After a few exceptionally warm September days, Fall is finally here! At the Abma’s Greenhouses, we’ve been working hard to transition from sun-loving Petunias and heat-tolerant Lantana into cold-hardy Chrysanthemums and bountiful pumpkins and gourds. With any seasonal change comes wonderful new plant choices. Using some of these fresh selections, we’ll create a festive planter and set the scene for Fall with just a few of Abma’s seasonal offerings!
To begin, let’s set ourselves up with a few key components first. Some of the following call for further detail, which we’ll get into!
-Small hand shovel or trowel
-Potting soil (we’ll be using ProMix HP)
-Your choice of seasonal plant materials
-A few decorations and garnishes
-Most importantly, your container of choice
A large part of container gardening is selecting the right planter for your space. The color, height and volume of the container are important factors to consider.
Whatever you might choose, it should complement its surroundings and suit the plants that are going to call it home.
Taller planters pair nicely with delicate foliage, such as this Purple Fountain Grass.
After deciding on a planter, our next step is to give the plants a medium to grow in. Our choice is usually ProMix HP; a general-purpose potting mix with excellent draining properties. Begin by filling your container about ¾ of the way to the top.
The plants that we’ll later install will fill the container the rest of the way.
Now that the planter is prepared, we need to put some plants in it! Choosing plants can often be overwhelming in Spring/Summer, but the cooler weather narrows our choices. Usually, Fall selections consist of plants that are hardy enough to withstand a frost or two before completely dying off. In our planter, we’ll be using our homegrown mums, ornamental peppers, fountain grass, and a head of cabbage to tie it all together. The mum provides gorgeous blooms, the ornamental pepper brings a dash of vivid color, the fountain grass a delicate texture and soft feather heads, all while the head of cabbage implements a unique shape and exudes that unmistakable Fall feeling!
When we begin to plant our container, it’s best to start at the back and work forwards. In our planter, we’ll start with the fountain grass and work around it. Next we will plant the peppers off to the side, followed by the mum in the foreground. Our cabbage is a little large, so we’ll ‘stage’ it by creating a berm of soil so that it sits at an angle. Last but not least, water your plants in to make them feel at home.
Now that our planter is complete, select a spot that gets plenty of sun as well as some well-deserved attention from passersby. To complement our beautiful new planter, we’re going to add some accompanying Fall touches.
A few bales of hay, cornstalks and several ornamental pumpkins/gourds go a long way in cooler weather!
Arrange some of these in a way that adds visual appeal to your space, and now all you’ll need is an apple cider donut in one hand and crunchy maple leaves under your boots to fully immerse yourself in Fall splendor!
Looking for more help? We offer greenhouse workshops that cover a wide variety of floral decor and arrangements.
Our next workshop is next week: Oct. 8 and 10. We’ll be filling big festive bushel baskets with fall favorites like mums, celosia, ornamental peppers, pumpkins, and more. For more information and to reserve your spot, please click here.
Ryan Hirsch – Abma’s Farm Greenhouses