It’s a growing trend: millions of American households are planting container gardens. For people who love the beauty of flowers but don’t have a big yard or simply don’t want to tend a garden, container planting is a perfect solution. Now that summer is winding down, it’s time to think about planting for fall and winter.
“For cool weather container gardening, you cannot go wrong with pansies and violas,” advises Wesley Woods of Newnan resident Barb Turnow (pictured here). Barb, a master gardener and rosarian, says that pansies and violas are not only fairly easy to care for, but are physiologically equipped to handle colder temperatures.
“Pansies do have to be trimmed back, or dead-headed, in the winter, but that’s manageable in a container. And violas take care of themselves,” she explains. “Both plants require some water, but not a whole lot — it depends on the weather. And even if cold weather damages the leaves, they will usually perk up and sprout new leaves when the sun warms them again.”
Barb prefers doing a mass planting of flowers in containers that are 16”-20” in diameter, giving plenty of room for the plants’ roots to grow. And she advises putting your containers together before the first frost.
“First, find out the first predicted frost of the year for where you live. In Coweta County, that’s October 15,” she says. “You want your plants to establish themselves well before the first frost and it takes a couple of weeks for the plants to settle in.”
See more ideas for fall container gardening on Southern Living magazine’s website, http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/fall-container-gardening.