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Author Topic: Crocks in pots not needed?  (Read 2980 times)

Min

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Edinburgh
Crocks in pots not needed?
« on: April 23, 2014, 03:21:39 pm »
Spotted this article on the BBC, debunking the use of crocks in the bottom of pots! Apparently it is an old wives tale that it helps drainage.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27126160

Ah well, I am going to keep doing it anyway as it saves on compost, and can either make the pot heavier or lighter depending on what you use.

Do people here crock or not?

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 03:23:11 pm »
I crock min. Mainly because it saves on compost. I usually use the polystyrene that plants come in because it's light weight.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Min

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Edinburgh
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 03:29:46 pm »
I crock min. Mainly because it saves on compost. I usually use the polystyrene that plants come in because it's light weight.

Oh yes I do that too. Waste not want not.  :farmer:


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 07:02:02 pm »
For pots with drainage holes in, yes I add pottery crocks - saves the compost falling out of the bottom.  It also will help drainage if your pot is sitting on a flat surface, to the extent that the roots won't be sitting in a puddle.
For large containers, I fill the bottom with gravel, partly for drainage and partly to save on how much compost is needed.  Also adds some weight.   I've tried the polystyrene bits but when I put the soil in the polystuff floats  ::)  Also what happens when you have finished and need to empty the pot back on the soil, or into the compost heap?

Anyway, old wives have had many good ideas over the years, accumulating far more knowledge than any baby-faced research worker thinks he knows ;D
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 11:42:43 am by Fleecewife »
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Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 07:19:36 pm »
I do if I have any around so some pots do and some don't. Have used the polystyrene boxes broken into large lumps in big pots.

Same reason as everyone else.... Drainage and saving on compost  :sunshine:

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 11:05:51 pm »
It was in Which? Gardening last month & actually I was quite relieved. I hate crocks - mostly because I hate scrabbling round trying to find the right number and size of stones to cover the holes and fill the bottom. So I've just repotted two of my house plants without crocks  :fc:.

Somewhere_by_the_river

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Near Llandeilo
    • Angela French Graphite Artist
    • Facebook
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2014, 10:56:41 am »
Quote
For pots with drainage holes in, yes I add pottery crocks - saves the compost falling out of the bottom.
...I do mostly for the same reason. I think too a lot depends on what you are putting in the pots in the first place. Plus it makes me feel better having something useful to do with the pots that I've had for years and don't make it through the winter and all those bits that shale  ;) I like to use crocks in the base of house plants... but that's got a lot to do with the fact that OH occasionally tries to be helpful when he's passing with a glass of water in hand - I'm sure it's saved many a plant from drowning!!  :D

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2014, 11:48:12 am »
I like to use crocks in the base of house plants... but that's got a lot to do with the fact that OH occasionally tries to be helpful when he's passing with a glass of water in hand - I'm sure it's saved many a plant from drowning!!  :D


Mr Fleecewife is a terrible sinner in that department  :rant:  He hasn't cottoned on to the fact that the surface compost can look dry but is already too wet lower in the pot.   And he does it every day to certain pots which are en route for him when he has water in his hand  :garden:  Then when the plant dies he feels vindicated and blames me for not watering the poor rotted thing  ::)
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Somewhere_by_the_river

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Near Llandeilo
    • Angela French Graphite Artist
    • Facebook
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 12:53:35 pm »
 :roflanim: Fleecewife, this is sounding oh so familiar! (Are Mr Freecewife and Mr Sbtr related and we not know?!  :D) It often seems to be the case that when things go wrong with plants it's my fault, despite the fact that OH never gardened at all before he met me (and doesn't do advice). I'm currently nursing back to health (or trying to) orchids that were in his care and if you saw the way he raised his wildflower seeds (no crocks, not even drainage holes in some)... well, I can only say that there's something to be said for survival of the fittest - only the strongest have a hope in hell!!

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 09:56:44 am »
I crock most of the time, other than seedling size pots, the bigger the pot the more likely I am to crock it no matter what someone says is necessary.  It is necessary for me til I have evidence it is actually harmful AND I have another use for broken pot pieces ;)

I like the thought that it may also save overwatered pots from drowning, as I occasionally neglect and then overwater, which is why I now only have desert hardy plants in the house (Christmas/Easter cacti, spider plants, bulbs and such) and put as much as possible outside so I have natural assistance with raining and a clear path of waterable, crocked up, pots in the orchard and garden :)
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cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Crocks in pots not needed?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 09:02:42 pm »
The Beeb people obviously didn't know that early potting /seed mixes such as those that were standardised  under the name of John Innes were made with lots of fine silver /horticultural sand with grde sizes of grit or gravel and that an excess of water in the clay fired clay  or a dry clay pot caused the sand to run out the bottom often resulting in leaving the plant roots a bit starved of nutrients & moisture once a drainage path had become established  . 


With modern plastic pots it's  different  but the use of crocks still does have a place when using sandy potting seed growing mixes  .

 As I use 78 mm long 44 mm dia tubes for growing all my seeds to plant up size I use a 15 mm thick square of closed cell semi rigid foam as a stopper at the bottom of the tube to form the floor ..   Any excess water from the auto watering system  drains away easily a few minutes after the watering stops to leave a fantastic slightly moist set up for seed germinating or growing on .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

 

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