Winter and Garden Pottery
Not everyone lives in the same type of climate. Like us here in Arizona have pretty mild Winters. It does get cold but the sky is mostly blue, clear and sunny. Back on the East Coast, we know that is not the case. Well, where you live can dictate what types of garden planters you choose to grow in and decorate with.
If you are one of the lucky ones that can move large or small containers into a garage or potting shed there are a few steps you need to follow. Start by removing all plant materials and potting soil. Now is a great time to compost but whether you do or not doesn’t make a difference. The pots need to be cleaned out!
Start by scrubbing the outside and inside with a soft brush and 10 parts water to 1- part bleach. Let them dry completely. Then move them for added protection. It is not always possible to move extra large pots, so follow these instructions instead. Clean them out if possible and lift them up off the ground with pot feet or wood boards. This keeps them from freezing and cracking.
For large pots with plants that are not seasonal, you will need to lay a layer of mulch across the top. This creates a layer between the cold freezing weather and the potting soil, where the plant's roots live. It also helps if you can wrap the planter with burlap or bubble wrap. This also creates a barrier of protection between the cold and the fragile planter.
Pots and garden containers can be expensive. Unless you don’t mind replacing your pottery on a regular basis it’s best to provide any protection you can so that the pots will last and last for many years.
Terracotta is meant to retain moisture so these are the most likely to crack. You need to keep them covered with a plastic bag so water doesn’t seep into the clay. If it does and the weather freezes then these types of garden containers will crack. Materials that do well in Winter are concrete, sandstone, frost proof glazed planters or fiberglass and polyresin. These materials are meant to repel water. But, as a caution remember if a glazed pot cracks or chips, water will find it and seep in. Then it’s just a matter of time before the pot will break down.
So, hopefully, this information is helpful. Take care, be wise and you will help your home and garden containers last for many years!