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Using terracotta pots for container gardening

Using terracotta pots for container gardening is something many use because these pots come in a variety of sizes and shapes, they can even be painted using acrylic paints, and they are relatively inexpensive (only thin plastic pots are usually cheaper). However, there are special considerations when using terracotta pots for container gardening.

The major issue with using terracotta moisture loss. You may not realize it, but when you water your plants not only is the soil and roots absorbing the water, but the terracotta is too! This is because terracotta is actually a clay which is very porous. The sides of the pot will actually "steal" the water from the soil! So if you use terracotta, you will need to water much more frequently than if you used thin or thick plastic containers or glazed ceramic pots. For example, you might need to water every day with terracotta versus every other day.

For another great tip on preventing moisture loss, read our article How to keep moisture in your garden containers

If it is the terracotta look you love, but don't want the hassle, some plastic containers are designed to look like terracotta, and you might find what you are looking for at your local gardening store. Alternatively, if you have chosen a standard size pot, fit the inside with a plastic pot, being sure to either line up the drainage holes, or places a few small pieces of garden stakes lying down between the two pots, so the water can drain properly.

Related articles:
How to keep moisture in your garden containers
How to choose the perfect watering can


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