Containers forum: sterilizing new glazed pots

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Name: Alli O'Cain
Cedar Park ( Austin) Tx (Zone 8b)
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aocain
Aug 18, 2014 7:36 PM CST
I found these really pretty glazed pots with a hmm.. a metalic sheen in parts of the glaze very barely noticable.. mainly in the light you can catch it.
the pots are great.. and were on sale at the grocery store outside of all places..in several sizes and colors.
so how do i sterlizing them ? Esp with the glaze? I honestly never had before just a good washing and never had a problem..
After my recent issues with my other regular clay pots and the mold and mushrooms whichIve never had before.. I was worried about clay again.
Im not really sure what the difference the glazes make except I know they retain the water well like plastic almost. But prettier and heavier! Lol...
"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are"
Alfred Austin
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Aug 19, 2014 12:27 PM CST

Moderator

I'm not sure why you would need to sterilize them beyond a soap and water cleaning? Look on the bottom to see where the containers were made. If in another country (China for instance), I would only use them for ornamental plants, not food plants. Sometimes the glazes can contain toxic substances that would only be harmful if used for drinking or eating.

Clay, being so porous could have issues with mold, etc, which you already know is easily cleaned up with a good scrubbing of soap and water. Also, some potting mixed can be more prone to having problems with fungus/mushrooms. These usually don't bother the plants, other than indicating the mix is acidic. Both mushrooms and mold love acidic conditions.

I would love to see photos of your new containers.
Name: Alli O'Cain
Cedar Park ( Austin) Tx (Zone 8b)
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aocain
Aug 19, 2014 7:11 PM CST

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I really like them.. The biggest I paid 7 for and then the medium 5.25 I think and the smallest blue one which isnt tiny
I paid just over 4.00. They are heavy and thick.. I like that. Some people dont. But I prefer the heavy pots.
I have cats that think flying around the room and bouncing off the walls is great.. esp at 4am! :-)


Thumb of 2014-08-20/aocain/503338

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are"
Alfred Austin
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
Aug 19, 2014 7:20 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious! I can see where that might not be a favorite occupation of yours.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Aug 19, 2014 11:24 PM CST

Moderator

Very nice Alli. And yes the heavy pots would be very useful with those frisky cats running around. Hilarious!
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Aug 20, 2014 12:24 PM CST
Allie:: Those are earthenware pots with a low fire glaze. The sheen is most likely a glaze ingredient that was transferred as fumes during the fireing process.
Treat them as you would any other glazed pot.
Lynn is right, if they were made in China they should never be used for food but as they are unglazed inside they wouldnt be easy to clean.
The Chinese and many other countries who import less expensive ceramics use the cheapest materials and glazes are fired at a low temp.to save money.
Lead is sometimes used as a flux to make glaze turn to glass at a lower temp. therefore as Lynn said, dont use these pots for food storage especially any thing with high acid content like citrus ,tomatoes or Pineapple.

They are beauties and the price was right most definitely.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Aug 20, 2014 3:39 PM CST

Moderator

Great information Jo Ann. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to have some one that knows about pottery first hand.
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
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ge1836
Aug 20, 2014 4:42 PM CST
No problem.
Name: Alli O'Cain
Cedar Park ( Austin) Tx (Zone 8b)
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aocain
Aug 20, 2014 11:39 PM CST
Thank you for the info on the glazes and pots.. I havent looked yet where they were made.. I will check tomorrow.. waiting to finally go to sleep..lol
since I have just a few hours before the four legged monsters get to making the house an obstacle course!
"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are"
Alfred Austin
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Sep 6, 2014 12:42 PM CST
Your problems with mold and mushrooms might more likely be indicative of a problem with the potting soil you're using. For a while here, used compost from mushroom growers was very popular in soil mixes and potting soils. at first, it sounded like a great idea, however I started to see a lot of problems with mycelium overgrowth, both in pots and in the beds where I used it for amendments. The soil was infested with something that resembled "dry-rot" and was almost impossible to wet.

One year, a large batch of bulk potting mix from a reputable soil yard almost killed everything I planted in it over the course of a growing season. You know something is really wrong when well-watered and regularly fed potted daylilies decline over the course of one season. By the time I figured out what had happened, it was too late for many of them. When I started repotting the survivors, the soil in the containers had a noticeable chlorine odor. When I asked the people at the soil yard about it, they admitted that a batch of mushroom compost from their supplier had been sterilized with bleach prior to use by the grower. (Apparently, mushrooms are not very picky about their growing conditions.)

That was in the early 90's, however I've noticed that bagged potting mixes have steadily declined in quality from the glory days of the 80's. Today, many landfill operations are using scrap wood in their recycling operations, and some of them seem to be using dyes to disguise incomplete composting. The result is a soil based on softwood which breaks down quickly to muck. One sign of impending problems is when the soil turns from black to brown after a couple of waterings. Another potential problem is hazardous chemical residues on the scrap wood they are feeding their chippers.

Check the labeling on some of the big brand name potting mixes, and you will often find a generic term such as "composted forest products" in the ingredient list. This usually indicates that scrap wood from a recycling operation was used. Also, because shipping is very expensive, you may also see terms such as, "regionally produced" on a product labeled with the name of a company located a great distance away. This generally indicates that the parent company is contracting with a local jobber/bagger, who is probably working from a very basic recipe. I bought a bag of one of these from a big box store once, and when I opened it, it didn't have that earthy smell I associate with compost, rather, it smelled exactly like the local landfill.

This may be a "California Problem", because when I've bought plants from Plant Delights Nursery and Yucca Do, they are growing in a very nice, coarse, bark-based soil mix.

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