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The best way to protect your pots is to coat the inside and out side with a coat of limestone protector/impregnator a couple of times. I use it on natural stone tiled floors and have dropped a Lt. of paint on it and was able to just wipe it off. Fila is the make I'm using at the moment but there are other makes. Hope this helps.
I find it is only the very old pots that stay in one piece. Most of he new ones I have bought over the last two years "frost proof"have broken not only this year but last year when It was not so cold for long periods of time as it was this year.

I know this is an old thread, but on the basis that it is a common problem, I will add my belated comments. The comment about PVA adhesive may well be right. I painted all mine with dilute PVA many years ago. They all survived for at least 15 and some 20 years, but the PVA gradually breaks down, consequently several of the pots cracked during last year's deep freeze. I am sure coating the pots is the answer so intend to try the Limestone protective coating. I am interested to know which industrial glue another contributor used, as I want to try to glue together those pots that had a clean break. I am sure if I glue them together, then hide the crack by painting the pot, I will extend their life. Other observations are that compacted soil can lead to cracking when the soil freezes, so pots with permanent plantings fair worse. I agree about good drainage, so removing the terracotta saucers which I always use in summer and raising the pots in winter is a good idea. I may try old polystyrene packing, as buying feet for all my pots will be expensive. I have also noticed that the style of the pots makes a difference. The ones with bulbous rims fair better. I would like to replace the pots that are beyond repair, but really good quality terracotta pots are difficult to find. I live on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border. I would be interested to know of any local retailers, or potters that sell good old fashioned simple designs that will be in keeping with my Grade II Listed estate worker's cottage and cottage garden.

Is there some oil treatment that will make planting pots frost resistant?
In defence of Orkney, I Think you'll find that inland Hampshire has more severe frosts than Orkney. Orkney does enjoy the benefit of being surrounded by relatively warm seawater which gives a degree of protection from harsh frosts.



You can buy frost-proof pots in this country.  Very often hand-made and expensive.

The normal pots that are in every garden centre are usually, but not always, pressed out in a factory in Italy and are not frost-proof.  They are not very robust whether you are in Hampshire or Orkney.

Yorkshire Flowerpots,

available in garden centres around the country are totally guaranteed frostproof  'for life' - see the info at the bottom of the page on the above link to understand why. There is a catalogue PDF at the bottom that shows it with pictures too! We sell them where I work and although they are a bit more expensive, they're really not that much more than the standard type of terracotta pot. I haven't tried them myself but they are popular with our customers and no-one has ever brought one back to my knowledge. (I have no shares in them - honest!) Kate


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