Starting your own crops from seed is a satisfying and economical way to grow your own plants, flowers, and veggies. Reusing your containers each year is a great way to save money but it can be a problem unless you clean them. Let’s take a look at washing pots before planting so you can grow healthy plants.
The Importance of Cleaning Gardening Pots
Why is it important to clean your pots before reusing them? Soil builds up salts that can damage plants, and these salts get deposited on the inside of planters. In addition, any diseases your plants may have carried last season can get transferred to your new plants. The solution is cleaning used flower pots before using them again. Garden pot cleaning only takes a few minutes, but it will help to keep your plants healthy.
How to Clean a Container
The best way to clean containers is outside in the spring before planting. Garden pot cleaning begins with physically removing any dirt that clings to the inside and outside of the containers. Use a stiff scrub brush and clear water. If you have clay pots with a stubborn build up a wire brush or putty knife can come in handy.
How To Sanitize
Once the pots are clean, fill a large container with a 10 percent bleach solution. If you don’t have a large sink or container the bathtub works well. Use one part plain household bleach and nine parts water. Submerge the pots and let them soak for 10 minutes. This will kill off any disease organisms that might be lingering on the surface. Rinse off the plastic pots to remove any residual bleach and allow them to air dry in the sun. If you have terra-cotta pots, submerge them in a container filled with clear water and allow them to soak for an additional 10 minutes to remove the bleach from the pores of the material. Air dry these as well.
Healthy Plants That Thrive
Knowing how to clean and sanitize your containers can preserve the health of your seedlings giving you healthier plants and in the case of herbs and vegetables, higher yields. Sanitizing your pots will save you both time and money. No more rushing out to buy plants or missing out on a season of crops because of dampening off or other soil type diseases.