Outdoor Pots and Wotnot

Experience with Outdoor Plant Pots

This back end I have bought some new terracotta pots from the manufacturer in their end of season sale. I had always wanted some large, matching Long Toms and I now have some filled with patio roses. (Naylor Garden Pots is near Barnsley since the 1890’s.) I have also belatedly realised that pots look better when grouped in identical pairs or with like minded pots.

The new pots were commandeered by two of my adult children leaving me with only a couple of Long Toms.

A sturdy pot on tarmac hard standing with cheerful violas. New plants will be planted up in the same pots when these plants go over. The Violas transplanted quite well into my garden but Pansies from pots seldom do as well when replanted.

Winter Care

Glazed and ceramic pots can be damaged by frost. Terracotta pots may be sold as frost proof but if you have spent a lot of money on them it is as well to take care.

Full pots present a different problem as damp freezing soil expands as it cools enough to split or crack thin pots. I move mine to a sheltered spot under the eaves of the house. I raise pots off the ground to stop them freezing to the soil and loosing the bottom of the pot. It also helps improve drainage. Although ‘pot feet’ can be bought for the purpose I am using old plastic tape cassette boxes this year (this may be false economy but I am Yorkshire tight.) Bubble wrap or hessian can be used to insulate precious pots and keep roots from the worst of the frost.

Any pot not in use should be washed out in Jeys fluid or similar disinfectant and I store them in the garage, shed or coal place through winter.

I get frustrated at myself if I let pots get top heavy so wind blows them overĀ  or bad location say in a wind tunnel. A have taken to crocking big pots with heavy stone and gravel to give a ‘sold Bottom’ to the plant pots.

Problems and my Help with Plant Pots

  1. Heavy potsĀ  are hard to move and lift without casters, wheels or sack trolley. (often 50% of the weight is water.)
  2. Soak terracotta pots before use to prevent them from drawing moisture from the compost into the pot. This moisture is important for evaporation that keeps plants and soil cool.
  3. Black plastic gets hot and compost dries and shrinks around the edge. Keep shaded or know what type of plants will not mind extremes.
  4. Thin plastic may look unnatural and will not age by moss or lichen. Consider using a plastic pot inside a good looking pot so you can easily ring the changes. Plastic also becomes brittle when exposed to UV light.
  5. Beware the dreaded Vine Weevil which can consume your plant roots. It is the grubs that do the damage but the beetle look terrifying.
  6. It is worth the extra cost to buy frost free pots if you want to leave them outdoors in a frost prone area.
  7. Gardeners tips

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