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Cracked Pots

April 1, 2018

There were several casualties in the terracotta pot department over Winter including an ancient rhubarb forcing pot that inverted made a fabulous tall planter. I assumed these were relatively well-weathered having withstood ice and snow out in the fields for decades but one of them succumbed.

By the time the plastic liner had been lifted out it became obvious why. Three years worth of roots from Agapanthus africanus was too much and it split dramatically top to bottom.

Since my other favourite pots, by Devon potter Clive Bowen, were also stuffed full of agapanthus, action was needed.

Luckily there was no damage to the terracotta and after two hours of sawing through the compacted roots the plants were eased out never to be planted in pots with narrow necks again. I think I can salvage the plants and will plant them in an open bed in the back lane.

These gorgeous pots will now only be used for summer bedding followed by tulips in Autumn so it’s been a bit of a learning curve.

But there’s progress with vegetable preparations and the onions are looking good.  I usually plant onion sets direct in the soil but this year  I sowed them in  root trainers and substantial roots formed to give the onions a great head start.

And trays of seedling ranunculus, beetroot ‘Boltardy’ and mangetout ‘Sweet Sensation’ all germinated in the last ten days and are growing steadily. I used Wilco in-fill modules, sitting in old plastic trays, with John Innes multi-purpose compost and the depth allows for seedlings to make plentiful roots.

The evergreen shrub Osmanthus burkwoodii, with its scent of jasmine, attracted several large bumble bees last week before the rain. I cut a stem for the house and there’s a subtle perfume in the room.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Ashby permalink
    April 1, 2018 9:42 pm

    We’ve had fairly long lasting success sticking terracotta pots back together using UHU, Bostick or similar. Well worth it to “save” beautiful pots. Happy gardenng!

  2. April 2, 2018 10:10 am

    I planted onion sets in the beds yesterday, with carrots sown in between, just before it started to rain – hopefully rows will have been maintained and not washed away! Are agapanthus better in pots? I planted one of the three brought back from my mum’s garden, the other two are still in pots. The planted one seems to have fared worse in the bad weather but will hopefully recover. A persicaria still in its pot (waiting to be planted) has started to bulge so that will have to be a priority before I have to cut the pot off it. It’s all go!

    • April 2, 2018 11:00 am

      Agapanthus have always done brilliantly in pots here but the very generous ones are probably the best.
      I will try sowing carrots next to the onions next week. Damn rain has scuppered all gardening jobs for ten days. Pah.

  3. April 2, 2018 2:00 pm

    I’m glad you managed to save the terracotta. I too have fallen victim to the narrow necked pot. Have had to break one before now, a good one too. As you say, never again.

    • April 2, 2018 4:56 pm

      It’s very easy to do. You have the pot and you have the plant and the problem only manifests itself three years or so later.

  4. April 3, 2018 3:31 pm

    Narrow necked tops to pots should be banned! I have some Agapanthus in a large pot and you’ve made me think that I should check what’s happening even though the pot does have a very wide top. Love the shape of your vase this week, it supports the Osmanthus perfectly.

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