legant, utilitarian, whimsical, modern. Glazed, unglazed. Bright or muted colors. Pot risers are made of little bits of clay and we hardly think of them beyond the purpose they serve. Also known as pot feet, they not only elevate your pots, they can be an art statement. What are the attributes of pot feet? The obvious: they raise your planter off the ground to allow adequate drainage. Less obvious: the most stable risers have a cleft that your planter sits in (see photo below). Risers that are flat can work their way out from under a pot too easily, especially if you use plastic pots and container garden soil mix, both of which are light in weight. I have a faux clay pot, a huge one that I bought last year. I drilled holes in the bottom, per instructions, but didn’t use pot feet. In addition, I use the Lasagna Gardening method, developed by Patricia Lanza, which uses layers of newspaper, soil and organic matter. Because of it, my slug problem has lessened considerably, but good drainage is needed. Newspapers in the bottom of my big pot keep out weeds and pests, but I noticed the pot was not draining properly last year. It was not elevated enough to drain. I found more reasons to use pot feet in a Christian Science Monitor article by Mary-Kate Mackey. “Raising containers with pot feet not only makes your job easier, the practice can prolong the life of wood decks, porches, and steps,” writes Mackey, a contributor to Sunset Magazine. “Air circulation under a container also contributes to the health of the plant’s roots.” She also lists a UK site that sells copper-coated pot feet. Copper has been shown to deter slugs. Instead of buying a product like this, though, you can take care of the copper-coating yourself; click here to learn more. Mackey reminds us that we must “make sure the feet are as frost-proof as the pot itself.” Glazed sets are needed in northerly climates. Risers that are unglazed are porous and they’d crack in freezing weather if left outside. Go to a garden centre and take a look around. There are many pot foot designs and it’s fun to look at and study them. Intricately sculpted or beautifully glazed pot risers can be quite pricey. I think making my own pot risers would be a source of satisfaction. I’d see them throughout the season and think, “I made those.” Plus, if I make my own, I get exactly what I want. Making pot risers requires a little planning. If you want extruded risers, you’ll have to make a die. Once you’ve made one, you can easily mass produce as many risers as you need. Making risers individually would allow for greater creativity, though. You could make figures, not just shapes.
- Proper thickness
- A cleft for the pot to sit on
- Uniformity in height and width
- A die, if extruding
- Make in sets of three
- Glazed for cold climates
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for designs, take a look at commercially available ones. Here some to spur your creativity: unglazed, glazed. These risers found on Etsy are good for inspiration. Pot feet to the rescue!