The weather is warming up, the sun is shining longer and thoughts of transforming our outdoor spaces can’t be hushed. These sun-drenched days seem like the perfect time to start gardening, but cool nights can still dip too low for new seedlings. If your green thumb is itching to get going, prepping and cleaning your outdoor containers is a good start.
Whether they’re terracotta, glazed ceramic, cement or plastic, it’s important to clean old containers before adding new plants. Dirty pots may contain minerals, pests, bacteria and fungi that can harm new plants—no matter how hardy they are. So, give your pots and planters a good spring clean to help keep flowers and foliage healthy all season long.
STEP 1 – If you didn’t discard the dead plants in your pots in the fall, compost them now. Then, using a stiff scrub brush remove any dirt that clings to the inside and outside of your pots.
STEP 2 – Fill a sink or large container with warm water, a few drops of dish soap and one cup of vinegar. Using the same stiff scrub brush, wash each pot thoroughly to remove stuck-on debris and any residual stains.
STEP 3 – After your pots are nice and clean, be sure to rinse them well. Leave them dry outside in the sun, on your balcony or back deck. If your pots are terracotta and you are ready to plant, no need to dry them. The extra moisture that the porous pots will retain helps to keep soil from drying out during the first crucial day of transplanting.
Now comes the fun part, a trip to your local greenhouse to find some beautiful flora to fill them. If you’re interested in heritage gardening, organic gardening or are interested to learn about different seeds for your garden, search #seedysaturday to find an event near you.
Pro tip: If you break your budget at the garden centre and need more pots, check out the aisles at your local thrift shops.