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Flower Pot Sterilizer
March 2, 2011
8:36 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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A good thing to think about this time of year when you're dragging out your old pots!

 

This works on clay, plastic, or ceramic pots to kill off insect eggs and plant diseases.  Clean the pot as well as you can with a garden hose etc first then:

 

Mix 1 part household bleach with 10 parts water.  (Multiply if necessary.)  Fill a large tub with the solution--make enough to cover the largest flower pots you'll be sterilizing.  Place the washed pots in the tub and let them soak 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the pots, rinse well with the garden hose, and set them in the sun to dry.  They're ready for new plants!

Clover made me do it.

March 2, 2011
9:01 am
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brookdale
Eastern Maine
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Good idea, Suzanne! And here's another view on sterilizing pots. He says you only need to do the ones you get from elsewhere. I think I would do them all anyway.

http://lifegrower.com/2011/02/27/used-pots-and-flats/

Remember, if it rains on your picnic it's also raining on your garden!

March 2, 2011
9:16 am
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gakaren
S.W. Ga., USA
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brook, I agree with your link!  I've never had a problem with mine and can't see wasting the time, effort & soap/bleach to do it unless there was a problem with the plant, etc. that was in that container before.

I've reused most of mine for years without sterlizing & without any problems.

If I learned something today, the day wasn't a waste!

March 2, 2011
9:34 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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I have a lot of old pots that don't always get reused from year to year.  You never know what might set up camp in there.  Anyway, just sharing! happy-flower

Clover made me do it.

March 2, 2011
9:47 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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By the time I kept track of every pot I got something in from somewhere else, which ones only had dirt from here, it would just be easiest to sterilize them all!

And also, insects eggs can be on the pots (ones you don't want spreading especially in the house!) even if the dirt that was in them wasn't diseased.

Thank you!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 2, 2011
9:50 am
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Pete
WV
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Guess it's an individual thing, as is everything else.  Nobody's going to come by and chastise you if you opt out of doing this!   surprised

However, there are many situations which call on us to take measures to protect ourselves and our gardens from the spread of something.  Most often for me, it is something I've brought home from the garden center!

Glad to have this recipe handy for the day that I need to do this! 

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

March 2, 2011
10:02 am
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MaryB
WV
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I know the nurseries down south always were particular with their pots, cleaning them between uses, to not transfer unwanted eggs of any kind..   We never know what crawls around the edges while they sit in dark places!!!  

March 5, 2011
3:58 am
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Mountain Blessings
Arizona
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February 14, 2011
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I have always reused pots and a long time ago my plants kept dying. It's a well known fact that I do NOT have a green thumb, but I figured it must be something in the pots (it could not be my gardening abilities, OH NO) so I started doing like Suzanne posted and since I have had good luck with reusing and transplanting into old pots. I store my empty pots outside and they do get a few insect residents that need to go before the new plants are put in. btw, does anyone have a good remedy for getting rid of black widows. I have to be cautious because of my outside animals. Thanks

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell

March 5, 2011
4:56 am
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Amerayl
Bisbee, AZ
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February 15, 2011
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Mountain Blessings said:

 btw, does anyone have a good remedy for getting rid of black widows. I have to be cautious because of my outside animals. Thanks

I know that Black Widows don't like Eucalyptus. I put cotton balls soaked with Lemon Eucalyptus EO in my shed during the summer and don't have a problem with them. I should have remembered to put some in the pump house, cause the darn thing is infested. Works great cause the high heat in the summer causes the eo to vaporize.

 

I guess I'll have to buy a bottle of bleach. I've got some pots I need to use. My husband told me about this a few times, but I always forget. Not this time.

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