Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pot in the garden

not that kind....the clay pots..the things that you put your plants in. Let's take a look around my garden in February after a snowy winter.... oooo, not cool, man.

I buy my pots at yard sales, and very seldom at retail, and I always will pay a premium for an Italian made pot. Why....because after 50+ plus years of gardening, I know that a cheap pot, ie, Mexico-made, will crumble and crack in the freeze-dry-sun-freeze cycle of a year outside. I'm lazy, I admit. And I'm a Californian...so I think things that live outside, should live outside all damn year long.........god knows I used to!! (damn you Washington, you suck).

Can you tell which pot is made in Italy, and which pot is made in Mexico??

OK, but what's going on with the clay pots?
If clay has too much "temper" or too little it won't be strong when exposed to temperature extremes. Posts from Mexico, like almost everything from Mexico is cheaply made.

Pots made in Italy, like most things made in Italy, are very well made. If you are gonna invest in good outdoor pots, please ask the vendor or garden store, where and how they are made, and, are they really outside pots? Can they live outside all year long? Must they be emptied in the fall and placed in a freeze-free storage zone?

this one says ITALY...it survived quite nicely!

What's "temper"? It's crushed gravel or sand, or other rock-type material that's added to clay in specific proportions, to be sure that the clay will stick together when exposed to harsh extremes.
Too little temper  or too much, will cause a pot to crack during the drying process, and certainly during firing and outdoor use. A cheapskate manufacture will skimp to save a few pennies per pot to increase profits. If you buy Mexican pots or now, cheap Chinese pots ...just be prepared to use them inside only, or empty and store them come fall. Outside uses require a quality pot. In the garden!