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How to Clean and Sanitize Seed-Starting Pots

Starting your plants from seeds is an awarding and cost effective way to jump-start your garden. When considering growing your own seeds, you need to be very cautious because seeds are highly vulnerable to fungus, especially damping off; properly cleaning and sanitizing your pots and containers is an important step in order to ensure successful seed production.
Whether buying new containers or recycling previously used ones, you need to make sure they are thoroughly clean before starting your seeds. One way to sterilize your containers, if they can safely be placed in an oven, is to heat them to 170-180 degrees, allowing them to sit for a few minutes. This will help kill off any fungi or other diseases that could be inside your containers. However for most pots and containers, or if flammability is a concern, here are some simple steps you can take to help your little seeds grow into magnificent, flourishing plants:

seedlings in pots

1. First, to save time I suggest using three large buckets, big enough to hold your pots and containers. Fill one bucket with clean water, another with 9 parts water and one part mild bleach and the third with water and a little bit of liquid detergent.

2. First, in the bucket with soap and water, scrub your pots and containers thoroughly than rinse with water.

3. In my opinion, the next step is the most important: soak your pots and containers in the bleach solution for roughly 15 minutes.

4. Then remove from the solution and place them in the clean water to rinse.

5. Finally, let them dry out completely before filling with the soil and placing the seeds. You want to make sure the pots/containers have draining holes.

With these simple instructions you can help your tiny seeds thrive, growing into your own personal, stunning garden oasis.

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