Vince Pitelka on wed 10 may 00
>RE: clay/flowerpots - it probably does not make a lot of
>difference what kind of clay you use. Some like terracotta
>because it "breathes" and is the classic pot. But pots that
>breathe are not necessarily good for plants in terms of the
>salts they absorb from the soil & water(ing). I generally
>glaze mine in & out, and so far no plants have complained.
My dad, who is a potter connoisseur and has always been endowed with one of
those intuitive green thumbs, says that a planter should never be glazed
inside. I am not sure that the soluble salts are a problem, since unglazed
terracotta planters have been used so successfully for ages. And even if
they are a problem for some plants, as long as the planter is glazed on the
outside it is not an issue, since the soluble salts will accumulate in the
clay only if water is evaporating from the outside surface.
If planters are glazed on the inside, the growing roots tend to just follow
smoothly along the inner surface of the pot, around the circumference,
giving them very little contact with the soil. If the pot is unglazed on
the inside, the roots tend to grab ahold, and are more likely to reverse
back into the soil, which is much better for the plant.
And, for anyone interested, my dad would never buy a planter with an
attached plate or drainage groove around the lower edge, and I agree with
him. In most cases such attached plates stick out too far at the base of
the planter, in order to give adequate reservoir capacity, and they end up
looking very clunky. I have always preferred planters with separate plates
which aesthetically match the planter, including a similar rim treatment on
planter and plate. I also like a plate which fits fairly snugly, so that it
doesn't make a big statement at the bottom of the planter. It should have
enough depth to provide reservoir capacity, but the roots need to breathe.
The ideal solution is to trim a good raised foot on your planters, cut a few
notches in the foot, and throw a good plate with raised sides which fits the
bottom of the planter fairly snugly. The raised foot within the saucer
allows good reservoir capacity when you water the plant, and the notched
foot allows the roots to breath, which is very important for many plants.
Throwing planters with a separate plate is a little more work, but you can
charge more money for them. In my experience, the customers love them, and
the plant connoisseurs prefer them.
Best wishes -
Home - vpitelka@DeKalb.net
Work - firstname.lastname@example.org
615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
Dannon Rhudy on thu 11 may 00
....>My dad, .... has always been endowed with one of
>those intuitive green thumbs,....
Oh, yeah? Well, MY dad's thumb was greener than
YOUR dad's thumb.
..a planter should never be glazed
>....If planters are glazed on the inside, the growing roots tend to just
follow smoothly along the inner surface of the pot,
...giving them very little contact with the soil. If the pot is unglazed
on the inside, the roots tend to grab ahold, and are more likely to reverse
back into the soil, which is much better for the plant.....
Aw, Vince. Fiddlesticks. I use planters glazed & unglazed
all the time - there's no difference in the plant roots that
I can see. And think of all those nasty plastic planters in
which, to my sorrow, plants are perfectly willing to thrive?
>And, for anyone interested, my dad would never buy a planter with an
>attached plate .... most cases such attached plates stick out too far at
Ok. I'll give him (and you) that. Attached plates are a
pain, visually & otherwise.
But I still say my dad's thumb was greener: the challenge
is a garden of about two acres, year in/year out, have to
feed a family of ten for the year, plus assorted neighbors,
deer, raccoon, squirrels, crows, & visitors. Wanna fight?
(feeling a bit light-headed with the end of term.)