Late Summer Container Gardening

Posted on by

Late summer and early fall can be a glorious time for your garden – particularly your container gardens.

This is the time of year when perennials are in full growth and you can easily add them as well as small shrubs in your containers to replace spent annual flowers. It’s an easy way to refresh your yard or space as we head into fall.

Here at Warner’s, we are still getting fresh plant material each week, including grasses that can be used as a fun focal point of your containers. Surround them with mums, asters and pansies, which are making a comeback with the cooler weather.

And you aren’t limited to just flowers, grasses and shrubs in your container gardens. Right now is a great time to grow a fall crop of cool season leafy greens, like kale, spinach, arugula and Swiss chard. These are fast growing veggies, so you’ll have plenty of time to harvest them before it gets too cold.

Not that cold is a particular concern for many of these plants, which tend to be frost tolerant.

Here are some basic guidelines for container gardens:

  • Good Drainage – Make sure your container has a hole or holes big enough for excess water to escape. If it’s a pot that you plan to place on a flat surface, you might want to elevate it so the water isn’t blocked.
  • Good soil – In container gardening, you are creating your plants’ environment and the key to that is good, healthy soil and a slow-release fertilizer so your plants don’t starve. We have an excellent array of soil and fertilizers at Warner’s and we’ll be happy to discuss what will work best for your container garden.
  • Careful transplanting – When removing your plants from the nursery containers, please be gentle. If it’s in one of our multi-packs, squeeze the flexible plastic to ease the plant out. If in a nursery pot, try pushing it out from the bottom. Avoid pulling the plant out.
  • Air Pocket Perils – Beware of air pockets. If you have several plants in one container, make sure there’s enough soil between the plants to avoid air pockets. They are killers, causing the plant’s roots to dry out.
  • Don’t Forget to Water – The monsoon rains have been wonderful, but they aren’t enough to keep your container plants fully hydrated.

I hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer and welcome the fall season with lots of color in your container gardens. If you have any questions about container gardening – or any horticultural topics – please call or stop by. We’d love to chat with you.

Happy Gardening!