Organically Disinfecting Recycled Pots

Organically Disinfecting Recycled Pots

Posted by Deb Doubek on Apr 21st 2019

Guest Blogger Deb Doubek of Peterman Brook Herb Farm shared her article below:

Today was a dark and sleet filled day, so I trudged through the mud to the greenhouse and grabbed up a few flats of recycled pots and headed to the kitchen to give them an organic bath before planting time. Old pots should be washed and treated to avoid any plant disease from an earlier planting or if purchased from another greenhouse.

Dirty pots from last fall

Here at Peterman Brook Herb Farm, we like to use vinegar instead of chlorine bleach for our final rinse. We have nothing against chlorine bleach, but here we will show you how to disinfect your pots keeping a little more harmony with nature.

I usually give the pots a quick cold water rinse before I start. Once they are rinsed, fill one sink with soapy warm water and the other sink with about 1 cup vinegar to 2 – 3 gallons of water.

Soapy water wash and vinegar water rinse

While you are washing them, weed out any pots that have cracks or have become brittle and unstable. In this bunch, we were able to salvage 115 and tossed about 15 with cracks.

Be sure to pay close attention to cleaning the drainage holes at the bottom. Once they are clean let them soak in the vinegar rinse a few minutes and then set them aside to dry.

Pots drying for a new season of planting

Don’t forget to treat any trays that you use in the same solution as you stand the chance of infecting your plants from the tray as well. Once your pots have dried, stack them up and they are ready for use when the greenhouse is warm and time is abundant!

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