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Cleaning and Storing Plant Pots

Piles of plastic pots fill the sheds and garages of gardeners across the country.  Don’t throw these in the trash.  Rather look for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle plant pots.

I reuse many of these containers in my own gardening efforts.  I start by dipping the pots in a solution of one part bleach and 9 parts water followed by a dip in clear water.

The clean containers are great for potting divisions I dig and share with friends.  I use the colorful pots for kid’s garden activities.  We use smaller ones for planting seeds and starting cuttings.  Then the kids often decorate the larger containers and use them for growing flowers and vegetables at their school, daycare, or home.

Still more pots?  Contact your favorite garden center, botanic garden, or community recycling center.  Many are now collecting these products to be recycled into other useful items.

And reduce the plastic buildup by purchasing plants in biodegradable pots whenever possible.

A bit more information:   Garden containers you recycle find a new life in other landscapes.  Most recyclers grind up the pots and flats into chips for manufacturers to use in producing plastic lumber, retaining wall ties and other products.  The plastic timbers and lumber outlast wood products and help keep plastic waste out of the landfill.

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