THE PROSPECT OF of re-working garden beds for fall may be too daunting after weeks of debris clearing, so here are some simple tips for container gardening for fall. Container gardening is great for dressing up any entry, porch or tree stump.
Sunlight hours are reduced in October and continue through December, but placement is still a consideration since a thin, metal container in full sun for several hours may still hold too much heat and dry out quickly. Use heavy glazed containers, wooden boxes or composites for such a location. Lightweight metal containers are best in areas that receive less than four hours of sun, such as a shady porch. Our fall season experiences wind from both the tropics and north. Tall, narrow pots can become top heavy with plant material, including heavy glazed containers. These types of pots can be weighted down with stones or bricks, or choose a planter with a wide base and a shorter height. Large, heavy containers require a hand truck. If this isn’t an option, choose a container made of a composite material or thin metal such as aluminum. Groupings of several smaller pots can have an impact equal to single, larger containers.
Choose plants readily available from your favorite nursery or garden center. Crotons, mums, and calibrachoa are often chosen for color. For height, use ornamental grasses, or duranta. Ornamental cabbages, kale or peppers can add color and texture. Try ivy or creeping jenny as a trailing interest.
After a container and location is chosen, add your favorite soilless potting mix. Read the bag carefully as some have moisture crystals and fertilizer already added. Dampen the soil before adding any plant material.
Arrange plants prior to placement for an optimal look. Tall plants should be in the center or toward the back. New root growth is not as much a consideration for a seasonal planter as for a summer planter. Root balls can be gently squeezed to fit into tight arrangements. Tilt plants to extend over the container edge for a softer look as they grow.
Whether the container is new, updated or even a repurposed watering can – make the Fall season bright by adding an ornamental gourd or mini pumpkin to the arrangement. Extend seasonal interest by replacing gourds with other holiday items like pine cones & berries. Happy Growing