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What to put in bottom of pots?

LornaPLornaP Posts: 60
I have just bought a couple of quite big terracotta pots, and plan to put some summer flowering bulbs in them, and perhaps something like nemesia round the edge. It would take a huge amount of compost to fill them, and I don't think the plants need such deep compost. Any ideas about what to fill the bottom half of the pots with? I wish now I'd kept some polystyrene packing!


  • PlantyPruPlantyPru NottinghamshirePosts: 142
    I just have rubble in the bottom of my bigger pots then fill the rest with compost 
  • brackenbracken South West EnglandPosts: 91
    I save and use polystyrene from packaging.  It seems to work fine and makes pot much lighter to move.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,229
    I do the same as Squireler, much easier for big terracotta pots.
  • LornaPLornaP Posts: 60
    Making it lighter to move is important. I really wish I'd kept some polystyrene now!
  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 215
    Could you use plastic pots inside? Turn one on the bottom upside down and rest another on top and fill with the compost?
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,437
    Polystyrene for me too. It's easy to loosen it from the roots when you want to repot too.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562
    First of all I advise protecting your pots with 2 or 3 coats of clear acrylic varnish to stop the terracotta absorbing water from the compost but also to protect it form being chipped or damaged by frosts from the expansion and contraction of water held in the clay. 

    In big pots where I don't need the full depth of the compost I use big crocks over the drainage holes and then a layer of packing polystyrene shells or broken up polystyrene from packing.  You could always ask if your local shops have any going spare.  Fish crates are good or ask a neighbour who's just bought some flatpack perhaps?

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,601
    However ... if you have a large terracotta pot, an expensive one, perhaps from Italian Terrace, and a tall plant that might catch the wind, an olive maybe, you may regret not using granite blocks rather than polystyrene ones. I did.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    I put empty glass jam and marmalade jars at the bottom of pots, upside down, stacked....
  • LornaPLornaP Posts: 60
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I was given a polystyrene box at the fish counter at my local supermarket, so all set. Sorry you lost a nice pot BenCotto - but mine is as wide as its tall, so no chance of it blowing over.
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