30 Best Vegetables to Grow in Buckets, Bags or Containers

Bucket gardening is a simple and reliable way to grow plants.

It’s so easy, and you can count on it to grow all sorts of stuff – plants, herbs, even little veggie plants. And it’s perfect for those with little space to work with.

You can pick any bucket in the right size to fit wherever you’ve got a spot, fill it up with that nice potting soil, pop in some seeds or starter plants, and your bucket of veggies is ready.

Moreover, it’s more than just people in rural areas growing vegetables. Even in cities, the gardening craze is spreading.

Urban farming is becoming very popular. People are finding they can quickly grow vegetables in buckets or containers.

30 Best Vegetables that You Can Grow in Buckets

1. Beans

Regarding growing beans in buckets and containers, gardeners recommend using the bush variety over the vining type, as bush beans are much more suited for small spaces.

Bush beans grow and mature quickly, usually ready to harvest in 50-60 days. You can grow bush or vining beans, but the bush types are ideal for those little bucket gardens. They don’t need a ton of space or a pole to thrive.

Now, vining beans can work, too, but you’d need to set up a trellis or something against a wall for them to climb on. Get yourself a trellis going, and in just a few short weeks, you’ll see those green beans trailing all over it.

But beans need lots of sunlight, and you’ll want a decent-sized pot or bucket. And those vining beans need strong support from a trellis; otherwise, they’ll become a tangled mess.

2. Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the easiest leafy greens to grow in buckets and containers. You can choose to grow many kinds of lettuce in your small kitchen garden. You can grow a fun, small veggie space very quickly.

Lettuce is perfect for bucket or container gardening since it doesn’t take up much space. You can sprinkle those seeds right into the potting soil; before you know it, you’ll have fresh lettuce ready to harvest.

Use a nice, well-draining soil mix and give it frequent, shallow waterings for best results. You can plant lettuce soon after your last frost date in spring. And you can keep planting it all through summer and into early fall for continuous fresh harvests.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the most productive veggie you can grow in pots and buckets. They’re nutritious, too – packed with vitamin C, potassium, and folate. 

Just wait about a month after that last spring frost to plant them. Any hint of cold weather or frost will kill tomato plants. So make sure it’s nice and warm before planting.

For best results, choose bush tomato varieties that stay compact. You’ll need about a 5-gallon bucket per tomato plant. And be sure to provide a sturdy cage or support since tomatoes can get tall and unruly.

Tomatoes love sunshine, so pick the sunniest spot for your tomato buckets. Give them at least 6-8 hours of direct sun per day. Furthermore, go organic if possible – many tasty heirloom and organic tomato varieties exist.

4. Peppers

Both sweet and spicy hot peppers are super easy to grow in buckets. You can buy seedlings from the garden center or start the seeds at home. Here’s a cool tip – you don’t need to buy seeds! Grab some nice ripe peppers from the grocery store and use the seeds.

Peppers are nutritious veggies. They’re packed with iron and vitamin C. The larger pepper varieties grow well in 5-gallon buckets. Peppers need at least 8 hours of sunshine daily with plenty of water. And be sure to keep harvesting the peppers as they mature.

5. Radishes

Radishes are another super easy veggie for bucket gardening. Radishes are an excellent vitamin C, folate, and potassium source and are total nutrient powerhouses.

Radishes are also pretty cold-hardy, so you can grow them early in spring and then again in late summer. They don’t mind a little chill.

Just drink your radishes every few days and set the bucket in a sunny window or outdoors for some light. Before long, you’ll have an abundant harvest of delicious, crunchy radishes.

You can pack a ton of radishes into a single 5-gallon bucket, too. There is no need for seedlings -radish seeds sprout fast, so you can plant them directly in the soil.

Radishes are so simple but so rewarding to grow in buckets! Easy nutritious crops for tiny gardens. 

growing tomatoes in bucket

6. Spinach

Spinach is a nutritious superfood, and the good news is it’s really easy to grow in buckets and containers. Spinach thrives in both cool and warm weather, and it’s packed with vitamins like B6, B9, C, and folate – a total nutrient boost.

When planting spinach in buckets, give each plant about 8 inches of space so they can spread out a bit. 

It’s super simple. You have to sprinkle some spinach seeds on top of the soil and gently push them down with your fingers. Give them a thin covering of soil on top and water well. Before you know it, you’ll have fresh spinach popping up.

7. Onions

Onions provide great nutrients like fiber, folic acid, and vitamin C. They’re also veggies that can handle cooler temperatures, though they typically get planted in spring.

You can plant little onion “sets” (basically small onion bulbs) directly into the potting soil in your containers. Just space them a few inches apart to give them room.

As the onions grow, you can snip off some green tops for flavoring dishes while you wait for the onion bulbs to form. 

Onions need about 6-7 hours of direct sunlight per day. And remember to give each plant about 3-4 inches of spacing for best results.

8. Garlic

Garlic is another tasty veggie that does great in buckets. And you can even plant garlic right alongside your onion plants. 

Just grab a head from your kitchen and separate it into individual cloves for garlic. Pick some nice, big, healthy-looking cloves and then plant those directly into the soil. Space them about 5 inches apart, give them a good watering, and each clove will grow into a full bulb of garlic.

9. Carrots

Carrots are also perfect for buckets too. You can grow a whole bunch, especially the smaller, more compact varieties. For a 5-gallon bucket, you could fit like 20 carrot plants with no problem. Just sow the seeds directly into that potting soil.

Carrots prefer cooler weather and need regular water to moisten the soil. But overall, growing carrots in containers is straightforward and doesn’t require much space.

The ideal time to plant carrot seeds is about a month after your last spring frost. That’ll give them time to thrive in the cooler spring temps before the summer heat kicks in.

10. Cucumber

Cucumbers are just so tasty and a delight to grow, too. There are all kinds of fun cucumber varieties out there to choose from. You can start with seeds or little plants; either works great.

Cucumbers are super productive but need consistent watering and lots of sunshine to keep pumping out those crunchy cucumbers. And those vines will want some space to spread out and breathe, so don’t crowd them. Harvesting the cucumbers regularly also encourages more production.

The vines will need some extra support, though. A trellis or cage is a way to give them something sturdy to climb.

11. Potatoes

Growing potatoes in buckets and containers is brilliant for small garden spaces. You can easily grow varieties, including purple, fingerling, and regular russet potatoes, in big pots and buckets if you’ve got a sunny patio or balcony.

Potatoes can thrive all year round in just a 5-gallon bucket, making them nice and portable if you need to move your garden.

Just be sure whatever bucket or container you use has good drainage holes so excess water can escape. And did you know you don’t even need special seed potatoes? You can plant old sprouting potatoes you already have!

12. Kale

This leafy green veggie contains many good-for-you nutrients – fiber, protein, galore vitamins, and iron.

Kale is also super cold-hardy, so you can plant it soon after your last spring frost and again in early summer for a second round. 

Moreover, it only requires a little space to fit multiple plants in each container pot. Be careful not to overwater, and keep it out of direct sun.

13. Ginger 

You don’t need to buy seeds as you can regrow ginger from the supermarket. Grab some nice plump ginger rhizomes, split them into pieces, and plant those chunks right into your potting soil.

Give them a good watering, and watch that ginger take off! Before you know it, you’ll have fresh homegrown ginger sprouting up and ready for harvesting.

14. Squash

Squashes are an easy plant to grow, and you can get a bountiful harvest even in buckets. The summer squash varieties like zucchini are especially productive little plants.

However, ensure you’re regularly harvesting those squash as soon as they pop up. Keeping up with picking them encourages the plant to keep producing more fruit. Stay on top of it, and you can expect to easily get at least 3 squash per week, as long as you give them plenty of water.

15. Peas

Speaking of tasty and nutritious, how about sweet peas? These are delicious veggies loaded with protein, riboflavin, and niacin.

Typically, you’ll plant sweet peas about a month after your last spring frost and then again in early summer for a second crop. But they’ll need some trellis or support to climb up and do their thing. Give them adequate water, sunshine, and a sturdy trellis, and you’ll be rewarded with an abundant sweet pea harvest.

16. Beets

Beets are another veggie that grows fast and easily in containers with minimal care. Just choose a nice big bucket to give them room as they mature. Beets are both nutritious and deliciously sweet.

Beets will thrive if you stay on top of their watering and give them plenty of sun. For beginners, the smaller beet varieties are a great way to start.

17. Eggplant

Eggplants are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Eggplants just love sunshine. They need consistently warm temperatures, day and night, to produce an abundant harvest. In southern climates, you could grow eggplants year-round.

Be sure to choose a nice big bucket or container for your eggplant. The bigger the root system, the bigger those luscious fruits will grow.

18. Asian Greens

Asian greens like bok choy. These leafy greens are ideal container crops because they grow fast and don’t require much sunlight. As a matter of fact, you can grow bok choy in a partially shady spot that only gets about 4 hours of direct sun per day. 

19. Chives

These little herbs are about as hardy and resilient as they come. Chives are so tough to kill that some even consider them weeds. But they add a delicious oniony flavor that goes great in soups, dips, and almost any recipe.

The awesome thing about chives is that they’re perennial, so they’ll keep coming back year after year.

20. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe melons can also thrive in large pots and buckets, but you’ve got to give them the right care. They need plenty of sunlight, consistent water, and support as the vines traverse.

Smaller, more compact cantaloupe varieties work best for container gardens since they spread out less. Use stakes or a trellis to support those vining plants as they grow.

21. Okra

Okra is an easy veggie to grow that doesn’t require any special gardening techniques. Give it warmth, lots of sun exposure, and plenty of fertilizer; the plant will produce heavily. Okra seeds germinate well, too. 

Sow the okra seeds directly into the soil in your buckets. Give them water and place the buckets in a nice sunny location.

22. Broccoli

Broccoli is very nutritious, with protein, thiamin, and vitamin E. It’s also cold-hardy so you can plant it right after your last spring frost.

Broccoli plants do need more space to spread out. You can grow just one or two broccoli plants max in a 5-gallon bucket. 

23. Turmeric

Growing turmeric is quite similar to ginger. You can grow turmeric from pieces of turmeric rhizomes. Just note that turmeric has a very long growing season.

24. Asparagus

Asparagus is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, copper, and iron, which is so nutritious.

You can plant asparagus right after the last spring frost. Most folks like to cook and enjoy asparagus as a simple side dish, maybe with butter or oil.

25. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is very nutritious, providing thiamin, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus. You can plant kohlrabi immediately after your last spring frost and again in early summer.

Use a 5-gallon bucket to grow kohlrabi. Plant the seeds 6 inches deep and space them 6 inches apart. Water right after planting. Kohlrabi prefers partial sun, not direct sunlight.

26. Collard greens

Collard greens make a good alternative to spinach or lettuce. You can easily grow them in containers and buckets. You can harvest young collard greens, which will keep growing to produce a second harvest. In warm climates, you can grow collards in containers year-round.

27. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is very similar to broccoli. It’s an excellent source of fiber and vitamins. Plant cauliflower a little less than one month after your last spring frost.

Plant seeds 6-8 inches deep and 12 inches apart. Water right after planting, then 2-3 times weekly. However, they prefer partial sun as well.

28. Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are the perfect tomato variety for bucket gardeners. 

Just plant a few slices of cherry tomatoes directly in your potting soil. The seeds in those slices will sprout and germinate within 2-3 weeks. 

29. Turnips

Turnips are another fun and easy veggie for bucket gardening, similar to growing carrots. You can grow turnips in buckets indoors and outdoors as long as they get a bit of sunlight and sufficient water.

For turnips, you’ll want a deeper pot or bucket to accommodate their long taproots. Refrain from overwatering since root veggies can rot easily if the soil gets too soggy without proper drainage.

30. Bitter Melon

Bitter melon is such an exotic and nutritious veggie. And you know what? It’s one of the absolute best choices for growing in pots or buckets.

The way bitter melon grows is similar to plants like squash, cucumbers, and melons. It produces long vining stems with those unique oblong fruits hanging off.


Many vegetables, herbs, and even some fruits thrive when grown in buckets and containers. With the right varieties, soil, water, and sunlight, you can have an abundant harvest of fresh homegrown produce from a small garden space.

Bucket gardening allows people to enjoy gardening, even in apartments or homes without a yard. You can grow tasty and nutritious crops like leafy greens, root veggies, tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, and more.

It’s rewarding to see plants flourish and produce a bountiful harvest. With some basic care and attention, bucket gardens can constantly supply flavourful, homegrown goodness all season long.