I have several nice pots that do not have drainage holes in them. I have been told they need to have drainage holes or the plants will not do well.
What is the best way to make holes in them? Should I put one hole in the center or several smaller ones? I bought some window screen to cover the holes with so the soil will not wash out the bottom and make a mess. Is that ok to do?
It's a lot harder to drill ceramic pots than glazed terra cotta. Spearpoint drills (aka spade or 3-point drills) are probably the best for all but the hardest pottery. See one here: http://www.amazon.com/Spearpoint-Glass-Drill-CR-Laurence/dp/B006JFO1H8 You can buy them at big box home improvement stores and good hardware stores for less than the one I linked to.
If you use one, keep the tool/work interface cooled with water from a spritzer, hose, contact lens solution bottle ... or set the pot upside down in a tub and fill with water until the surface you're drilling is wet; this, to significantly extend the useful life of the tool. They're far superior to masonry drills for pots.
Excellent to know, Al, thank you! I saved that page in my "gardening" folder. =)
Do you think just one good-sized hole in the center would be good? I've recently brought home some un-glazed terra planters and had DH drill holes in them. He used a masonry bit (while I stood by and spritzed my little heart out!), and drilled just one 1" hole in the center of the bottom of each one. So far so good, but if it could be better, I'll get right on that! =)
There is no advantage in 1 hole vs 10 holes. The plant won't care if it takes 15 seconds or a full minute for the soil to stop draining. I suppose if you had a ton of holes there would be some advantage in the fact that more soil would be exposed to the air, so the water in the soil would evaporate faster, an advantage, but as far as drainage goes there is no advantage at all.