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Frost-proof pots


by Pippa Greenwood

We're all meant to be making more environmentally friendly choices and buying products that will last, rather than break within a few months and need replacing.


Broken terracotta potI’m cross! I'm fed up and I bet I'm not alone in my anger. I keep buying so-called frost-proof pots, but they always seem to break anyway.

I tend to buy pots and containers marketed as being 'frost-proof'. It's the most sensible option as (in theory) the pots won't need bringing indoors over winter. Over the years I've amassed quite a collection. So why is it that so many of them have broken?

Admittedly we've had a colder winter than in recent years, but it wasn’t that cold, and I live in Hampshire - not the Orkneys. Many of the pots were only a year or two old. They’ve crumbled and shattered and are now only useful for using as crocks in the bottom of yet more pots!

We’re all meant to be making more environmentally friendly choices and buying products that will last, rather than break within a few months and need replacing. And, in the current economic climate, it certainly won’t help gardeners if they have to keep buying new 'frost-free' pots.



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Talkback: Frost-proof pots
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Gardeners' World Web User 26/02/2009 at 19:36

They certainly don't make pots like they used to. I have pots which have been handed down through the family, terracotta, they don't seem to mind the cold. Maybe they are just made too thin now to cope with frost. I must admit to putting bubble wrap around them in winter though. Maybe this insulates the pot.

Gardeners' World Web User 27/02/2009 at 03:44

Sorry about your pots. Does the shape make a difference? If they are wide in the middle and narrow at the top I find the moisture in the soil freezes and expands sideways and cracks them. It's just a theory - I have cracked pots of all shapes and sizes !

Gardeners' World Web User 27/02/2009 at 08:57

Isn't it a pain? I've had more break this winter than at any other time, with big flakes falling off the sides. The painted and glazed ones all survived.

Gardeners' World Web User 27/02/2009 at 11:19

Surely marketing something as 'frost-proof' when it's clearly not is false advertising. Shouldn't people be taking these broken pots back and getting a refund?

Gardeners' World Web User 27/02/2009 at 11:50

My two worst pots were glazed-whole chunks fell off the sides.I lost terracotta ones as well. I have found new ones with a 10 year guarantee at the garden centre and will be carefully keeping all receipts. This years cold snap will have cost me about £70 in replacement pots alone.

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