Grit Blogs > Chasing Dorothy

I Can Hardly Contain Myself

By Natalie K. Gould, Assistant Editor/Web Editor

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Photo of Natalie K. GouldIf you have read one of my two blogs, you know that I'm trying out container gardening for the first time. It's been a learning curve, but it's yielded some beautiful results. My joy in my homegrown tomatoes, for example, bubbles over. So you'll understand me when I say I've been dreamily browsing seed catalogs for fall crops.

Nothing quite seems so appealing to me as heading out the door in the morning and seeing my container crops snug and warm underneath a layer of hay mulch. I can almost feel the frost-bitten mornings now.

But here’s the problem: I hardly have the slightest idea what kind of fall vegetables I can plant in containers. I would love to plant garlic, but can I? What about arugula? Lavender? What about watering? Freezing? Will I need to sit outside with them at night and make sure they stay warm? If that’s what it takes, then by golly I’ll do it! Ok, maybe I won’t get that obsessive about it. I just want to be successful at this.

I’m the new kid on the block at GRIT and do not have the sage wisdom that my coworkers do, but luckily there’s a great community of gardeners, farmers and homesteaders (that would be you) who know what they’re doing.

Consider this my plea and cry for help during my very first fall gardening season. Please help me succeed and join the upper echelon (gardeners-only, cool-person club) to which my coworkers belong with their homegrown fall goodness I’m sure to see in the coming months.

If I grow lavender, I’m thinking I could make tea from it and then I can be the “oh she grows her own lavender and makes tea from it” girl. Everyone has a role here: Bryan is the beef guy, Hank is the pork and lard guy, Kasey is the brick guy, Caleb is the bow and arrow guy, many many others are the gardener guys and gals. My goal is to attain one of these distinctions and maybe even make a nameplate for my desk. “Lavender Gal.” Personalized license plate? Ok, this is getting out of hand. Paint my desk purple? Someone please tell me to stop.

Now that I’m through that digression…have you ever grown fall crops in containers? What works, what doesn’t? What are some fatal mistakes I should avoid? How big do the containers need to be? Watering, fertilizing, mulching? Most prolific crops? Ones that don’t do too well? Teach me the ways of fall gardening, and in turn, I may text you a picture of my coworkers desks that will surely become storage units for all the lavender soap and essential oil that I am destined to make. Really, one of you needs to put a cap on this.

My email is If you have any advice, please comment or shoot me an email! Thank you so much for your help.