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Pots for plants you care about

    18 responses

Nick1985Limey starts with ...
Hi,
Do you have any experience drilling holes in terracotta pots?

I have some really nice ones, but I worry their drainage is not high performance enough.

I have a hammer drill and hundreds of different masonry bits, just wondering any good tips to not crack them clean in half.

I would use plastic pots but my wife would shoot me.
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Nick1985Limey
Fremantle
10th September 2015 3:58pm
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sternus1 says...
Yep, I've done that.

What you don't want to do is use a masonry bit....I tried this and it was a disaster.

You want a steel bit running at very high oscillations. Don't start small and go up, you'll split the clay--same deal for trying to bore out the existing holes, very difficult to do without causing fractures.use the one bit the whole way, keep up the revs--high speed with low pressure. Don't push down, let the bit slowly do the work.Don't have your drill set to hammer either.
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sternus1
Australia
10th September 2015 4:19pm
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Original Post was last edited: 10th September 2015 4:18pm
Bangkok says...
Don't hammer but a stonedrill can do it.

Put the pot on loose sand and drill, don't let it get too hot or use water to cool.

I just made holes in 60x60 floortiles with the grinder and a diamond wheel.

Diamond drills also can cut pots. I made 40 mm holes in my pots with a diamond holesaw. It also had a stonedrill in the middle to guide.

Don't push too hard, let the drill do its job.



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Bangkok
thailand
10th September 2015 4:34pm
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Nick1985Limey says...
That's a great idea.
$50 for a diamond holesaw, but I will have all of my pots with super draining performance. And I don't get shot for having ugly plastic pots.

Thanks mate.

This should make some nice noise, the neighbours will need some beers for tolerating me this weekend :-)
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Nick1985Limey
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10th September 2015 5:38pm
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Bangkok says...
I had a hole set of diamond holesaws for that money. 40 mm was the smallest one of the set. And i'm talking about the proffesional ones for electricians.

If you want only 1 it should be cheaper i guess but i bought them in Holland.

Just search online for diamond drills.

In Bangkok they come in all diametres but they are for cnc-machines and don't have the centre-drill. Without that it's very hard to not move while drilling.

Don't know how big the pots are but a diamond grinding wheel is much cheaper and square holes also work well.

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Bangkok
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10th September 2015 5:51pm
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Original Post was last edited: 10th September 2015 5:50pm
Markmelb says...
Was wondering if you seal inside of your terracotta pots with clear lacquer to reduce water loss - especially in hot summer drying weather - i did for some citrus in large pots years ago & seemed to work well for me.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
10th September 2015 5:51pm
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Bangkok says...
I use clear coating which makes stone waterproof. Check the hardware store, it comes in glossy and invisible and really works well.

I also did all my stonestrips with that or they will get fungus and turn black.

Even after the big flooding we had i rinsed them with the waterhose and they looked like new.
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Bangkok
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10th September 2015 5:54pm
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Nick1985Limey says...
Thanks Bangkok, it's good to know what bunnings margins are - they are the only hardware store in many suburbs now and they absolutely destroy us on pricing wherever possible.

Only an electrician would know the true price, everyone else just buys one.
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Nick1985Limey
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10th September 2015 6:48pm
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Bangkok says...
Well Oz isn't around the corner and also doesn't have a huge population like we have in Europe. Maybe that's why it's expensive there. Also maybe that one for 50 $ is an even better one then i have, i don't know my brand but for terracotta you don't need a supa dupa one. Concrete or granite is much harder.

But for you guys internetshopping must be great i guess.

I made a birdfeeder yesterday and drilled some holes in a terracotta bowl with the cordless screwdriver and that was easy. With a masonry drillbit.
If you drill many holes next to eachother you can make a big hole.

But never force it too much or let it get too warm. Water cools perfect and also washes the dust away. Spray it with a plantsprayer all the time.

Have fun. My planter is finished now and i'm tired.



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Bangkok
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10th September 2015 7:49pm
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Julie says...
Mark, I have used Bondcrete for sealing bricks and terracotta. It's fairly cheap.

You don't even have to use it full strength, it can be diluted with water. I made signs for a community garden years ago - paper mounted on boards, with two or three coats of Bondcrete. They lasted for years out in the weather.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
11th September 2015 1:11pm
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Markmelb says...
Good idea re using Bondcrete - its basically a PVA glue thinned alot maybe its a waterproof form when dry as some older PVA wood glues like Aquadhere wasnt and parts would fall apart when wet :(
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Markmelb
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11th September 2015 1:51pm
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Bangkok says...
Especially terracotta pots will get very ugly if untreated.
I do several layers of that chemical about 5 minutes after eachother.
Make sure the stone is very dry so it sucks it all up.

To get good drainage i drill many 20mm holes in the bottom and sides of the bottom. Then inside the pot i lay some mesh on the holes, then a 3cm layer of pumicestone, then a blanket of coconutfibre-mat and then my soilmix.



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Bangkok
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11th September 2015 4:54pm
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Markmelb says...
BK - what sort of mesh? Stainless flywire - does that stop worms getting in?
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
11th September 2015 6:16pm
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Bangkok says...
Plastic mesh mostly with holes from 4mm.

Lately i use cocofibre mat so i can just easy transplant to bigger pots with the mat and all. It's not the doormat by the way, has long fibres.

I catch worms in heavy rain and throw them in my pots. Am i still normal or a fanatic? haha.
The creep up the veranda in hard rain and are very thin, they can creep through any mesh i would think.

I like worms though, do they harm plantroots?

I hate ants, now i 'm putting tanglefoot on all tree's. They live in the pots.
I also found Thai tanglefoot, much cheaper because no shipping.

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Bangkok
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11th September 2015 7:11pm
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Markmelb says...
I have lots of plants in pots outside and although I like worms in garden they get in pots and degenerate potting mix over time to muck.

I have 2 palms (kentia & Raphis)inside that have never had a worm in them and they have been in same pot and same mix (to bonzai them )for 13 years and still look happy.
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Markmelb
MOUNT WAVERLEY,3149,VIC
11th September 2015 7:21pm
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Bangkok says...
Oh i see, i thought worms are good to open up the soil.

My pingan is dead now so today i put a starapple in the pot. The soil was muck but it contained a lot of clay from the bags of compost.
I didn't like the soil so i mixed a lot of ricehusks and charred husks and pumice in it.

After i watered the new tree the soil didn't drain at all!

So maybe the worms did that? Hmm well they are under all pots who stand on soil, not on the pavement.

But i guess worms hate urea or another fertilizer. Sometimes in our park they are all over the roads (which are very hot) and came out of the lawns. I've seen the gardeners use urea on the lawns so i guess it hurts them.

I don't use urea in the pots to spare the worms, so maybe i should use it to get them out?

I have one mango in a big pot with gritty mix and a little compost. I don't dare to use only gritty mix because it's so hot here and that mango also doesn't like very happy but it's just repotted.

I'm still thinking what i'll put in my big 200l planter. Worms can't go in them because they are 20 cm above ground.
I have a lot of pumice now, charred rice, ricehusks and don't know yet what else to buy. I can buy anything here now, i know all shops.

Also i found nice loam from some special place where they mine it to sell in bags for bonsai.
I think i'll mix it with that but that isn't very cheap.

I have a palm in a big pot but i'm sure it's totally rootbound. It grows well though but i'll replace it with a fruittree which likes shade, one day.
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Bangkok
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11th September 2015 7:55pm
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Nick1985Limey says...
While on this same topic, what would you recommend as the best blend for a fingerlime in a pot in perth?

We often get 30+ dry heat, so I want free draining, but hanging on to water.

I read on sternus' other forum post to use Coir, perlite, vermiculite, woodchips.

What ratio would you use?

The soil the fingerlimes came in looks like hardwood chips, green foam balls, sand and coco peat, but that's just my guess.
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Nick1985Limey
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12th September 2015 6:44pm
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jakfruit etiquette says...
I aim for 1/3 or 33% coir, if all the other ingredients are essentially non water holding structural components ie chips gravel etc.
No particles need be more than 5mm.
Any pine bark etc needs to be composted.
In WA Jarrah hardwood chips probably doesnt need to be composted before using in a mix.
Vermiculite looses its structure easily, and holds a lot of water. Perlite is better, but expensive compared to broken up packing styrofoam,which has similar properties(but not water holding).
To the list you can add coarse sand, zeolite, rice hulls, inert gravel.
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jakfruit etiquette
vic
13th September 2015 7:57am
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Bangkok says...
I moved my fingerlime (which is 6 months in a pot) and it had roots growing out of the pot (40 cm) allready.

My mix is half charred ricehusks mixed with compost. Charred ricehusks is charcoal and drains very well.

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Bangkok
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13th September 2015 11:41am
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