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Storing Pots

Martha Stewart Living, March 1999

To ensure that smaller terra-cotta pots emerge from winter storage intact and ready for spring planting, take the time to put them away properly in fall. First, thoroughly clean and dry the pots to prevent the growth of fungus and disease. Then, lay them on their sides, one tucked inside another, in a shallow wooden crate; store the crate out of the freezing cold. Never stack pots vertically -- changes in temperature and humidity will make them swell, causing them to stick together and practically guaranteeing breakage when you try to pull them apart.

Comments (7)

  • mumsy55 6 Sep, 2011

    Another thing to try is recycle those newspapers. Wrap the bottom of each pot that will 'nest' with some old newspapers...they won't stick and you can use the newspapers in the spring for your compost pile.

  • JudyGBM 6 Sep, 2011

    My dad, a successful gardener told me always put a little bleach in water when soaking pots to rid any viruses. He is 96 years old and still actively gardening and growing orchids.

  • Emilie_224 5 Sep, 2010

    Terra-cotta pots will often crack or break if left outside for the winter. They might be alright in an insulated shed, but why take the chances? I'm not sure how cold it needs to get for this to happen though, or if humidity makes any difference. I'm in Ottawa, ON (Canada) where the winters are humid and the temperature goes from -15o C to -40o C.

  • AndreaSchoneker 5 Sep, 2010

    store out of the freezing cold? (who has room in the house?) not necessary really, just as long as they're totally dry and don't have any soil in them.

  • LinfromCT 4 Sep, 2010

    I would have stacked my pots vertically, so thank you for this tip!

  • georgilu 5 Sep, 2009

    Very interesting and perfect timing!!

  • dsuemor 27 Mar, 2008