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Do It Yourself Fall Containers9/20/2012


 

Do It Yourself Fall Containers.

 

There is no reason why your patio and deck have to be naked for the winter. With the great weekend forecast, now is a perfect time to give your containers a makeover that you will enjoy throughout the cold winter months. Although there is no guarantee that your pottery will not freeze during the winter, there are a few tips that will help prevent breakage as well as some winter planting suggestions.

  1. Choose only pottery that’s lip (top of the pot) is the widest part of the pot. This will allow planting medium to rise and fall during the freeze and thaw.
  2. Fill at least 1/3 of your container with Styrofoam or plastic water bottles that have been smashed AND have the lids on. Both of these products will allow for great drainage as well as provide a medium for the expansion during the freeze and thaw.
  3. Use wooden furring strips to raise your container off the ground. This will aid in proper drainage and help to prevent your container from freezing to the ground.
  4. Use fresh potting soil. Don’t be tempted to reuse your potting soil from the summer. Your frequent watering has left the soil void of nutrients that will be needed during the winter season. Fresh, premium potting soil will allow the proper drainage, water retention and nutrients for your plants to survive during the winter.
  5. Use the same “Filler, Thriller, Spiller” design plan that created beautiful containers in the spring. Don’t feel that only flowers create beautiful containers. There are plenty of evergreens that make outstanding containers that will provide winter interest throughout the season. You may even want to plant small specimens in your container for the winter that you will transplant into yourgarden next spring. Here are some great evergreen choices for beautiful winter containers.
    1. Fillers: Euonymus, Gold Thread Cypress, Juniper, Hinoki Cypress, Heuchera
    2. Thriller: Alberta Spruce, Sky Pencil Holly, Blue Spruce, Hinoki Cypress, Ornamental Grass, Blue Atlas Cedar, Emerald Green Arborvitae
      1. You may also want to consider small deciduous trees that will provide great armature for twinkle lights for evening interest. Some great choices would be - weeping Japanese Maple or Harry Lauder Walking Stick.
    3. Spiller: Ivy, Blue Rug Juniper, Sedum, Ajuga, Periwinkle, Euonymus
  6. Plant some pansy’s in your container, they will bloom through a hard freeze, then re-bloom in the spring  This will also give you a spring planting spot to freshen up your container in spring. 
  7. Change up your containers for the holidays using branches, Add a small pumpkin and some gourds for the fall season  Add some boughs of white pine, bittersweet and pinecones for a natural look for winter. 
  8. Use a shepherds hook to hang a birdfeeder in your container to invite the winter birds to your patio. 
  9. Incoroporate your containers into your holiday decorating by weaving twinkle lights throughout, add a glass chimney and a candle, some bright colored Christmas balls for an unexpected pop of color.