Ornamental cabbages and pansies in a wash basin container

Fall is the time to freshen up all of your mixed containers. A fabulous mixed patio container is easier than you think! Here’s what you need:

Your Container

Get creative! Resin, pottery, plastic, tin, wash basins, kitchen sinks, or little red wagons—all types of containers are fair game! Choose a container with drainage holes or plan to drill holes in your container. Bigger containers require less frequent watering.

Your Soil

Use Espoma Organic Premium Potting Soil, which will drain better and promote healthier roots. Some gardeners prefer to use an inverted pot or an empty milk jug to displace the soil in a large container, but remember that the bigger the root mass, the bigger your flowers will be.

Your Plants

This is the best part—think Thriller, Spiller, and Filler! Choose plants with similar cultural needs—full sun vs. shade; needs frequent watering vs. prefers the soil to dry out.

Your Thriller is your centerpiece—choose a premium annual or perennial with great flowers or foliage. This is your focal point. For the fall, a large blooming chrysanthemum or a beautiful ornamental grass are just a few good ideas for your fall centerpiece.

Your Fillers are accent plants you will want to plant around your centerpiece—usually three to five plants depending on the size of your chosen container. Use plants that contrast with the centerpiece for interest and variety. Fall plants like colorful pansies and smaller mums or ornamental cabbage and kale make great options for this.

Your Spillers are typically cascading, running, or vining plants that can be placed in between your fillers and will tumble over the edge of the container. Options include colorful calibrachoa, wave petunias, ajuga, sweet potato vine, trailing sedums, and more. Ideally, the soil will not be seen after a very short time. All they’ll see is color.

Your Water and Fertilizer

Try a little mulch on the surface. It looks good and keeps soil temperature more consistent. Use a water grabber like Soil Moist to keep the soil in your containers moist for longer. Drip irrigation is a great help with container gardening. For fertilization, you can go with liquid or slow-release options. It’s your choice.