Cool-season Vegetables for Container Gardening

Cool-season Vegetables for Container Gardening

As the summer heat recedes, cooler-season vegetables are more welcome than hot ones. This means onions, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. The most promising cool-season vegetable is lettuce, but even lettuce is not always the tastiest. So look beyond this choice and consider your garden’s needs. Your biggest concern might be soil. Cool-season vegetables for container gardening are those that don’t need much attention and can be easily maintained by a gardener who is just starting out with a small garden.

Cool-season Vegetable Plants Require Less Water

Cool-season vegetables are generally less water dependent than warm season crops. In cool weather vegetables tend to require less irrigation and can survive even in dry spells. Cool season plants also develop a deeper root system that enables them to take in more water.

Ideal Cool-season Vegetables Plants for Container Gardening

Cool season broccoli and lettuce also enjoy shade which makes them ideal for container gardening in areas where shady conditions aren’t always available. Both Cabbage and Broccoli make excellent choices for container gardens as they enjoy a lot of sunlight, making them great plants in areas that get regular sunshine.

Onions and Their Relatives

You might want to consider starting your cool season vegetables sooner rather than later, especially if your garden is in the garden section. Onions and their relatives, such as cabbage and carrots, are so versatile that you can grow them from seed or buy them from a garden center when you’re ready to plant. Start them indoors during the coolest months of the year then move them outdoors in the fall.

Easy to Grow Cool-season Vegetables Plants

Easy to grow plants that don’t take up much space include radishes, snap beans, and cucumbers. In the case of snap beans, you can plant them from seed or buy them already grown. They’ll appreciate being planted in sunny window boxes as long as they get plenty of sunshine.

Some Cool-season Vegetables for Container Gardening

Cool season vegetables for container gardening include green beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, turnips, and other summer vegetables. Tomatoes are another good choice but be sure not to over-water them since they love the heat. Try using stakes to support your plants as they tend to move about a lot in the garden. Cool season vegetables also include parsnips, dill, and cauliflower, which are ideal for containers.

Time to Plant the Cool-season Vegetables

Start your cool season vegetables for container gardening late spring through early summer. Keep your eye on the weather forecasts and plant your vegetables in pots where the soil is cool and well drained. The timing for planting your vegetables will depend on the time of year. For example, in late spring you’ll want to put your vegetables into pots that were in the ground a few weeks before the beginning of summer. Cool season vegetables do not like the warmth or moisture of summer. Planting them in pots in the fall ensures that they will be established in warm weather long before summer.

Planting Tomatoes, Chives and Zucchini

If you’re planting your cool-season vegetables for container garden in the fall, you may want to wait until the last week of October to plant. This is the best time for planting tomatoes, chives and zucchini since these are the biggest and most prolific vegetables you can grow in small spaces. Start digging the holes and lining them up a few weeks before the last frost. If your area has mild winters, you should be able to get your vegetables planted before the first cold snap. If you live in an area with severe winters, you should wait until the middle of March to start digging the holes. You should plan to cover the area about two feet deep.

Best Cool-season Vegetables for Container Gardening

Some of the best cool-season vegetables for container gardening are those that don’t need to be transplanted. These include peas, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and green beans. Be sure not to put beans in a tomato container since the acidity level in the tomatoes will kill the bean. On the other hand, if the vegetables you choose don’t require planting, such as cucumbers, then you can save the seeds and replant them at another time.


When you are finally ready to harvest your vegetables from your garden, you should remove them from the pots, pack them into a tightly sealed plastic bag and immediately place them into your freezer. This will ensure that you have fresh vegetables in your kitchen when you need them. Be sure to store them in a cool, dark place where they will remain until the very next season. You will also find that you’ll be able to make delicious salads with the harvest from your container vegetable garden.

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