Fallify Your Containers

Fallify Your Containers

Refresh your pots and boxes for the fall season.

In September our pots and boxes on Cape Cod can go one of two ways. Either they still look full and flower-filled, or the plants have started to decline and finish their bloom cycle. If your containers still look good, by all means keep up with the watering and deadheading to extend their flowering through September. But if your plants are starting to look a bit tired or summer-worn, it’s time to spruce up your containers for the autumn season. Here is one idea of how to use ornamental cabbages and kales, along with assorted pumpkins, to make pots or boxes that will look fantastic through Thanksgiving.

To do this look you’ll need assorted small cabbages and kales, and assorted pumpkins, plus some empty clay pots for supporting the pumpkins.

Have your container emptied but with good soil still in the pot. If you empty out the old soil or part of it, fill with fresh soil so that the kales and cabbages can grow into the soil easily. When putting them in the container, tip them toward the edges as you see here so that the tops of the plants will be facing outward. After the plants are in place, fill the container with soil so that it covers the roots of the kales and cabbages.
For this square container I tipped all three plants so that they are facing the front of the pot. Next you will fill the container back up with soil.
After the roots are covered with soil, put an upside down clay pot in the center of the pot so that this clay pot is about two inches above the top of the larger container. This forms a good, hard base for the pumpkins to rest on. Keeping the pumpkins off the soil means that they won’t squash the plants, and the bottom of the pumpkin won’t rot as it will be held above the damp soil.
In this container I used a smaller clay pot but the same principle applies.
Here is how the front porch looked after I finished with the “fallify” treatment. In two pots I placed a single pumpkin, and in the third I piled up three, from largest to smallest.
Here’s another idea for dressing up a container plant for fall. This is especially good if you have an evergreen in a large pot. In this container the owner gathered up the seed pods from their magnolia trees and tucked them all over the surface of the soil. You could do the same thing with gourds or small pumpkins. We always have a good selection of colorful, tiny pumpkins and assorted gourds in the store during the fall. You could use these as is, or combine them with pine cones or other seedpods you pick up in your yard.

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