Keeping Planters Fresh Before Fall – Southern Patio

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Marigold New Bloom Starting After Deadheading

By:  Chelsea Lipford Wolf

The end of August and beginning of September is a tricky time in the garden. It’s too late to plant things like summer blooming plants and vegetables, but too early to plant fall and winter crops since there is still heat in the air. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do to keep your container gardens and planters looking fresh and plentiful.

Pull Weeds, Add Mulch

Try as we may, weeds happen. Thankfully, only so many weeds can grow in a container at a time! A few minutes spent pulling weeds will keep them from dropping seeds and spreading weeds into your lawn or other planting beds nearby.

Once your containers are clear of weeds, add some pebbles, mulch, or pine straw to make them look like new again!

Blue Flowers in Galvanized Planter with Mulch


There are a variety of flowering plants that love and appreciate their spent blooms being picked or deadheaded. Depending on the plant, removing old blooms can alert the plant to keep blooming, bloom again, or get ready for the next growing season.

Marigolds will keep putting out blooms for a few more weeks after deadheading. I love using annuals like marigolds in a large pot when I plant seeds. There is still some color and life in the front while I’m waiting for my seeds to sprout up in the back! This Westlake planter is 20.5” inches wide, so there’s plenty of room for plant friends!

Euryops Daisies in Need of Deadheading

Other plants like the Euryops daisy will produce heavier, longer-lasting blooms with regular deadheading and pruning. Plus, it enhances the overall look of the plant not having brown stems and blooms all over! Just pinch off the dead flowers with your fingers or cut dead stems with scissors or pruning shears.

Deadheading Daisy Spent Bloom

Plant Seeds

Right now is the perfect time to plant seeds for many vegetables that are harvested in the fall and early winter. Lettuces are an easy choice because they are fast-growing and will be able to be harvested before the chill of winter sets in. Radishes are also a fast-growing crop!

To plant, push seeds half an inch into the soil and then loosely cover with more soil. Lightly water, but don’t allow soil to stay soggy, and within a few weeks you will start to see growth above the surface!

Making Hole in Dirt for Planting Seeds

Slower-growing crops can still be planted by seed, but you’ll want to bring them into a room with plenty of natural light when the first frost hits. Planting them in containers makes it manageable to relocate your plants if you just can’t get enough of your favorite fall crops!

Large Planter with Annuals and Fall Seeds

Check out some other planter project ideas!

Choosing Vegetables and Planters for Your Edible Garden

Container Gardening in a Small Space