Fall Container Gardening

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, and Fall is finally just around the corner! Now that the dog days of summer are just about over, the cooler days of September and October make for great gardening weather.

One of our favorite things to plant this time of year are container gardens! Whether you’re looking to plant a beautiful arrangement for your outdoor space or looking to plant some edible crops for a small space, we have some ideas that will keep you planting this month!

Outdoor Annuals

Autumn annuals are a great way to add color and texture to your planters. While these outdoor planters are usually short-lived, there are some plants you can include to extend the life of your garden. Certain varieties of cabbage and kale will provide interest throughout fall and even into winter! You can also experiment with hardier houseplants for interesting foliage in your outdoor planters.

We love autumn annuals like mums, pansies, celosia, and ornamental cabbage, kale, and peppers. Playing with different combinations of height, color, and texture is a great way to create a truly unique planter! The “Thriller, Spiller, Filler” guidelines are helpful when picking out plants:

  • Thriller: The “thriller” plant should be something with a bit of height and unique interest. For autumn, this could be rudbeckia, ornamental peppers, mums, celosia, dianthus, etc. Think taller plants with flowers that have a big WOW factor!
  • Spiller: The “spillers” should have a trailing growth habit and are known to cascade down the sides of your container. Mezoo and creeping jenny (lysimachia) are the two that we use most here at Barlow’s in the fall.
  • Filler: The “fillers” are plants that usually are smaller in height and have a mounding growth habit. Pansies, cabbage, kale, and houseplants make for great fillers. These plants will be planted in all the gaps between your “thrillers” and “spillers.”

This seasonal pumpkin planter features pansies, creeping jenny, purple ornamental peppers, fall mums, and a croton for color interest!

Herb & Veggie Gardens

Growing your own herbs and vegetables doesn’t need to take up a ton of space! There are plenty of frost-tolerant crops that are perfect for smaller spaces. Lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach all come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors and are great options for container gardens. Classic herbs like parsley, thyme, sage, chives, and oregano also grow well in cooler temperatures in our area. Not only do they make visually attractive plantings in container gardens, they smell amazing too!

Herbs and veggies that are grown in containers will need to be monitored more closely than those planted in the ground. They may dry out faster, and the soil may lose nutrients quicker, so be sure to keep a close eye on your plants to see whether they need a good drink or fertilizing!