As the weather starts to cool down, it doesn’t mean your gardening season has to end. Fall is a great time to plant a container garden and enjoy fresh produce even in cooler temperatures. Planting in containers on the deck or patio is a great way to add color and life to your outdoor space, and it can provide a fresh supply of vegetables and herbs throughout the season. Here are a few tips and tricks for container gardening in the fall.
1. Select Containers for Fall Gardening
When selecting containers for your fall garden, choose planters that are big enough to give the plants adequate space to grow. Verify the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can damage the roots and harm your plants. If you can find containers with wheels, moving them to catch the sunlight will be easy.
2. Choose Cool Weather Plants
Selecting the right plants is essential for a healthy and vibrant fall garden. Some great options that thrive in cooler temperatures include kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chard, lettuce, and spinach. Fall flowers include mums, pansies, and asters. Read the plant tags to learn about their ideal sunlight and watering requirements.
3. Prepare the Soil for Container Gardening in the Fall
Good soil is key to a fruitful container garden. Choose a high-quality, well-draining soil mix with nutrients. Add organic matter like compost or manure to help your plants grow and thrive. If you’re unsure what planting mixture to purchase, talk to an expert at your local garden center.
4. Tips for Careful Watering
Your container garden will need more frequent watering than an in-ground garden. Water the plants thoroughly, especially during dry periods. Avoid over-watering, which can lead to root rot. Stick your finger in the dirt to check for moisture before watering. If the soil is dry to about an inch, it’s time to water.
5. Make Sure Plants Receive Adequate Sunlight
Most fall plants require full sunlight to thrive. Make sure your containers are in areas that receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, with some shade in the afternoon if necessary. You can also move your containers around according to the sun’s position throughout the day.
Creating a container garden in the fall can provide fresh produce, herbs, and flowers to enjoy throughout the season. Follow the tips and tricks above to create a thriving and healthy garden for your outdoor space. You’ll appreciate the color and beauty of a fall container garden with a bit of preparation, proper soil mix, and attention to watering and sunlight.