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Container Maintenance

A checklist for caring for your containers

For a beautiful, productive garden, keeping your containers in good shape is as important as keeping your plants healthy. Containers that are left outside year round are bound to show signs of wear and tear eventually. Here are a few ways to slow the breakdown process:

Treat wood or metal with non-toxic stain, paint, or waterproofing agent.
Line insides of containers that are susceptible to rot with black plastic (with holes in bottom for drainage).
Reinforce joints of wooden containers with extra rust-proof nails.
Keep bottoms of containers raised off of ground for better drainage to prevent water damage.
Keep an eye on perennials with expanding roots.
Repot as needed to prevent plants from splitting their containers.
Bring pots inside or insulate them in winter to prevent freezing and thawing.
Don't put pots where kids, pets, or other natural disasters might strike them.
Clean out containers with bleach and soapy water after you use them. Store all unused containers in a dry, protected place until you need them.