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I am new to gardening and trying my hand in container gardening in my balcony. I bought some clay pots from the Gardner who visits my society very often for open area maintenance. He probably have bought them from some roadside vendor. Right after planing cuttings into them and subsequent watering I noticed white colored patches on the outer side of the pots. Gradually the outer surface of the pots are disintegrating and crumbling and the clay is shedding off. It looks like swollen up patches and if I scratch it rather even touch it, the outer surface falls off.
This ways the pots are being damaged. The outer design of the clay has just disappeared and its getting deteriorated by every passing day. If I don't use water it becomes dry but as soon as I start watering the white stuff again appears on the outer surface.
Can anyone help me how to fix this problem. Pots are being kept outside under direct sunlight.
Also please help me how to choose a strong pot I mean the signs of a strong adequately fired clay pot. I have a feeling that thses pots are not adequately fired. not sure
Thanks in advance..