I thought today I would post about how I do my fall cleanup for any new container gardener who may be wondering what should be done. It is important to store your containers as clean as you possibly can to prevent bacteria from causing undue problems next year. I dump everything out, use the hose to spray off all the clinging dirt, then swish them through a solution of bleach and water to kill the germs. It is much easier to do if you have a big container to fill with the water and bleach (I just dump about a cup full of bleach in the big container below.) Sometimes I also put some dish soap in, but not always. A long handled brush (like a toilet brush) works great. I then toss them around the yard in the sun to dry completely before stacking them for winter storage.
This is the ideal way to clean them all--but, let's get serious, it doesn't always happen. I rarely get them all done in one day. More often than not the last few containers do not get the bleach treatment because I am in a hurry to get them done. I just brush the snow off (almost every year some of them get snowed on), spray them out with the hose and that's it. The truth is I have never had any problems with fungus or disease when using the bleachless containers. I always read that one should do it, so I still do -- at least during the initial cleanup.
Let the Basting Begin! - I am using my dining room table to baste this big one -- it's about 105 x 105 inches (king size). It's been a while since I've finished one this big.
4 months ago