As January comes to a close and things begin to get seriously chilly, gardening exploits tend to happen indoors where it is nice and warm - or INSIDE MY HEAD, which, darlings, is even warmer! But having something to draw you outside, like lopping off a few tree shoots, or sweeping the odd step, is always a blessing at this time of year, because it means I begin to notice all the bulbs emerging, (not to mention the couch-grass) and I get to sniff in all the good smells from my winter flowering shrubs (I depend on these to keep me happy in the cold).
One such endeavour is the washing of pots - both terracotta and plastic, in preparation for the coming year, when you will be happy and thrilled that you have lovely clean, un-composty pots to plant things in, or sow things in, or use to add height to your terrace when you place them upside down beneath other pots. The other obvious reason to do this is because it will MAKE you tidy your space - wherever it is - the place you put your empty pots. This place can often become a corner of shame, or, as in my case, the SHELF of shame; removing everything from it has me brushing off all the dirt and old leaves. Washing my pots also keeps me intentional about which ones I need to keep, and which ones are simply taking up valuable space.
All you need is a bucket of boiling hot steamy water, laced with some eco washing up liquid (I use Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds - this is very concentrated and you only need a few drops of it in a bucket. I use it to make all my household cleaning products) or Ecover washing up liquid. A dedicated (old) washing up brush is really useful here too, or a tough sponge with a scourer. You also need marigolds or rubber gloves, and a good podcast or something on Audible.
Use a stiff brush to get all the dirt off your pots before you wash them, (I use the brush from this dustpan combo, but wish I had one of these) and then dunk them in the bucket of suds, scrubbing in a slap-dash way (you’re not going to be eating out of these pots - you just want them clean). Don’t bother rinsing - just leave pots upside down to dry on a table or wall, or even on your lawn..somewhere they can get dry without accumulating more dirt, and while they dry, clean out their space in readiness for your excellent stacking skills.
NOW tell me you’re not an organisational deity!