Cleaning Pots and Containers before Planting

Gardening Tips
Cleaning Plant Pots

Starting seeds can be demanding but also a great source of fun. This is an ideal way to know exactly what you're growing. Another big advantage to starting seeds is that it allows you a jump on the season. This can be very beneficial, especially if you wish to grow vegetables and flowers.

One important thing to keep in mind before you start your seeds is to make sure that pots and containers you wish to use are completely clean and also sanitized. This is important because it will reduce potential diseases your plants may face, such as fungi. Never forget to clean the material: this is a good way to ensure your seedlings receive the best possible conditions to grow healthy and strong.

Seeds are generally very vulnerable to fungi. Cleaning and sanitizing your pots and containers is an important step you need to do to ensure successful seed production and healthy plants.

How to Sanitize Your Containers?

One popular way to sterilize your containers is to place them in the oven. Not all containers and pots can go through this treatment so make sure you know which ones can be safely used in the oven. Heat the pots to 170-180 degrees and allow them to sit for a few minutes. This will kill any potential fungi and other diseases in your pots and containers.

However, this is just one method and it can't be used for all types of containers, especially plastic ones. So, what to do? Here are some simple tips on how to properly clean and sanitize all your containers regardless of their material, size or other parameters:

  1. Prepare three large buckets. They should be big enough to hold your containers and pots. One bucket should contain clean water, the other 9 parts water to 1 part mild bleach and the third bucket should contain water with a little bit of liquid soap or detergent.
  2. Scrub your pots and containers in the bucket with soap and water. Make sure to clean them throughly. When you're done, rinse them with water.
  3. Soak your containers and pots in the bleach solution for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove pots and containers from the bucket and place them in the clean water to rinse them.
  5. Let the pots and containers dry out completely. Do not fill them with soil and seeds before they are completely dry.

That's all you need to do. Your pots and containers will be clean, sanitized and ready for soil and seeds. Before you plant the seeds, make sure that the pots and containers have appropriate draining holes. If the holes are small, make sure to make them large enough to ensure proper drainage. After this, you may put the soil or another medium inside pots and containers and start your seeds. Your plants will grow in clean and disease-free environment, which will make them strong, healthy and ready to thrive. Remember, healthy plants produce more fruit of better quality and are stronger to resist pests.

Photo credit: Chiot's Run

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