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Terracotta pots drying out

I find the soil in unglazed terracotta pots dry out quicker than glazed pots. Which is fine for growing herbs, just not other plants. However, I found a bargain at the garden centre today for £5 and couldn’t resist. I’m going to plant some wild strawberries in it. 

The pot only has a light glaze to it. Would it be ok for me to line the inside with some plastic or would the plastic eventually leech into the soil? Is there an alternative to retaining moisture in terracotta pots? 

I’ve also tried the gel retaining stuff in the past, without any luck. My garden gets pretty much full sun most of the day. 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,798
    You can seal the inside of the pot with PVA glue diluted with a little water.  That'll stop it drying out as quickly.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    Thanks Dovefromabove 👍. I have some PVA glue from when I did a tile repair job. 
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Wild strawberries do well in semi-shade, so you could put the pot in the shadiest part of the garden or with some shade from other, taller plants to reduce some water loss.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,852
    I give terracotta pots 2 or 3 coats of water based acrylic varnish - matt or satin depending on the finish I want.   I put it inside and out so that both sides are protected.  It does mean you don't get a patina of algae growing over the years but not everyone likes that anyway and it does prevent the pots from flaking from the expansion and contraction that frozen water causes.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366
    I do the same @Obelixx, although I don't always remember. 
    I like the algae/moss which grows on the pots, but I know others don't. Difficult to avoid it here too. 
    Mind you, if I stand still too long, I get a 'patina of algae' an' all...
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,852
    Same in Belgian cos there was so much rain.  Here I do it to conserve moisture in the compost so plants don't get thirsty as fast.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    Cheers Firefox the tip. I’ll put it in the corner near my patio door. That has the most shade and I’ll be able to keep an eye out for the pesky pairs of squirrels and wood pigeons.

    Thanks for the tip Obeixx. I do have a large terracotta pot that has been flaking so much, I dare not move case it crumbles away! No problems yet on the terracotta herb planter which was purchased around the same time.
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