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Don't Let the Soil Fall out of Your Pot

By Shelly
January 9, 2012

A used dryer sheet in the bottom of a pot will help keep the soil from falling out of the drainage holes.

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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Jan 8, 2012 6:01 PM CST
thanks!!!
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 7:48 PM CST

Plants Admin

Dryer sheets also kill bugs, but perhaps you'd have to use an unused one for that purpose. I always line my pots with dryer sheets. They kill any bug that might already be in the soil and kill any earwigs or other bugs that try to burrow into the bottom of the pot.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jan 8, 2012 7:50 PM CST
zuzu said:Dryer sheets also kill bugs, but perhaps you'd have to use an unused one for that purpose. I always line my pots with dryer sheets. They kill any bug that might already be in the soil and kill any earwigs or other bugs that try to burrow into the bottom of the pot.


Didn't know about that before. Do you use unused ones? I have unscented ones here, would they be ok?

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 7:55 PM CST

Plants Admin

I don't think there's anything in the scent that kills the bugs, so the unscented ones should work, Marilyn. I actually didn't know they have unscented ones. I've never used them in the dryer because I hate the smell. I just buy a new box now and then and put it with all of my gardening tools and supplies so that I'll always have enough when I start potting things up.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jan 8, 2012 9:50 PM CST
Shelly: Thumbs up This is an interesting tip and I love the idea! I don't know why I never thought about it myself. I've used coffee filters for years as well as paper towels doubled/tripled but both of those items break down quickly in the heat and humidity here in Florida. Then I was cutting tightly woven window screen to fit the pot but found that the plant roots were growing into the mesh screen which meant ripping roots when it came time to transplant. Sad The dryer sheets will work a lot better and should last quite awhile!

Zuzu: What ingredient in the dryer sheets kill bugs?? I'm really curious about that tip ... this is great - TWO great purposes in one dryer sheet, holding in soil and repelling pests! LOVE IT!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 10:11 PM CST

Plants Admin

Lin, I really don't know what ingredient it is. I got the idea from one of those e-mails that's circulated among friends. This one listed dozens of things dryer sheets could do in addition to being used in the dryer. I remember getting lots of good ideas from it, such as putting dryer sheets (unused) in the bottom of garbage cans and waste baskets to absorb odors and slipping them under pieces of furniture like couches and chests to kill spiders, fleas, and other bugs. I don't remember whether the flower pot thing was on the list or if I just thought of it because of the tip about the furniture. I have lots of earwigs and sowbugs here, and they like to enter pots through the drainage holes.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 10:26 PM CST

Plants Admin

Oh, I just remembered another great thing dryer sheets do. They repel mosquitoes. You can just tie one to your belt loop or tuck it into your belt and it'll keep the mosquitoes away from you. I don't wear belts, so I usually pin one on top of my head with a bobby pin. It makes me look like a novice nun Hilarious! , but who cares? As long as it keeps the mosquitoes away.

They also keep thread from tangling. Just run the needle and thread through a dryer sheet before you start sewing, and the thread won't tangle.

You can use them to clean your eyeglasses or mirrors, and it'll keep them from fogging up. They repel dust, so they're good dust cloths, especially for your computer monitor or TV screen.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jan 8, 2012 10:42 PM CST
zuzu said:I don't think there's anything in the scent that kills the bugs, so the unscented ones should work, Marilyn. I actually didn't know they have unscented ones. I've never used them in the dryer because I hate the smell. I just buy a new box now and then and put it with all of my gardening tools and supplies so that I'll always have enough when I start potting things up.


Zuzu,

I've sensitive skin, so I've been using the Bounce Free & Sensitive sheets. They're in a white box with orange and blue colors. It's free of dyes and perfumes.

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 10:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

I wonder, though, if it's the scent that repels the mosquitoes. In that case, I'd keep using the scented ones. I don't really need to use them in the dryer. By the time I get around to removing the laundry from the dryer, there's never any static electricity left. Sometimes procrastination pays off. Smiling
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jan 8, 2012 10:52 PM CST
LOL, well I did use a dryer sheet once for dusting the t.v. screen but worried that it might scratch the screen/glass ... and I always throw a sheet into the bottom of the waste baskets in each of the bathrooms but I'd never heard of them repelling bugs which is great to know ... during the spring, summer and fall we are inundated with mosquitoes here in Florida so, I think that Dryer Sheets are my new friend! Green Grin!

hmm ... wouldn't a mosquito icon be a cute addition to our badges? Smiling
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses
Clematis Irises Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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zuzu
Jan 8, 2012 11:01 PM CST

Plants Admin

I was googling for that list of household hints and ran across a news item, saying the mail carriers somewhere had been advised to keep a sheet of Bounce in their pockets to repel yellowjackets. I wonder if that would work for wasps too. I get stung about a dozen times each spring by bees and wasps, and now that I think about it, that's before mosquito season, so I'm not wearing my little novice kerchief in the garden yet. I guess I'll have to start wearing it year-round. I hope it doesn't make my hair fall out. Green Grin!
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Jan 8, 2012 11:14 PM CST
plantladylin said:LOL, well I did use a dryer sheet once for dusting the t.v. screen but worried that it might scratch the screen/glass ... and I always throw a sheet into the bottom of the waste baskets in each of the bathrooms but I'd never heard of them repelling bugs which is great to know ... during the spring, summer and fall we are inundated with mosquitoes here in Florida so, I think that Dryer Sheets are my new friend! Green Grin!

hmm ... wouldn't a mosquito icon be a cute addition to our badges? Smiling


How about a mosquito icon with a line through it, as in No Mosquitos! Rolling on the floor laughing Green Grin! Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jan 9, 2012 3:48 AM CST

I'll try one to keep my eyeglasses from fogging. I bought a new pair and said "no" to the anti-fog coating. That was a mistake!

I agree that roots grow into and through window screening if you use that to block pot holes. Nasty. Unless you want to call it deliberate root pruning.

Does the dryer cloth hold roots in, or do they push right through it?


My only method for blocking big pot holes in the past was to hand-pick extra long shreds and chunks from screened pine bark mulch, and pile some of those around each hole. Like the ancient, classic method of saving broken clay pots and piling shards around potholes.

But I think the abrupt change in texture between the soil mix and the bark shreds and chunks interfered with capillary "continuity", so that the bottom of the pot held more perched water and prevented wicking the pots by setting them on absorbant mats.

Last summer I got lazy and didn't move some 1 gallon pots with Lobellia, sitting on heavy clay (can't call it soil). Some soil mix came out of the holes and formed a bridge onto the clay. Those poor roots followed the bridge and TRIED to push their way into the clay. Fat chance! They circled around under the pot and above the clay, like an external root ball or a living capillary mat.

P.S. I read that you can wipe a new dryer anti-static sheet on the OUTside of a Ziplock to keep very fine seeds from trying to float away from or cling to the plastic. I never tried it, because my humidity always prevents "seed levitation".
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
Jan 9, 2012 6:55 AM CST
Interesting if they really will kill bugs. I, myself, have used cut up paper towels for years. They do break down in time but by then the soil is compacted enough to stay in the pot.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jan 9, 2012 5:38 PM CST
I know there are good and bad paper towerls. One lady sent me bare root plants in paper towels that were tough like cloth even after soaking for 3-4 days. Lovey dubby

Then there's the paper towels I buy for home, that are like Kleenex once damp. Thumbs down

Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Image
ViolaAnn
Jan 9, 2012 10:30 PM CST
Mine are sturdy! Lovey dubby
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...

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