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Take care of your terracotta pots10 December 2013
Take care of your terracotta pots this winter and they'll last you for many, many years. Garden centres sell handsome clay planters to suit a range of styles , from beautifully ornate traditional vases and urns to pared-down models with clean lines and understated chic. All are frost-proof and will get through the winter without shattering in the cold – but to extend their life as much as possible, follow our five-point care plan:
Empty containers wherever possible as sodden compost expands when it freezes and can crack even the most frost-proof of pots.
Move containers to a sheltered spot by the house as these areas are slightly warmer and less vulnerable to hard frosts.
Stand permanent containers on pot feet – you'll find these in garden centres. Raising containers off the ground means excess winter rain can drain away.
Tip containers of bulbs over on their sides over winter so water doesn't collect inside and rot the bulbs. Stand them back upright just as green shoots start appearing.
Wrap in layers of hessian or bubblewrap to prevent roots freezing inside the pot. A layer of straw between pot and bubblewrap allows air to circulate, too.