(Image credit: Elena Odareeva)

Growing vegetables in pots is an easy way to raise fresh produce at home, especially in small spaces. With a few simple steps and a little patience, you will have delicious spring vegetables right outside your door!

Container Vegetables to Plant in Spring

For this project you will need a watering can, pots, potting soil, and seeds. Use whatever spring vegetables you like to eat. Onions, lettuce, and carrots are good container vegetables to plant in spring, but you can also grow spinach, radishes, or beans. 

The first step is to fill your pots with a good potting soil for container vegetables. And yes, you really do need to use potting soil, not garden soil. Your veggies need a mix that is light and drains well since they are growing in pots rather than the ground.

The next step is to break up any clumps. This is especially important for carrots. If they hit a chunk of soil, they will grow around it and become misshapen. Once your soil is clump-free, it’s time to plant.

Easy Spring Vegetables

Plant onions as soon as the ground is workable, typically six to eight weeks before the last frost. Onion seeds can germinate at temperatures as low as 35 F (1.6 C). 

Use your finger or a pencil to poke holes in the soil to the correct planting depth. Sow onion seeds 0.25 to 0.5 inches (0.6-1.2 cm.) deep. If you need a reminder, you can usually find the planting depth on the back of the seed packet. 

Cover the seeds with soil, lightly patting to make sure there are no large air pockets. Then give your seeds a drink. Keep seeds moist, watering before the soil dries out completely, to help them sprout. Once seedlings emerge, thin them out, leaving the healthiest onions three inches apart. 

Plant lettuce four weeks before the last frost. Not sure when that is? Learn more about your local growing zone and average last frost date.

Sow lettuce seeds 0.25 (0.6 cm.) inches deep, following the same process as before. Like onions, lettuce can germinate at 35 F (1.6 C). Thin seedlings to six inches apart and start fertilizing plants with a water-soluble fertilizer two to four weeks after planting.

Plant carrots two to four weeks before the last frost. For container vegetable gardening, choose a short variety like Little Finger or Short ’n Sweet. Soil should be at least twice as deep as your carrots are long – so for four inch carrots, use nine inches of soil. 

Plant seeds 0.5 (1.2 cm.) inches deep. Carrots need at least 40 F (4.4 C) to germinate. After they sprout, thin seedlings to two inches apart. Keep containers in a sunny spot and water often, as soil tends to dry out faster in pots. Pull containers close to your house if it gets below freezing. 

The final step is simple: pick your harvest and enjoy! 

Laura Walters
Content Editor

Laura Walters is a Content Editor who joined Gardening Know How in 2021. With a BFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati, a certificate in Writing for Television from UCLA, and a background in documentary filmmaking and local news, Laura loves to provide gardeners with all the know they need to succeed in an easy and entertaining format. She never thought when she was growing vegetables in her college dorm room, that one day she would get paid to read and write about her favorite hobby.