Terracotta is a common and popular source for garden pots. It’s a renewable resource, bio-degradable, and can be the basis for some creative decorations in your garden. Here are 8 ideas for you to try.
Terracotta cracks easily but don’t let that stop you from a little creativity. Lay a large cracked terracotta pot on its side with the cracked side partly buried. Plant a cluster of herbs or small flowering plants as if they have spilled out from the overturned pot. Over time watering will wash out the potting soil in the overturned pot so remember to top it up with more soil as summer progresses.
A broken pot can be used as a mini-windbreak. Just jam the bottom of the broken piece into the ground so that it is curving around a small plant. This can be helpful in spring when you have tender seedlings to put out to face the world.
If you have a terracotta pot that is mostly intact but just missing a section of the upper rim, paint it and turn it upside down to make a toad house. Use a magic marker to label it and tuck it in amongst your plants.
When looking for terracotta, don’t confine yourself to the garden section. This material is used to make clay flue tiles, drainage pipe, and even roof tiles. The flue tiles (which look like large, somewhat square pipes) can stand on end and be filled with potting soil and planted with mint or other aggressive herbs. This will not only give a change in elevation to your garden but it will help contain the invasive mint.
Miniature Terraced Landscape
Got a broken pot with a large section missing – say, half the pot? Use the broken pieces and some potting soil to create a terraced miniature landscape for succulents and heat-loving small herbs such as thyme and Corsican mint.
Save small fragments of terracotta pots. They can be used to cover drainage holes, preventing soil from escaping but allowing water to seep out. Be careful not to place the terracotta fragment so that it plugs the drainage hole.
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A Garden Sign
All terracotta pots can be painted with craft paints. Next time you have this in mind, buy some chalkboard black paint to cover a large pot. This can be used as a temporary sign (“Party this way” with an arrow) or as a drawing board for children who can decorate it with sidewalk chalk.
You can easily transform a simple terracotta pot into a fun work of art by using craft paints and a sponge. First paint the entire outer surface plus the top inch or two inside with a base color. Then using a sponge, apply a contrasting color in dabs here and there. You can also use the tip of a unused pencil eraser to create polka dots all over the pot surface.
I have porous Comanche pottery that discoloration when I plant directly in it. Plastic garbage as liners to protect the finish of the pottery? Comanche is out of business so the parts are historic.
Yes, some sort of plastic lining will prevent moisture from damaging this decorated pottery. Thick, black plastic will work but you might also use a thin nursery pot. Another possible source is the clear liners florists use for inside wicker baskets.