Used pots & flats

This also came up before, but worth repeating in this busy planting season.

Everybody, everywhere tells anyone who’s listening that plastic pots, flats, and inserts should never be re-used without first disinfecting them in a bleach solution, lest pathogens be spread to the next crop you’re seeding. They all say it, I swear. Makes sense. But then, never having time for that, and hating the smell and soapy feel of bleach, I used to leave them outside to let sunlight disinfect them, but they’d blow everywhere and Bride didn’t like the look of plastic trays all over the yard, so that didn’t work.

Then the novel thought occurred to me, “How are flats and inserts going to spread disease to new plants if the old ones weren’t diseased?” Duh.

So now I’ve been re-using old plastic flats and such for years, until they wear out, with never a problem. The only ones I absolutely will never re-use without disinfection are those from other nurseries and garden centers. Mine, yes. Theirs, never.

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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1 Response to Used pots & flats

  1. amanda macdonald says:

    awesome peter, perhaps I will start a garden,,,,I am so proud of you this is really great! Please let Stephen and Jonnie know I will also pass along to my gardening friends;)
    love ya miss ya mandy & Co

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