This genius hack prevents you from wasting money on your next trip to the garden centre

This intuitive hack will ensure you pick only the very best quality pots at the garden centre and it takes a second to do

 Picture of a plant shop with various plants and ceramic pots
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're a budding new gardener or have been gardening for years, it can be quite easy to become overwhelmed at the garden centre when buying essentials. It can be then that you pick something up that's below average quality without even realising it. 

One such essential is durable plant pots. Whether keeping up with the latest garden trends or adding colour with new patio container plants, hardy plant pots are a must. 

However, once you come face to face with all those glorious pots and plants in the garden centre, your judgment on what's worth buying on a practical level and what isn't can falter. 

A recent social video has gained traction for sharing a foolproof way of ensuring what you're buying at the centre is going to last you. But what's the handy hack and what's it for? 

The genius plant pot hack to save time and money

This hack, posted on TikTok by @themediterraneangardener, has been named the 'Tap Test' and is a way of checking the quality of plant pots whilst shopping at the garden centre or your local plant shop. 

The 'Tap Test' is a way of deciphering if a ceramic or clay pot has a crack hidden in it, as sometimes they're so small you won't even notice on purchasing. If you're one to try out sustainable garden ideas then you'll want to choose the pots that will last you as long as possible, as to avoid repurchasing. 


♬ original sound - Michael - Gardening tips

Michael, the creator of the tap test, says, "A quick way to check if there's a crack in your pot is to do the tap test. Pots are shaped like an upside-down bell so when you tap it with your finger or a ring you should hear this..."

In the video, users can see Michael tapping several different pots both with and without glazing to be then met with a musical un-disturbed high-pitch note. He flicks the sides of the pots to gain a louder noise and points out that all pots will sound different depending on their size.

picture of black and white cermaic plant pots on display

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"You should hear the sound reverberating around the pot when it's tapped," he says. However, if you're met with a dull thud sound, then this means there's a crack big or small in the pot that's stopping the sound from reverberating. 

If you're trying to transform your garden on a budget, chances are you don't have the spare money to repurchase pots that are cracked or faulty so the tap test can save you money when browsing.

 It's also a super quick, easy and accessible way of checking pots whilst shopping, no one wants to pick up heavy ceramic pots and check every crevice for a potential sign of damage! 

Why not try out the tap test the next time you're cleaning terracotta pots in your garden? Checking your pre-existing pots for cracks is also a great way of being ahead of a potential breakage or winter damage to your plants. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.