Gardeners recycle all the time. And a lot of it probably isn’t even thought of as recycling. I mean who uses a terracotta pot once and discards it?

Last weekend Little Boots and I planted up a few pots that we had “liberated” as part of a house clearance. Shortstuff had chosen a couple of plants during a visit to our local nursery – plain old garden mint (‘to go with our potatoes we planted’) and a fuchsia called “Gold Mountain” (‘because I like it’), which, I must admit, is nice – for a fuchsia.

Our garden gets ridiculously hot and dry in anything approaching a decent summer, and you can sometimes find yourself watering potted plants 3 times a day. So now, all new pots get lined with an old carrier bag (NB – a few holes in the bottom), or, if they are over a foot in diameter, with bubble wrap (bubbles = pot side).

The bubble wrap serves two purposes – firstly, like the plastic bags, to conserve water in summer, but also, since bigger pots are likely to house more permanent plants, it also acts as an insulating layer over winter. This not only protects the plant roots from cold, but also keeps the compost away from the terracotta, making it drier and less likely to “blow” in very cold weather.

There is however a potential drawback. A nice dry pot, with a warm inter-bubble network is shangri-la for ants – so you need to make sure you cover the hole in the bottom of pot with a piece of landscape fabric. Or a scrap of old net curtain.

If you have some to recycle.

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