Q: How do I prevent clay and ceramic pots from cracking over winter?
A: Terracotta and unglazed ceramic absorb water, which then freezes and expands, cracking the pots. Water in the soil in planted containers does the same thing. One tip is to put a length of hose (with the ends plugged) around he inside of the pot before planting. This may help absorb some of the expansion.
Better, though, bring the pots into a garage, greenhouse or shed, where they will be drier. Occasionally throw a bit of snow on top; it will melt eventually to water the plant. Empty pots should be cleaned with a bleach solution, then stacked in a heated garage or the basement. If they’re left outside, cover them with a tarp.
Photo from istock/CheriJon