Have you ever found something at the flea market but weren’t sure what to do with it? Learn how to plant a fall garden with these easy tips.

The antique flea market in Vermont had THE COOLEST stuff Labor Day Weekend.

It was really tough to come home with just a few items.

But I found this totally amazing copper boiler that would make a great outdoor planter.

It’s big.

It’s beautiful.

And looks great potted up with a bunch of fall flowers or plants.

Wait until you see how I turned this flea market find into something super cool for the garden.

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The Flea Market Find

While thrifting in Vermont, Chris and I stopped by my favorite outdoor flea market in Wilmington, VT.

This vintage market will only be around for a few more weeks, so I knew we had to check it out over Labor Day Weekend.

And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint!

We found so much cool stuff there. But my favorite find was this old copper boiler.

Whoever owned it last cleaned the patina off it, but isn’t it totally awesome? I love the copper look and thought it would look amazing planted with fall flowers.

We also thought it would make a great beverage bucket for a party too.

So there’s that!

plant a fall garden in a flea market find

Fall Planting Ideas for a Flea Market Find

If you aren’t sure what to plant for autumn in your flea market find, there are so many great plant options to choose from for fall. I get inspired by whatever is available at the nursery when I’m gardening or potting something up.

But here are a few of my favorite plants for fall that work well in a thrift flip like this.

red garden mums - chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums

How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find

This copper tub can be planted in two different ways.

First, I could plant a bunch of fall flowers directly in this gorgeous tub.

(NOTE: If planting directly in something that lacks drainage, holes should be drilled.)

But if I want to bring it indoors at the end of the season to incorporate with my winter decor, I may not want to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

Because holes in the bottom would drain out on my floor.

And nobody wants that!

How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
If you are planting directly in your find, you’ll need potting soil and a drill to add drainage holes.

So depending on what and where you plan to use flea market finds for plants and flowers will drive whether or not you add drainage holes.

Because I want to bring this gorgeous piece indoors at the end of the fall season this year, I’m going to add a few mums without planting directly in the tub.

At some point, I may drill holes in the bottom and leave it outside in the garden or pot it up with houseplants indoors.

I haven’t really decided yet.

For now, I’m going to pot it up with some fall garden flowers and switch it out to faux winter greens later.

How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
Add draining holes if planting directly, then fill with potting soil.

Supplies Needed

  • Flea Market Find
  • Fall Flowers or Plants
  • Pots, Containers or Risers to Raise Up the Flowers
  • Drill (optional if planting directly)
  • Potting Soil (optional if planting directly)
How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
If not planting directly, look for plants that will fit the piece to scale and find something to raise them up in the container if need be. Here, I’m using bowls to raise up the millet.

Directions to Plant a Fall Garden in a Container

  • Grab your flea market or thrift store find and determine whether you are planting directly inside or just placing plants.
  • If planting directly inside, drill holes for drainage. Skipping this step will leave roots very soggy, which leads to pest and disease problems.
  • Choose what plants you want in the fall garden. I wanted chrysanthemums but couldn’t find the proper size for this piece, so I went with this gorgeous millet instead.
  • If planting directly inside, fill the container with fresh potting soil.
  • Dig holes then add your plants.
  • If merely placing plants inside the container, find the right size riser to raise plants up. I like to use old nursery pots, but use what you have laying around.
  • Set plants inside and enjoy!
How to plant a fall garden in a flea market find

Container Garden Care

If you planted directly in the flea market find, follow these tips to care for your new planters.

If you merely placed plants inside, you’ll want to follow these same tips too, but check on the plants often to make sure they aren’t drying out.

One of the downfalls of setting plants in containers rather than planting them directly is they dry out a little quicker.

Use THIS METHOD to see if plants need to be watered. Or you can also try using a soil moisture meter like this.

How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find

More About Planting in Thrift Store Finds

Do you have a great thrift flip idea you’d like to share? I would love to know more in the comments below.

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How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find

Want More Container Gardening Inspiration?

Wait until you see these year-round planting ideas for your patio, porch, balcony or other outdoor living space.

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Garden Supplies I Use

I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

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How to Plant a Fall Garden in a Flea Market Find
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Stacy Ling

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18 Comments

  1. Stacy,
    I love how you used your vintage boiler. I’ve had flowers in mine all summer. Think I’ll add some fall plants now. Great tips.

    1. Thank you! It looks so cool! I wish I could find the right size mums for them – I’ll switch them out as more come into the local nurseries. Around here, the pansies haven’t arrived yet – I think this week!

  2. When I saw this on social media I was hoping it was coming home with you. Love it. I have a n old copper boiler pot and love it for plants!

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  5. I’ve never seen that plant before, it’s so cool. We are on coastal Florida north of Palm Beach so it’s too hot and humid for outdoor Labor Day events like you have up north. We’re still in summer hibernation mode . What a wonderful cooped piece you scored.

  6. I love your copper pot! I know it will look great when you get the plants in it! What a great find!
    Have a great week,
    Teri