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Thread: Drilling holes in terracotta pots

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    SueA's Avatar
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    Default Drilling holes in terracotta pots

    Just wondered if anyone had any good tips for putting a drainage hole in a terracotta pot.I bought a sort of 'half strawberry pot' from Tesco for 3.97 the other day & only realised when I got home that it didn't have any drainage hole in the bottom.I'm going to use it for sempervivums which like a lot of drainage otherwise I would have taken a chance with just a good layer of gravel in the bottom.The only thing I can think of is sticking some masking tape in the bottom & trying to drill through it very slowly with a small masonry drill bit, does anyone have a better idea? I don't want to end up cracking it (it might crack in winter anyway as it's made in China & probably not frost proof!)
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    I'd go for the masking tape and slow drill approach, may be worth trying a pilot hole to start with and working upwards from that. More the question, why are Tesco selling them without drainage holes in the first place, I know plenty of people who wouldn't have the tools to drill them and find it difficult enough with plastic tubs. Pretty cheap though!

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    Thanks Alison, I fell for it with the plastic tubs from there as well.I tried drilling one of them & nearly ripped the tub to pieces! I found the best way with them was to take a thick nail & heat the end of it over a gas flame & push it through the bottom of the pot a few times.
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    A heated nail. That sounds like a great idea Sue - I nearly lost my fingers last week trying to drill into a plastic container! Did you really get a terracotta pot from Tesco for 3.49?? I've searched on the internet for a terracotta strawberry pot, but to no avail.

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    SueA I'm lucky I leave all that to my OH!
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    I've never had any problems drilling holes in plastic pots. Must use slow speed or a hand drill, though. As for terracotta I've never tried. I would say definitely use masking tape and a slow speed - wish you luck. Terracotta is porous so any excess water should leak through the sides or evaporate. I think I would go for the thick layer of gravel/crocks and hope for the best.

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    I would have thought you'd want it reasonable fast or it will never cut through it. I would put it on a bag of sand as that will help absorb some of the vibrations and don't have it on hammer!!
    ntg
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    I use a hand drill for plastic pots - but I can't imagine why on earth anyone would sell a terracotta strawb pot without drainage holes!
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