Handy Garden Tip: Pots with Big Holes

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Here’s a little trick I employ when the holes in the bottom of a container are too big to hold the soil in at planting time.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I just rip a single sheet of newspaper to the approximate size of the bottom of the pot and place it in the bottom before adding soil. In the case of single hole pots, I rip a piece that is only a few inches larger than the hole; no need to cover the entire pot bottom.

Years back, I used to search high and low for shards of broken pot to cover over the hole, but newspaper is abundant and will eventually decompose. Drainage is not obstructed if you used a single sheet and you’ll never have to think about it again.


More handy garden tips from the archive.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

13 thoughts on “Handy Garden Tip: Pots with Big Holes

  1. That’s great! I’ve been raiding out coffee filters, but this is a way better use of something that would otherwise be tossed in the recycle bin. Now my hubby won’t be forever complaining we have no coffee filters!

  2. WOW. I never would have thought of that! My grandparents raised me on the whole “save your broken pots!” thing for scattering in the bottom of new planters, but you’re right. They’re so hard to find when you need them, especially if you’re starting out and don’t HAVE any broken pots yet! lol

  3. I’ve used landscape fabric scrapes in the bottom of my pots – keeps the soil in the pot & not on the deck. With my large sized pots I used the fabric as well as putting the empty soil bag in the bottom to fill up a bit of space & keep the pot light enough for me to move around the deck.

  4. Great idea! I might poke a few small holes in the newspaper though to encourage the water to drain through (so it doesn’t bubble up and tear open).

  5. Good idea! Does it work as well as used fabric softener sheets? Love ‘em. If you use them in your dryer, why not reuse them in your garden? I don’t think they are toxic but you never know…

Comments are closed.