Spring is on the horizon and with that, tons of excitement. But before gardeners get into the full swing of the season, there are a few garden chores to complete. Whether it’s cleaning up your beds or oiling your tools, it’s important to go into the prime gardening season well-prepared.


One task few (if any) look forward to is cleaning pots. It’s widely recommended to improve the health of your container plants and give them the best start. But is it really necessary?


According to some gardeners, washing your recycled pots before use prevents a host of pests and diseases from infiltrating new plants. Soil-borne pests and diseases are certainly a concern, and washing any remaining dirt off your container with soap and water will stop any issues from spreading to new soil.


Washing pots also makes them look far tidier, framing the plants well and making your garden as a whole look more polished. Depending on the type of container you have, a simple wipe down can make a world of difference.


While these benefits have truth to them, they also aren’t as dramatic as some may make it seem. Many gardeners (myself included) have reused pots or seedling trays with a little dirt on the bottom with no issues at all. Unless you’re aware of an existing pest or disease problem, you’re unlikely to do any serious damage if you don’t use soap and water before you start planting.


So, should you clean your pots before planting this spring season? Probably. Is it the end of the world if you give it a skip this time? Not at all. As long as you practice overall good garden hygiene, you should have no problems growing thriving, happy plants.


Words: Madison Mouton

Photo: Cottonbro for Pexels