, mostly because my soil is poor and rocky. 5gal for tomatoes, smaller (1-3 gal) is ok for the others. Tomatoes, squash and cucumbers are vining plants, so if you grow them in containers you will have to provide a trellis, stake or cage to support them unless you have room to let the vines sprawl along the ground. My non-dwarf indeterminate tomatoes grow about 6 ft tall, so if you add a foot (or more) for the container, their support's height would have to be at least 7 ft. I found this inconvenient to adapt to containers, which is why I'm only containerizing dwarfs nowadays.

I've seen articles on growing potatoes in barrels or straw-filled cages, but have not tried it. You might look those up to see if it would work for sweet potatoes as well.

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I always grew my veggies in containers for two reasons. 1. the best sun was along the blacktop driveway at my hilltop house. Never understood why my DH wouldn't let me dig the driveway up and put in terraces of raised beds, but there you have it. 2. We had local small mammals, groundhogs, skunks, raccoons, etc., that got to stuff planted in the ground. When I put my containers on small plastic patio end tables, that problem was nearly eliminated.
As for potatoes, my garden club's after school children's gardening group at the public library grew potatoes in a pop-up barrel last year for their project and harvested about 5-6 lbs of little red potatoes from the one barrel on the front lawn of the public library. It amazed library patrons and passers-by the whole growing season, not to mention the kids when they got to dig the potatoes up.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Almost everything!

Go find the eBucket thread here, and you can see my past gardens...

Or, Google "eBucket Dave's Garden" and it should give you a link to a thread right back over here.


This message was edited May 23, 2015 7:19 AM

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

This message was edited May 23, 2015 7:31 AM

(Susan) Xenia, OH(Zone 6a)

I wasn't sure where in the newer forum arrangement to post this, but more than half of last year's cheap Walmart amaryllis and paperwhites have now just popped right up into leaf, despite abysmal care since last year.

This group of crappy plastic pots now sits on a glass-topped antique sewing machine where morning sun hits it briefly and bright but indirect light hits it all day. I'm seriously missing my starter garden at our Ohio eventual-retirement house, that I will not see til slushy February; my PA schedule does not bode well for much else in plant longevity. I think I shall buy and chill a few more to start later and rotate when the present group browns out; I've got a much better spot for their dormancy now, and can anticipate a longer and earlier start for the rotation next year!

Thumbnail by poolrunning
Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Susan, I recommend that you start a new thread, so that more people will see it. Also, this thread is months old.

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