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I hope someone can advise me. I have a small, paved back garden, and all my plants are in pots. When it rains, the rain seems to splash back off the ground onto the pots, making the sides muddy (even though there is not much mud or soil to speak of on the paving stones). This looks unsightly, and I have to clean the mud off the pots quite frequently. I noticed that the few pots I have on a small raised area of wooden slats (a kind of decking) are not muddy, and I think it is because the rain goes straight through to the underneath of the slats, rather than bouncing back onto the pots. I think if I could put something similar under the other pots, I could avoid the mud problem. But I don't want to have decking all over my garden! Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I could put under the pots to lift them above the ground? (Pot 'feet' are no good, as I think the pots need to be higher to avoid the splashback). Also, the affected pots have now become covered in bright green lichen along with the mud, whereas the ones on the decking are fine. Any suggestions as to how to remove the lichen easily would also be very welcome - scrubbing each pot with soapy water is exhausting and I have arthritis so it is quite hard for me to do.
Any ideas would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.



I don't think there is an easy solution. Any pots sitting on or just above paving will get splashed when it rains… The only thing I can think of is to keep the paving well swept so that there isn't any soil on it to splash back up on the pots when it rains.

25 Feb, 2014


What about wooden pallets cut down to fit the paved area, or blocks of wood?

25 Feb, 2014


Pallets might work but wooden blocks won't The water will still splash back up.

25 Feb, 2014


You can buy small squares, 18 inches I think, of wooden decking used to make paths. This might be worth a try. Alternatively, if the problem is caused or exacerbated by the surfacing being quite flat and smooth, would gravel under the pots stop the splashback effect? If you could find a friend or neighbour who had either of the above you could borrow a small amount of, you could give it a trial run.

25 Feb, 2014


Bricks, from a Builders Merchant or DIY Centre.

25 Feb, 2014


The problem is that the rain is landing on the soil in the pots and washing it onto the paving around the pots. The rain then hits the soil around the pots and causes the the soil to stain them. I think that the reason the ones that are on slats don't suffer this problem is because the soil is washed away before it can splash the soil onto the sides of the pots.

25 Feb, 2014


Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I was rather losing hope! But now I have some new things to try.

25 Feb, 2014


Regarding the moss/lichen, could that be because the pots on the hard surface get less sun than the pots on the decking? That would certainly encourage these growths.

26 Feb, 2014


If it is the rain washing the potting soil onto the ground then try some bark or pebbles on top of the soil. Also u could put a ring of pebbles & stones around the bottom of the pot, artistically of course. Good luck.

27 Feb, 2014

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