hiding within them !
Stop! Don't toss those broken garden pots, no matter how bad they look. They can almost always be turned into something useful. Broken clay pots are especially versatile in the garden. Most of the time they can still be used as planters. What if they look a bit odd? If they still hold soil and a plant, go for it. Think of it as the whimsical, yet practical look.
What to do with:
Clay pots with broken sides
You gave the clay pot a little bump? Part of the side broke off? No problem. It can be used to showcase the beauty of the whole plant. As long as there's enough depth left to plant in, this can make a pretty display. It's even better if the plant spills out over the edge. No one but you will ever know about your little accident. They'll just think you're artistically inclined.
Clay pots with gaping holes
Think strawberry pots. If you have a hole in the side of a clay pot, you have a potential spilling strawberry planter. Just carefully tap a few more random holes into it with a lightweight hammer. Strawberries can be planted in (and grow out of) the holes. Pot shards can be used to keep the strawberry plants stable until roots take hold.
Clay pots with missing bottoms
Clay pots with missing bottoms can be "planted" in the garden. They form a border to block weeds, while still allowing roots to dig deep. They can also help conserve water. The pot directs water straight to the roots, rather than letting it dissipate. The ring rises above ground so you know exactly where to water.
Clay pots with broken rims
Save the rims from broken clay pots. Fill the pot with soil and small plants. Use the rim pieces to separate the pot into levels and/or sections. Plant each section with something different. You can also position the curved broken rim to look like a winding path up the center of the pot. Add some small statuary to make a whole scene in your broken clay pot.
Broken clay pot pieces:
Use broken pieces of clay pots in the bottom of other pots for better drainage. It'll save you the expense of purchasing rock. They can also be worked into mosaic art. If you have a lot of clay pot fragments, paint them in various colors. Glue them to the outside of another pot in a simple pattern for a unique look.
Clay pots are easily broken. If terracotta planters are bumped with something heavy or dropped, they will most certainly break, and at the very least they will crack. Instead of throwing away broken clay pots, consider the many ways to use them. Some people break clay pots intentionally to use them in the following beneficial and decorative ways. They are worth saving and recycling.
Pieces of broken terracotta can be very sharp. Wear protective gloves while handling broken clay shards, and proceed with caution. Carefully sand the edges before using damaged terracotta for craft purposes. Also, wear protective eyewear while further breaking the material.
Use the Broken Clay Pieces for Drainage
Broken clay pots are worth saving and using to provide drainage for potted plants. When the saucers are missing from unbroken pots, place larger pieces of terracotta over the openings, and add smaller pieces to the bottom for drainage. Depending on the size of the pots, one or two inches of broken clay should be enough to provide adequate room for excess water to drain away from the tender roots of the plants.
Make Beautiful Terracotta Planter Mosaics
Since clay pots are curved, the broken pieces are not ideal for decorating flat surfaces, but they work very well to cover the outer surface of other terracotta pots. Use a mallet to break larger pieces when necessary, and attach them to a smaller clay pot using grout. Follow the instructions on the product for best results. After all of the broken clay pieces are attached as desired, fill in the spaces between the pieces with additional grout, and wipe away any excess using a damp sponge. Grout is available in a variety of colors, and blue grout is especially lovely when paired with pieces of natural terracotta.
Create Beneficial Garden Mulch
Mulch is beneficial to soil in pots as well as in gardens, and broken clay pots make fantastic natural mulch. It can help improve the texture of sandy or compact black soil. Use a heavy mallet to crush broken clay pots in between several sheets of newsprint. Blend the dust and small bits into the soil in flowerpots and in the garden.
Make a Toad House
Toads love damp dark locations, and big sections of broken clay pots make fantastic houses for local garden toads. Gently push the broken edges into softened soil to make a comfy clay canopy. Just be sure to place it in a location where it will not become a hazard. The broken halves can be decorated using acrylic craft paint, and the outer areas can be sealed with clear acrylic spray.
Create a Unique Floral Display
If toads are not a desirable addition to the garden, make a unique floral display using large sections of broken clay pots. Bury the broken edges of the pots partially in the ground, and plant flowers in front of the openings. It will look as if entire pots have been buried with beautiful flowers growing out of them.
Make Unique Weatherproof Garden Row Markers
Garden row markers are typically made of paper, plastic, or wood, but they do not stand up to inclement weather and rarely last more than a single season. Use broken clay pots to make durable plant row markers. Simply label each piece of appropriate size using a permanent marker or paint, and seal it with clear acrylic spray. Use Gorilla brand glue to attach the markers to aluminum stakes of the proper height. The markers might need to be resealed, but unlike markers made of other materials, they will last indefinitely.
Then Shut the Gates !
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