pot cleaning

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KarlR
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby KarlR » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:04 am

I've never really been too comfortable with the baggie method. The last few times I've sown, I've settled on cleaning pots with soap and hot water, a "light" sterilisation of the soil by pouring boiling water over it, and then using a propagator. No fungicides. And I've had absolutely no trouble with mold or fungi. Perhaps one pot out of 100 has had some damping off on account of fungi, but then it's probably been down to spores present on the seeds themselves.

Each to their own of course, but to me the baggie method only really seems worthwhile for Aztekium, Blossfeldia and Strombocactus.

Anyway, as to pot cleaning I suspect Chris is right to question the received wisdom of having to thoroughly clean all pots. Apart from the cases where obviously diseased plant matter is still present, I doubt the plants take any harm from some old soil and sand. I like to clean my pots, but it's more to do with the fact I like to work with clean pots than any major concern for the plants' wellbeing.
fruit
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby fruit » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:33 am

KarlR wrote:Anyway, as to pot cleaning I suspect Chris is right to question the received wisdom of having to thoroughly clean all pots. Apart from the cases where obviously diseased plant matter is still present, I doubt the plants take any harm from some old soil and sand. I like to clean my pots, but it's more to do with the fact I like to work with clean pots than any major concern for the plants' wellbeing.
I'm sure that's the right attitude.
We don't sterilise vast areas of our gardens when we plant out and generally plants rely on the fact that there are other organisms in the soil that they coexist and interact with
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Tony R
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby Tony R » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:56 am

When my kids were young, they would eagerly wash my pots for pocket money @ 1p/pot!
Grown-up kids are not so keen, so my pile of 'used' pots gets ever larger - it was just the same when I spotted these at North Mymms Garden in 2000:

000319 Lots of Pots at North Mymms.JPG
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Liz M
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby Liz M » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:25 pm

Wow, I would not mind a few of those. I find this talk of cleaning pots very interesting and I am sure that it depends what you are going to put in the pots as to how clean you make them. I always wash my pots by soaking in clean water, then scrubbing them to remove compost, mould and moss, Then turn them upside down to drain and finally turn them again to dry. I never sterilise pots but always try to use clean ones. When I do seed sowing I don't use the baggy method but I don't normally grow cacti from seed, just water the soil well and then keep the compost damp until germination.
I am also interested on what people do with their spent compost. Since I use so much grit and catlitter I have started to re-use it. I empty it into a container, removing bugs and worms and lumps, damp it well, then put it to sterilise in the microwave, I give it at least 5 minutes on full power for small amounts and about ten for large amounts. Anything really large, I damp and put in a moderate oven for 15-20 minutes. At the end of this treatment, the bugs should be dead, good and bad and weed seeds have also been destroyed. I end up with a very gritty compost that I let down with John Innes and one or two other bits and pieces depending on what I am growing.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti
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daniel82
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby daniel82 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:49 pm

I have normally chucked old compost but have toyed with doing what you are Liz, especially as my mix has more kitty litter and grit in it.

As far as cleaning pots, I rinse off left soil/sand and as long as it looks clean then left it at that. Obviously make sure there's no sign of bugs eg, root mealies just to be safe. I've moved away from attempting sterilised conditions in baggies for my seed sowing, I trialled some last year with no microwave etc and found that germination was just as good as the others and the seedlings seem to be no worse for the experience.
Mintylemonade
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby Mintylemonade » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:51 pm

Lots of great discussion here, and would like to add that with seeds I dont sterilize the pots if they are brand new. If they were used in any way before I do sterilize with a 10% bleach solution to err on the side of caution. Sterilizing your compost will depend on what you are sowing and what is the composition of your compost.

Generally speaking if a plant died in a pot, or there were fungal/bacterial issues it'll likely go to the bleach soak. If Im just transplanting and things are looking good a nice scrub of the pots is fine.
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Keith H
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby Keith H » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:48 pm

I am also interested on what people do with their spent compost


Mine goes in the compost heap eventually to be spread on the garden, we are on London Clay so anything to lighten the soil is welcome.
Regards Keith.

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Benjy
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby Benjy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:46 pm

Herts Mike wrote:I've grown succesfully from seed for many years and all I do is wash the old pots (square and probably 20+ years old) in a washing up bowl with washing up liquid just to clean them. Let them dry then put back in the bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave to dry.

(tu) I do the same as this for my seed sowing pots, and have done for many years too,
'washing up bowl with washing up liquid' , rinsed with hot water :)

I microwave my soil mix for 10 minutes.
jerryb23
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby jerryb23 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:37 pm

Same here + I have always kept an old microwave in the greenhouse which I use for sterilising all soil mix.
StevenT
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Re: pot cleaning

Postby StevenT » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:37 pm

Does microwaving kill fungal spores? I was told by a Womens Institute member that they don't use microwaves when making jam because the resulting jam goes mouldy in the jars...

But I expect it doesn't matter for compost.

Steven
Cacti and succulents with data - especially clonotypes, topotypes, old clones, ISI introductions - basically plants with stories!

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