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(7 Posts)
RuleBritannia Wed 30-Jan-13 14:18:15

This is my first post in Gardening.

I've several terra cotta pots of different sizes and shapes. Square ones and round ones have split to an extent that they are no longer useable except for breaking up and putting in the bottom of other pots.

Is this the norm? Garden Centres never warn one about the vulnerability of terra cotta clay pots to snow and deep frost.

We're in the middle of a lovely day so I've been in the garden dwelling on just one pot, emptying it of the compost without making a mess all over the gravel it stands in and saving the sprouting bulbs in it.

They're a waste of money.

Missbopeep Wed 30-Jan-13 22:25:00

One tip is to stand them on some wood or something so that the water in the compost in them doesn't get too frozen from being in contact with the ground. Doesn't always work mind.

I have lots of pots- most years 1 will develop a crack but others have gone on for years .

purplewithred Thu 31-Jan-13 12:40:27

Like Miss says - i've got some teracotta pots that have lasted for ages, others have split pretty quickly. You do need to check when you buy them.

WowOoo Thu 31-Jan-13 12:44:00

If there is a lot of water in them before they freeze it can make it worse.
So a dry frost was fine, but the snow and frost we just had has weakened one of mine.

I can see a crack, but it's just about holding the plant for now.

They look so much nicer than plastic.
Car boot sales are good for them apparently.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 31-Jan-13 18:30:56

Some terracotta pots are better than others - it depends (I think) on the temperature at which they're fired. As has already been said, it does help if you stand the pots on pot feet/bricks, as then they drain better. It's the expansion of waterlogged compost as it freezes that often does the damage. One of my windowboxes has split - it's still usable but the inner surface of the terracotta has come away, probably because water got into a crack.

Ebay can also be a good source of pots, if someone is selling locally.

SecretSevenFan Thu 31-Jan-13 19:58:31

You can buy pots that are labelled as frost-proof. How reliable this is, I don't know but there are various different qualities in pots. If you are really worried, wrap them in fleece, or put indoors if possible- garage, shed etc if the weather is terrible. I've had some pots for 20 years and more.

RuleBritannia Fri 01-Feb-13 21:07:41

Thank you everyone. I've thought of another route to take - Freecycle. I'll stand tham on little feet of stones, too.

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