The Pottery Post Blog
 

Grow & Dry Potted Basil



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How to dry fresh basil.

You may ask why we are bringing up drying basil in the dead of winter?  Well, we think you should be planning now what herbs, flowers, and plants you want to grow in garden containers this coming spring.  So maybe if we tell you how to dry potted basil (popular herb) and why you want to dry it, you will include it in your coming garden décor.

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Dried basil in flowerpots can be used in so many cooking recipes.  Sauces, pesto, chicken and pasta dishes.  It really is one of the most used and desired herbs you can pot and grow at home.  And, have you ever priced basil at the grocery store?  argh.

 854 Potted Basil Plant

If you don’t want to grow your own basil in flowerpots you can always dry any fresh basil that you purchase at the grocery store.

After harvesting the basil grown in clay planters, make sure it’s gently washed.  Lay the basil bunches in a dish strainer or on a kitchen towel where they can dry completely.  Remove as much stem as possible because they don’t dry so well.

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Preheat your oven to the lowest setting.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread leaves out so they aren’t touching. Place in the oven for around 1 to 2 hrs. checking every 15 mins or so.  You don’t want the leaves to burn but just feel dry to the touch.  Remove and cool completely.  Now you can crumble it up removing any stems.  Bottle the crumbles and store in a cabinet out of sunlight.

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See how simple this is!  You can easily grow and dry your own basil in almost any size and kind of flowerpot.  By using a clay planter instead of planting directly into your yard or garden, you can container the roots from spreading.  We like to grow all herbs in terracotta clay instead of other types of garden pottery because the clay will breathe and that is good for creating healthy roots.  So, if you have clay flowerpots or any clay planters laying around use those first.  Just make sure they are large enough to hold the number of herbs you want to grow.

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potted basil, grow basil in flowerpots, dry potted basil, basil dried



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Post Last Updated: 2/20/2020 2:02:42 PM 

Give Terracotta Pottery A Second Look



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Arizona Pottery has been in the pottery industry since 2000.  We have seen and continue to see all kinds of trends come and go when it comes to choices of garden planters.  Fiberglass, Poly Resin, High Fired, Low Fired, Concrete, Black Clay, Terracotta the list goes on and on.

Why did we start with red terracotta and it continues to be our best seller?  Because it is timeless.  Terra cotta pots have been around for ages and they tend to come and go in popularity but in this post, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons.

When it comes to cons when using terra cotta flowerpots and garden planters the list is pretty short.
* Dry out quickly.
* Breakdown over time.
* Become heavy once planted.
* Discolor over time
* Plain and boring

So let’s look at a few pros on why they are basically timeless and still popular.

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HEALTH
Healthy for a plant’s, roots – Did you know that terra cotta clay breathes?  Yes, it is very healthy for all plants root systems.  Because the clay “breathes” it will also show the chemicals that are in your potting mix or fertilizer.  Every time you water the potted plant, the water soaks into the clay, eventually seeping out, the clay will start to show a calcium build up or white lines and markings.  This is loved and appreciated by many terracotta owners.  So much so that they try to age their planters by applying milk to the outside so that moss will grow and the pot will look aged faster than the natural process.

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WEIGHT
Terracotta planters are not known for being the heaviest garden containers around but once they are filled with damp potting mix, they can become quite heavy. This is great if you are planting a tree or shrub and the yard pot is placed in a spot where it will receive some wind.  Lightweight or Fiberglass containers will blow over very easily.  If you need added weight you can always put a brick or rocks in the bottom of the planter before adding the potting mix. Just make sure you have it placed where you want it since you won’t be able to move it easily.

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DISCOLORATION
One of the worse and most popular reasons for using terracotta is the aging process that naturally occurs.  Like we stated above green thumb gardeners won’t use anything else and rejoice in the aging process.  It is a sign of beauty and age that can hardly be duplicated.  If you are the type who likes their containers to look brand new then Terracotta is not the planter for you.

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PLAIN/BORING
Yes, terracotta is ageless and is seen everywhere.  Maybe you need something different a bit more modern or contemporary.  Terra cotta pottery is considered traditional, timeless and naturalistic, all good things but maybe not your thing.  That is fine.  If you like the look of clay but not clay itself there are resin pots that are textured and come in the terracotta color that will stand up to an explosion.  Unless someone walks up and knocks on the planter they will not know it’s not the real clay of terracotta.

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So, these are the best pros and cons that we can think of today.  How about you?  What do you like or not like about Terracotta garden planters and containers.

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clayflowerpots, terracotta, clay pots, planters, pots, terra-cotta 



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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 3:10:51 PM 

Fall into Winter Containers



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Now your Fall garden planters around your home and yard should be looking pretty spent.  The mums may have started to fade and the grasses have been beaten by the wind.  We would like to make a few suggestions on how to transition into your winter containers.

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The main focus is to plant the containers with plants that will last thru the harsh winter temps and still look presentable and decorative.  In many cases, you only need to plant on center evergreen and then add a bunch of decorative items to make the whole container more dazzling and lively.

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Birch branches are always a big addition.  You can tie them together to create a cluster and stick in the center of the planter.  This gives the planter height, a stark white contrast to the deep green plant that is unique.  Berry Branches are also stunning when sticking out of an evergreen.  You can cut them off an existing bush or purchase them at the local craft store.  Holly is a wonderful addition to any winter planter.

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Pods and Seed Heads are very decorative.  They add a dried touch to the yard pots and can be sprayed with spray paint that matches your décor. Red, Gold & Greens look lovely for the holidays while the natural earth tones will last into the new year and still look lovely.

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Conifers in all varieties are the very best.  Cedar, spruce, and boxwoods are the perfect addition to any winter container because they can handle the harsh weather and fill your planter with lots of earthy green color and texture.  Junipers, ornamental cabbage, and kale are large and work wonderfully planted around the outside of your pottery.

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Now that we have given you a few suggestions for turning the Fall planters into Winter planters around your yard, patio or porch we think it is time to try thinking outside the box.  Look around your yard or your neighbor’s yard and see the different types of plants, shrubs, berries, and branches that are growing.  Try adding them into your design and create a planter that will last for many months to come.


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fall containers, winter garden pottery ideas, planter ideas for winter, fall and winter pots, planters, pottery



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Post Last Updated: 1/2/2019 2:10:29 PM 

Growing Pumpkins In Flowerpots



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Let’s grow a pumpkin in a flowerpot!

If you find yourself limited to a deck or patio and no yard in sight then we have the solution for how to grow your own pumpkin.  Put them in a flowerpot.  It is not that difficult and really a fun thing to do.

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Of course, as with anything you are going to grow in a garden pot start by picking the container.  Pumpkins need and like room, so think big.  The larger the better.  If you want to grow mini pumpkins you can get away with a smaller container but honestly they need room to grow.

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If you are a apartment dweller and only have a balcony you should use a long rectangle window box as big as you can manage.  Try to get one that is 36” long if possible and make sure whatever you use that there are drain holes in the bottom.  As with other plants the roots of these pumpkins do not like soggy soil.  Drill extra if necessary.

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When selecting soil pick a potting mix that is good for containers.  Mix equal pots of mix and compost.  The compost improves the water’s retention which pumpkin vines like.  Add in a slow release fertilizer to the soil and fill the container up to 2” below the rim.

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Time to add the seeds. We recommend following the seed packet directions.  Make sure to water frequently since pumpkins are thirsty. There are many varieties you can grow but we suggest you start with smaller varieties or mini pumpkins.  Get your feet wet with the little ones and then get bigger from there.

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potted pumpkin, pumpkin in flowerpots, garden pottery, yard planters, clay flowerpots




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Post Last Updated: 11/20/2018 10:14:27 AM 

Tiny Pots



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Every one loves tiny pots.  Right now the rage is tiny homes, tiny cars, tiny pots...why not!!!
Small garden containers are big on charm but quick to dry out.  Keep your tiny pots in tip top shape by following these easy tips.

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Place your tiny pot containers where you unwind in the evening or drink your morning coffee.  That way you won't forget to water them.  Group your small pots together for a big visual appeal and easy one stop watering.  Try grouping them by color, style or type.  All red pots, all terra-cotta planters, all colors of the rainbow.  This is the time to get creative and playful.

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Get your creative juices flowing when it comes to selecting the containers.  Use coffee mugs, decorative saucers, children's toys, baskets, bowls or birdhouses.  Any type of container that can hold a small amount of potting soil and water

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Fill your tiny pots with similar plants that have similar watering needs.  All succulents, cactus, sedums....preferably drought hardy plants.  Mix all greens or add a mix of colors to create a cohesive look.  If you have room, top the potting soil with small pebbles. The rocks will keep the moisture in the soil from evaporating.  Idea:  top with colored rocks, small beads, small toys.

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Finally if you set your containers in a saucer of sand the sand will absorb excess drainage and then allow the pots to wick moisture back up as they dry out.  Damp sand also makes great sipping stations for butterflies.  So you get double the loveliness!

We all love small decorative containers.  If you just head the warning about watering you should be able to create some lovely and playful creations that will last a long time and bring smiles to everyone face.

Enjoy!

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tiny pots, small planters, tiny pottery, small garden pots, pottery, pots



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Post Last Updated: 4/4/2018 11:45:49 AM 

Make a Potted Butterfly Garden



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Have you always wanted to attract butterflies to your patio or porch area?  Well here are a few tips that will help you create a butterfly garden in a container that will do just that.

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The simplest way to attract butterflies to your patio pots is to provide them with food that the butterflies want.  Plan on potting up both butterfly friendly flowers that are nectar rich and types of plants that caterpillars like to eat.

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Lets start with the garden planter.  Most flowers and plants don't need a deep planter because their roots are rather shallow. However this is not the time to downsize your choice of planter.  You want a pot that is large enough to hold a variety of plants and flowers that will attract butterflies. Plan on placing those containers in a area of your patio where they will get 6 hrs of sunlight daily and not a lot of wind.

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Next is selecting the types of flowers and plants to pot up.  Grow nectar plants that attract butterflies.  Flowers are the best like marigolds, cosmos, verbena, butterfly weed and lavender.  Add a host plant to each container where butterflies can lay their eggs on the bottom of their leaves.  Black eyed susan, milkweed, asters, cornflowers, and herbs like fennel and dill.

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Plant the flowers at different heights with tall in the center and trailing or low flowers around the outside of the garden planter.  This also is a basic idea to do with any garden planter where you not only want function but beauty.  

Now is not the time for chemicals and pesticides.  Another great suggestion is to leave a saucer filled with sand, salt and water so the butterflies can nibble the minerals.  This is called Puddling.

Who doesn't love butterflies?  We all love seeing them flying around our porch or patio areas.  Follow these simple basic tips and increase your garden beauty.

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butterfly pots, potted flowers for butterflies, create a butterfly garden container, container butterfly garden



By
Post Last Updated: 10/25/2017 9:26:40 AM 

When To Water Your Garden Planters?



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You selected the perfect garden planter, you researched and purchased the best kinds of plants and now you ask, When is the best time to water?  Good question.  You want to make sure when it comes to watering your potted plants you get it right.  Of course we all know that too much or too little can kill most plants and make those garden planters look pretty bad.

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First you must make sure that your garden pottery has drain holes. Even succulents & cacti don't like to sit in standing water.  Then early morning is the best time to water your planters.  This is because the sun is barely up and the temps are still pretty cool.  Now is the time that water can penetrate the soil and get down to the roots before being evaporated by the sun & heat.

Watering your planter early also means that the plants will have time to soak up and store some of the water before they are dried out and waiting in the afternoon.  Don't believe that spraying the leaves of the potted plants and then having the full sun hit them will scorch them or cause burning. That is simply not true.

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The second best time to water your potted garden planters is late afternoon or early evening.  What you are trying to do is to avoid watering your containers in the middle of the day.  If you wait till early evening try not to get water all over the plants leaves.  Letting the water sit on the leaves can cause pathogens and disease.  So if you have a choice always go with morning or late morning.

Do NOT water at night.  You think it's a good time to water your planters so that they can soak up all that moisture but it really causes disease like stated above because there is not evaporation.

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So to rap this up, here are a few last tips.

Don't overwater - look for limp or soggy leaves, rotting at the stem or tips browning.
Water consistently over the surface of the soil and not your leaves. When you water, water deeply.  The deeper the better for encouraging the potted plants roots to spread throughout the planter.

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watering planters, water garden pottery, watering containers



By
Post Last Updated: 9/27/2017 12:44:56 PM 

Protecting Garden Planters Over Winter



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As the years go by you find yourself collecting more and more garden planters.  Many of them are very expensive or just ones that you love very much.  So of course you want to protect them from Winters cold and damage.  Here are a few tips that may help ease your discomfort.

Before anything you need to clean them out and clean them up.  Of course this is only for garden pottery that is empty and being stored.  Start by dumping the soil into a compost pile or recycle can.  You will not be using it again so it has to go.  You do not want to pass on any bugs, mold or fungus that may be growing in the soil so get rid of it and start fresh next season.

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Use a wire or stiff bristle brush to scrub off any chunks of soil that are sticking to the inside of the flowerpot.  Then mix a bucket of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.  Now scrub the inside with the bleach mix to disinfect the pot and make sure any thing that may be still attached to the insides are killed or removed.  Let the pots dry completely before storing them in the garage or shed.

Ideally all garden pottery and planters should be stored indoors over the winter months.  May planters are frost resistant but not frost proof.  This means they can handle light frost but not freezing weather.  If there is standing water from rain or drip system in the soil and the soil freezes, the water will expand and crack the planter.

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If you are leaving the empty planters outdoors, try flipping them over and use bricks, pot feet or wood to keep them off the ground.  You can cover the empty containers with a large garbage bag to keep the water off or cover with burlap wrap.  If you can't flip them then just fill them with hay or mulch to protect them from the water and cold.

If you can't move the garden planters and need to keep them planted then you need to top the pots with mulch to keep the water out and the roots from freezing.  We like wrapping the planter with burlap and string to help.  Plastic bubble wrap works etc.  We know it's not the most beautiful look but if it saves your planters from cracking it's well worth it.

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The only exception for all the above information is a terra cotta flower pot.  Terra cotta is porous and absorbs water like a sponge.  This is healthy for the plants but obviously bad for freezing water conditions.  If you can't bring them in, get the pots off the ground, wrap in a waterproof bag or tarp and move them under a roof eave so water doesn't directly hit them.  If you can't do any of that then at least lay down a thick layer of mulch or hay to protect the top soil.

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Hope this helps and you find some of these tips for protecting your garden planters from freezing during Winter work.

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winter protection for garden planters, overwintering pottery, winter planters, protecting garden pots in winter.



By
Post Last Updated: 11/20/2017 11:22:56 AM 

Container Tricks



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Finding the most beautiful and healthy plants and flowers for your garden containers isn't that hard to do.  Most local nursery and garden centers carry a wide selection that are mostly healthy and lovely.  Now keeping them looking that way for as long as possible is the goal of every container gardener.  By following a few tips listed below you are well on the way to achieving that goal.

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1.  Pick the perfect garden pot.  Make sure you get the right size before anything else.  You do not want to put a palm into a pot that is so small it tips over in a robust wind or so little that it cramps the roots from growing and spreading.  All plants and flowers have roots that need room to grow in soil that has nutrients in it.  If a container is too large it can result in over moist soil and drown the roots.  If you have a lot of space in the pot and you keep the soil moist, you may get moss and mildew issues that are not welcome.  Also make sure you garden container has drain hole.  No standing water in flowerpots is recommended.

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2.  Plant you new pottery container with a plan.  It seems harmless to just dig in and go for it but the result will not be as successful if you follow a few steps.  Make sure you use plants with the right light needs with where you are putting the finished pot.  A plant that needs full sunlight will not grow if you place the garden planter on a covered porch that sees mostly shade.  Try to mix flowering plants and colors with green foliage to fill in the planter and make them look overflowing and full.  Just make sure they need the same amount of water.

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3.  Be selective about the potting soil you use.  Never use garden soil for many reason but mostly you will NOT have healthy plants.  If you plant succulents make sure you are using pumice soil that drains well. If flowers are more to your liking a nice potting mix that has compost in it works great.  Don't recycle potting soil if you had diseased plants growing it in already.  Start fresh!  The main thing to remember here is never underestimate the power of the correct potting mix.

So follow these easy steps and you are well on the way to have garden containers that look stunning all season long. 

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garden containers, garden pottery, clay garden pots, clay garden pottery, home and garden pottery



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Post Last Updated: 9/26/2017 2:40:01 PM 

Let's Make Beautiful Garden Containers



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Whether you shop online (and we hope you do) or visit your local garden center, finding the perfect garden planter, plant materials, soil etc to create lovely flowerpots to decorate your home or garden area is easy to do.  Lot's of choices, colors, textures that when put together can make a look that adds color, beauty and life to your garden decor.

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However, keeping those potted containers looking nice all summer long when the heat and windy weather can beat them up pretty good, is another thing.  We want to give you some tips that may help you over come the garden planter blues.

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Start by selecting the perfect container. Make sure the size is correct for the plants that you are putting in the pot.  Too small and roots are crowded, too large and soil stays too moist and you have fungal issues.  Make sure the pot has drainage. No plants like to sit in standing water.

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Next get a plan on what you are going to plant.  Don't go to the local nursery and buy impulsivily.  Choose plants that will thrive in your area and add some foliage to pots to fill them out when you are planting flowers. Try to buy a plant to place in the center of the pot for height. This really adds a focal point for deciding what to plant around it.

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Get good potting soil.  Don't ever use the ground soil and don't use old soil that has been sitting in the garage for a few years.  If you choose to reuse soil from a spent container make sure there are no spores, fungus or mites and other unfriendlies can live in long after the plants are gone.

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Presoak the plastic nursery pot in a tub of water to loosen and relax the roots before knocking the plant out of the pot.  Just fill a shallow basin, or wheelbarrow with water, sit the pots in so the drain holes are covered and let them soak for 30 mins.  Then knock the plant out and repot in your decorative garden container.  The roots will be pliable and soft and they will thank you for this, presoak.  The after the pot is complete make sure to give everything one last drink.

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Don't underestimate how important it is to keep up the grooming of the finished planter.  Deadhead spent blooms, cut back straggly stems and replace anything that just isn't doing well.  This little weekly step makes a big different in how your planters look all season long.

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And finally, fertilize. Purchase a slow release fertilizer or better yet every two weeks water with a liquid fertilizer to keep everything looking it's best all season.  Every time you water a pot till there is water coming out the drain hole you loose valuable nutrients.  These need to be replaced.

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garden container tips, planted pottery tips, tips for home and garden pots



By
Post Last Updated: 8/10/2017 11:46:01 AM 



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