Vegetable Deck Rail Plants

Growing Vegetables in Deck Rail Planters

May 13, 2022
Adams Fairacre Farms

Deck rail planters are great for decorative flowers and adding visual appeal to your home, but you can grow vegetables in them, too.

Deck rail planters are great for herbs. Most herbs don’t need deep soil to thrive, so they’re ideally suited for these set ups. But not all deck rail planters are shallow. You can get them in a variety of sizes. In fact, there is a wide range of colors, materials, styles and sizes available. Some are recessed in the bottom to fit over your rail, while others have hooks so they can hang from the rail. There are single pots and rectangular boxes and all sorts of possibilities.

It’s easy to look just at the style and color and pick a planter, but it’s important to think about these other factors, as well. For instance, a black plastic planter will keep the soil warmer, which could be beneficial or not, depending on where you are. A wicker basket could offer plenty of drainage, which might be perfect for something like the aforementioned rosemary. The point is to match your plant with your planter. Which brings us to the original question: What vegetables can you grow in deck rail planters?

As it turns out, there are a lot of vegetables to choose from.

  1. Leafy salad greens grow quickly and they’re easy to care for.
  2. Radishes are perfect for deck rail planters. They grow quickly, don’t need a ton of space, and you can eat the greens as well as the root.
  3. Strawberries can thrive in containers as long as they have a good sunny spot.
  4. Hot peppers are easy to grow in containers and they’re such pretty vegetables that they can add some nice color and texture to your environment.
  5. Sweet peppers, too, can grow well in containers. Just make sure to leave enough space for them to spread out a bit.
  6. Spinach, like salad greens, can grow well in a planter, just be sure it doesn’t get overheated.
  7. Green onions don’t need a lot of depth to grow, so as long as you don’t overplant them, these work very well in deck rail planters.
  8. Cherry tomatoes can be prolific producers, they come in gorgeous yellow and red varieties, and they can be relatively low maintenance.
  9. Garlic is a set-it-and-forget-it plant if ever there was one. And since you plant them in the late fall or early winter, you won’t be growing much of anything else in your planters at that time.
  10. Swiss chard is colorful, nutritious and easy to grow even in deck rail planters.

And if you’d still like more options, there are hybrid varieties of a number of different vegetables that are specially bred for containers. So while your options aren’t exactly limitless, you can go pretty darn far before you reach that limit.

Information courtesy of