Bottoms Up: Potted Hole in One

The strangest things amuse me. While making the garden rounds this week, I noticed an empty pot near the fence.  Tiny baby tears started growing through the bottom hole. I have no recollection of leaving the pot there, but it’s been long enough for the ground cover to take hold.  Now I’m compelled to leave it to see how far it grows. It makes me smile.

Baby Tears Popping UpBaby TearsIn keeping with the theme of the day, I noticed a small clay pot, hand painted by my son when he was younger. It “travels” around the garden, a happy reminder of him. I upended the clay pot and left it in one of the patio planters at summer’s end. I didn’t know their was a bulb just below.  I guess if you’re used to living beneath the soil line for many months, a little old pot isn’t going to slow you down.  The as yet unidentified bulb shot up through the hole an entire foot before I noticed it.  It looks so purposeful.  I can’t wait to point it out to my son. I know he’ll be pleased.

Bulb Breakthrough

So, I’ve been thinking.  Wouldn’t it be fun to scatter empty pots around the garden to see what populates or propagates?  I’m going to give that idea some careful thought.

Bottoms up!

Garden Planting Pots Get a New Lease on Life

If you’re a gardener, you tend to amass garden pots.  They’re a bit like coat hangers or stray socks: they have a way of multiplying when your not looking.  Occasionally I’ve had luck returning the thin plastic cell packs to local nurseries, but lately, not so much.  The good news is that more and more pots are recyclable.

If I can’t return or recycle, than I try to re-purpose.

Here are a few ideas.

When planting shallow-rooted annuals in a large planter, use a small, inverted pot in the center to reduce the amount of needed soil.  If the roots aren’t deep, no need to waste your potting mix. Additionally, the inverted pot reduces water and soil runoff while lightening the weight of the pot (see below).

Ready to pot cyclamen

Ready to pot Cyclamen

Inverted Pot

Inverted Pot

Potted Cyclamen

Potted Cyclamen

Sometimes the spare pot is pretty, deserving a new lease on life.  I received this shiny gem with a bulb one Christmas.  After transplanting the bulb outside, I re-used the pot near our garden fountain. I keep a small scrub brush in the pot for a quick fountain clean-up. In the summer months I add a pair of shears so they are always on hand.

Shiny pot with brush

Shiny pot with brush

When I cover our patio set for the winter, I use a large, sturdy plastic pot to elevate the cover’s center. It keeps the rain from pooling and aids with run off.

Patio Furniture cover

Patio furniture cover

I grow cat grass for my sister’s kitty in a couple of small plastic pots. As soon as I give her a pot of grass, I start a new one. When her batch of grass dies off, she returns the pot and we start again. We’ve been passing the same few pots back and forth for months.

KT Eating Kitty Greens

KT Eating Kitty Greens

Other Practical Uses

Small pots are great for starting plant cuttings or seedlings indoors. Larger pots are great for sharing divided plants. If you have broken clay or ceramic pots, break them carefully into small pieces and use them to cover the hole in a large pot.

Let your imagination be your guide.

What creative ways have you reused a garden pot?

Container Garden Update: Flowering Pots

Last call for votes

Thank you so much for casting your vote yesterday.  I have a few responses still trickling in so I’ll give it one more day before sharing the results.  If you would like to weigh in, I’m asking readers to help me select one of three photos; what you think best reflects Gardening Nirvana.  I’ll use the most popular photo on my site.  Please leave your vote in the comments section hereThank you!

Container Garden Update

I checked on all my container plants this morning.  We’re expecting temps in the high-nineties today, so the pots are more likely to dry out.  A few of the containers are on a drip system, but most I still water by hand.  It’s a nice way to stay connected.

We have a planter out front with our address etched into the ceramic, a gift from my friend, Marcia.  It’s been home to a pink geranium for several years, but the plant is looking tired and cramped.  I’ll need to find a bigger pot, and a plant to replace it. Oh darn…a trip to the nursery ;-).

See how pretty it looked in April? Not any more.

The plants on deck are looking healthy.  The coleus had a growth spurt, and the trailing flowers surrounding it should have enough weight to start cascading down the side of the pot.

Coleus

Yellow Snapdragons grow one pot over, but they may not be getting enough sun.  Only one side of the plant is flowering.  They look healthy enough.  I’ll keep an eye on things.

Yellow Snapdragons Peak Over the Back of the Chair

The miniature yellow rose survived the transplant and is recovering from dusty mold.  The pot is finally full enough to keep the squirrels from digging.  Well, mostly.

12-Year-Old Miniature Roses

We have three, over-sized pots grouped together on our back steps.  The pink hydrangea has grown quite tall, no doubt grateful for the extra room in the planter.  I had a pair of fuchsias in there for a few years, but they developed some sort of blight and I couldn’t get them to come back.

Three Flowering Pots: Hydrangea, Sweet Onions, Lambs Ear

Today’s high temps will be good for the tomatoes, berries and pumpkins. Summer solstice is almost upon us!

What’s growing in your planting pots these days?