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  • Need a good source for clay pots.

    I'm not liking the black plastic stuff. Gets way to hot already and its only early may. As i up pot I would like to use clay pots instead. 1-5 gallon is all I need right now. Maybe a couple 10's.
    Jeff in 6a

  • #2
    I wouldn't do it. Clay pots (terra cotta) dry out FAST in wind and heat since they are porous. Never seen clay pots bigger than 5 gallon. Glazed would help slow drying, but gets hot still.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

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    • #3
      Agreed. They dry out, crack, and are heavy.
      Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

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      • #4
        ok. Other options? I see them use concrete and terra cotta in the mediterannean and other hot areas.
        Yesterday my black plastic was hot. Definitely to hot to grow stuff in. I suppose I could wrap them. Are the white plasitc ones any cooler?

        I have seen the larger clay pots or terra cotta but 100 of them at 230.00 each is a little more than I would like to spend LOL.
        Jeff in 6a

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        • #5
          Jeff I'm in your same situation. I'm thinking of using hay or bulk mulch/bark to wrap around.

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          • #6
            Paint them white, bury the pots (pot in pot), or screen them off.
            https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
            SE PA
            Zone 6

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            • #7
              Clay pots are both expensive, dry fast, and are heavy. And beautiful. I love them but find them impractical. They do come in large sizes, but the cost is prohibitive if you want more than one or two. And they can break.

              Perhaps to keep your pots cooler, you could paint them white, or cover them with light shade cloth. Or if you have large clay pots, insert the plastic ones inside terracotta ones. On a couple occasions, I"ve lined porous clay pots with plastic sheeting (not over the drainage hole). But that can be a hassle, and I'm not sure how effective it is.

              SoCal, zone 10.
              www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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              • #8
                I have 35 (non fig trees) that I am growing in pots for an upcoming move (instant orchard once moved). Most are root stock trees from Rain Tree that I have grafting my favorites onto, others I ordered bare root. I line them up in one of my gardens, put a bit of mulch around them (the moisture in the mulch help keep the roots cool through evap) then I place 90% shade cloth over the pots with a 12 or so inch air gap. It seems to keep the root zone quite cool.
                Last edited by COGardener; 05-04-2015, 12:29 PM.
                Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the ideas. I like the shade cloth. Then I can continue on with the black pots and just cover them.
                  I just checked and also notice the ones that I have pea gravel mixed in with seem cooler so far.
                  Jeff in 6a

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                  • #10
                    Let us know how it works out for you Jeff.
                    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                    • #11
                      Kirby pot in pot I like that lots of work

                      https://youtu.be/wNeBurkznIk

                      Jeff if you decide to paint them white get some of this Rusteleum plastic paint it works good

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                      Wish List -

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                      • figherder
                        figherder commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks again Kelby and Dave. I like that pot in pot. Very interesting. I hadnt seen that before.

                    • #12
                      one other thing I saw before silver insulation sold at the Home Depot quite a few people on F4F wrap there pots with it to reflect the sun they claimed it worked well for them
                      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                      Wish List -

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                      • #13
                        Jeff, I hate the idea of plastic, and I love the look of terracotta. My plants are on a balcony with lots of southern exposure, so I've started giving my terracotta pots a whitewash made with hydrated lime. Hopefully I'll get some shade soon from some hops that I'll train up, but I may have to get a shade cloth to protect sunburned figlings.

                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                        Nate
                        Ithaca, NY. Zone 6a.

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                        • figherder
                          figherder commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I have a passive solar home with southern exposure as well. I never thought I would have to worry about the heat in the containers but I was wrong. The Black Madeira loves it though.

                          I also just started 5 varieties of hops.

                      • #14
                        Some time ago I measured the temperature in different kinds of pots:
                        http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....+pots&trail=50

                        There are many updates up in the thread, please have a look. The terra-cotta was good only when nicely watered. The water was cooling the pots during the evaporation. But if you miss the watering, a dry pot in the direct So Cal sun becomes a hell really fast. Also, the terra-cotta pots cool down really slowly at night.
                        Shading all kind of pots is always a good idea and you can use whatever works for you.
                        USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                        • figherder
                          figherder commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I saw that and loved the comparisons. As with anything though, socal sun vrs southern Ohio sun is a big difference so I thought I would be ok with the clay pots. I'm on the border of 5b/6a. I also figured the figs could use the extra heat, even at night. It can still go into the low 50's here in may and again in Sept.
                          My thinking was that the heat would help those zone 7 and higher figs do better here.

                      • #15
                        Dave

                        Do all the plastics need to be scuffed up before you can apply the plastic paint?
                        Zone 6a Orange County NY

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                        • #16
                          They should not provided you use a paint specifically made to adhere to plastic. Krylon has one.
                          Last edited by COGardener; 05-05-2015, 10:16 AM.
                          Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                          “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                          • #17
                            I've collected a lot of black plastic pots of all different sizes up to 15 gallons over the years. I simply put my fig trees that are in five gallon pots into empty fifteen gallon pots or big one gallon plants into five gallon empty pots. The inch or two of space around the inner pots shields them and is enough to protect them from overheating when the sun beats directly on the pot. A soil thermometer is helpful in monitoring the soil temps. I've put the plants growing in fifteen gallon size pots against a south wall where the bottom pot is shaded and the trunk upward is in sunshine. That takes some dragging back and forth over the year as the sun and wall's shadow move. What to do with them when they outgrow their 15 gallon pot is still to be solved. I don't want to plant them in the ground until I'm sure I like their fruit because ground space is limited.
                            The black pots look ugly but work for now. Dave and Scott, thanks for the suggestion for the white paint. I read somewhere you had to treat the outside of the plastic pot with some chemical solution for the paint to stick to it. It's good to know that's not necessary now with the right paint. Perhaps it would be nice to even add a decorative stencil pattern.
                            Mara, Southern California,
                            Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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                            • #18
                              Mara,

                              I feel your pain on dragging the pots everywhere, for me it's in and out of the garage for weeks twice a year and the out into the yard in late spring and back to the driveway in fall to prep for the shuffle.

                              As I get into larger pots, I'm looking at building a wheeled cart for them. I'm debating between one the pot stays on with air filled or solid off road type casters or one that has a ramp and a winch that I can use to load and move them around. I'm leaning toward permanent individual carts to make spring and fall shuffling a breeze.
                              Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                              “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                              • #19
                                I like terracotta pots, I like the look, they don't blow over, and they mediate heat well given some shading and as Igor said..you have to keep them watered.

                                We have a place that imports Mexican pots, if you buy them in the off season they are considerably less. I buy a few every year, well OK this year I bought 5...don't judge me I had too! My keepers go in them.

                                Here is how I keep them cool in the summer, the first pic is 2 years old so I was a little over kill on the boards. You don't need this many, but I was still figuring it out.
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                                Those pots are 5-8 gallon, you only need some shading on the S,SWxSE.

                                You can also do this.
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                                And of course the half buried option works well, I just put a disposable aluminum pie pan turned upside down in the bottom of the hole to stop roots from going straight down.

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                                I don't have any pictures, but clustering smaller pots of annual flowers around the clay to create shade works well too. I do a good deal of this as well.

                                I have had no problems with cracking, at all. Just make sure you store them correctly when not in use and don't leave them full of wet soil if you have hard freezes.

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                                And lastly, here is some of this years line up. These are the trees that I have been shuffling in and out of the garage, no early start in the sun room. The bigger pots, I have the figured volume on my other computer and I can't remember for sure, but I think it's about 22 gallons. Really easy to move on the concrete with the 16" plant dolly and easy to move into the yard with hand truck and a tie down strap I showed in a different thread. I did the same with the plant dolly and would buy 3 every year from HomeDepot and get free shipping.

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                                Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                                Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                                • Gina
                                  Gina commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Very nice. I love the look of figs in clay pots. Wish they worked better for me.

                              • #20
                                Looks good. I like the look of terracotta too.

                                I did go shopping today. Couldnt find any shade cloth but I will be back out tonight looking again. I do have a place around here that sells discounted stuff. I'll take a photo of the pots I bought later. Good deal on glazed pots. and it should get me started at least. Worst case is I have to have shade cloth or I can be creative and do some of the things you did to shade them.
                                Jeff in 6a

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                                • #21
                                  I like terracotta as well. Unless you are in the deep south or southwest, the heat and dryness should not be prohibitive.

                                  Only downfall IMO is the price.

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                                  • #22
                                    These are the ones I bought today. Small ones were 5 bucks, medium ones were 10 and large were 20. Very heavy and I wish they were a lighter color glaze but its what they had.
                                    I may just use them for the ones that love heat. Black Madeira and I258 seem to really like the heat so far from hat I can see.
                                    Jeff in 6a

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                                    • #23
                                      Better shot of the large ones. I think they were 20 gallon. The medium ones seem to be about 5 gallon and the small about 2 gallon. If they dont work for the figs I can grow peppers in them.
                                      Jeff in 6a

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                                      • #24
                                        I've seen huge clay pots down south. Easily 25 gallon or more. I can't imagine how heavy they would be with soil and a tree in them!

                                        Agree, they dry very quickly. My solution was to buy the cheap plastic bag planters that are white on the outside and put the black pots in them. I needed to buy a size bigger - 5 gallon bag for 3 gallon pot. Here is a link to the planter bags I used - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BAZWRXW/...I257CTWRATNRSE

                                        I also use white 5 gallon buckets as planters. I get them locally, used for 50 cents each. Found them on Craig's List.
                                        Phil
                                        Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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                                        • #25
                                          It doesn;'t have to be 'official' shade cloth, almost any material will do. Some cloth just wont last as long as the real stuff. Old curtains from a yard sale or thrift store. Or even old sheets cut or torn to size.
                                          SoCal, zone 10.
                                          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                                          • figherder
                                            figherder commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Im using an old sheet on a couple now.
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