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Effective cleaning og garden pots

Last year it was reported on RHS that there was a problem with Smuts affecting Cosmos. My plants were affected, and again this year. I grow them in pots, and would love to know how to effectively disinfect pots. Last year I used bleach and washing up liquid. My local garden centre have been unable to advise me!! Anyone out there with advice, I would be very grateful. Many thanks.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    I rarely, if ever clean pots, other than a rinse through, but if you're concerned, I'd just use very hot water with a drop of washing up liquid, and then a rinse with a tiny bit of general, mild disinfectant. I don't know about the disease you mention, but that's how I do my bird feeders.  :)  
    I wouldn't use bleach. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364
    I use Jeyes fluid. It smells important so it's bound to work. ;)

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,088
    I've not felt the need to use anything yet, but if I did I'd proably get some of this, or something like it 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,553
    I've been gardening and have never washed a plant pot in my life. I throw them into the recycling bin when they're beyond re-use but some of mine are almost 20 years old.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    If I were so inclined, I would use Jeyes fluid as well. I use it for cleaning down the greenhouse in the spring. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,363
    Pamela was it like this link? There is a photo. I did not come up with the RHS link.

    Washing pots would help if you reuse them with susceptible plants. Also cleaning any tools if you use them to cut bits off, or gloves and hands. Don't re use compost is obvious I guess.

    The important thing is to clean correctly if you are going to. This goes for anything really also bird feeders, life, the universe and everything.
    Hot soap and water to clean off debris will also remove a lot of any pathogens, germs dirt in order to effectively disinfect or sterilize anything. It must be clean first.
    Then if needed, use the manufacturers instructions to correctly dilute fungicide or disinfectant to kill anything left.

    There are some soapy disinfecting all in one products available for pets and bird feeders, not sure about gardening ones for fungicides.
    Sorry, it is a bit of a bugbear of mine people throw "sterilizing" agents around thinking the job is done, before they have cleaned, to me it seems a waste of time and products if it is not done effectively.
    Hot soapy water cleaning is often enough for most things. Wonderful stuff and cheap :)

  • Thank you for your comments.
     Rubytoo, the website you suggested showed exactly how my Cosmos leaves look. Each year my pots as I said are washed, and I never re use compost. I shall try the fungicide suggested.
    Dovefromabove, I have just ordered Citrox.
  • LTobyLToby Posts: 224
    Cheap DIY / fungicide alternative - Bicarbonate Soda or Baking Soda 1 tsp + Quart of water - this solution in a spray bottle; i use for any type of plant problems; from black leaves, white spots, aphids, mildews etc worked for me.  i made sure to spray the plants thoroughly. 
    Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • Water & washing up liquid for plastic pots and a swirl around with plain water for the terracotta ones - a job that my OH undertakes, bless him!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,656
    Hardly ever wash any pots and have never had any problem. Life's too short to worry about pathogens, germs or dirt.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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