The Pottery Post Blog

Create an Autumn Porch

Now is the time to transform the porch on the front of your home and create a wonderful and cozy place to enjoy this time of year as the weather cools off.  All summer long you used the porch as an oasis from the heat.  Because fall has arrived and you move inside, don't neglect this important area that you can still use.
 14843An easy way to transform any area, whether it's a porch or patio, is by adding garden planters.  They can be colorful to compliment the fall leaves or traditional terracotta containers with it's warm sun baked color tones.

Make sure the planters are large enough to handle the type of plant materials we will suggest.  Plant items like green & purple cabbage.  These grow large and have bright colorful leaves that spread out.  Plant marigolds and chrysanthemums.  They both have bright bold orange and yellow colors
 14840Take empty garden containers and fill them with straw.  Top the straw with gourds and squash in colorful shades.  Fill a planter with fall leaves and top with pumpkins that have been carved and filled with twinkle lights.  Remember that the items will be protected on a covered porch so they will look lovely for a longer period of time.  Most of the plants recommended are meant to stand up to this type of weather and have good results. 
 14841Other fun ideas:  Pillows in fall colors and great textures always add warmth and comfort.  Try covering your seat cushions on the chairs with a fall fabric in leaf patterns or wheat colors.  Use re-purposed items in varying heights and eye levels.  Wire plant stands, shallow trays, small side tables filled with apples & plums.  Line porch railings with small potted planters of mums, use pumpkins everywhere to add color. 
All of these ideas using pots are easy to do and not expensive.  Try to use things you find laying around your garden or yard, this makes it fun and creative.
Read more.....Placing stones in the garden area.
Read more.....How to help your garden survive winter.

Post Last Updated: 12/19/2016 2:20:10 PM 

Consider Climate when planting containers


Climate plays a role in container gardening because it depends on what you're growing and when your growing it.  You don't need to worry about winter if you are into single-season containers.  However its still important to know when the weather has warmed up enough in spring so it's safe to set out tender plants that can't tolerate frost.

If however, your containers are filled with permanent plants - perennials, trees, and shrubs - then you need to tune in more carefully to the regions climate.  In most cases, winter temperatures are the deciding factor in what will survive in your climate.

A great tip to remember is that growing plants in containers allows you to grow plants that otherwise may not survive in your climate if you are willing to take extra steps to protect them in extreme temps - like moving them to protected spots.


As you already know, container plants are more vulnerable to extreme temps (especially cold) than the same plant growing in the ground.  Soil temps rarely drop below the 20's but because of the soils residual heat.  The soil in containers can freeze solid when exposed to cold temps.  Temperatures that alternate between freezing and thawing post another challenge.  On a sunny winter day they soil may thaw and then at night refreeze when the temperatures drop.  Once soil freezes again it expands and push plants up out of the soil.  This is the time that a ceramic or clay pay will crack.


Knowing the frost dates for your region is kind of like peering into a crystal ball.   If you move your containers to a sheltered place for the winter, the plants may being sprouting earlier in spring than they would have had they wintered outdoors.  Then, if you bring the plants outdoors before the last spring frost date the chances are good that the new growth will be nipped by frost.  To be safe, if overwintering plants have begun to sprout in their sheltered spot, wait until after the last frost date to bring them outdoors.


To be totally successful, you really do need to keep an eye on the weather, especially in fall when cold snaps can threaten warm season plants.  We advise you move small containers into a garage or enclosed porch, where temps stay a few degrees warmer than outdoors.  Move them back when the threat has passed.


Cover large planters with old sheets, cardboard boxes, or anything that holds heat.  Use stakes to prop up the cover to avoid breaking stems.  Extend covering all the way to the ground, and secure it around the base of the container to help hold in the heat.  Remove covers the next morning once temps warm up to the 50's.

Post Last Updated: 1/11/2017 9:22:58 AM 

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