Do you need somewhere to store outdoor planter pots during the chilly winter months? Take a look at what you need to know about planters, de-cluttering your home's space, and storage facility rental.
Clean Everything First
Leftover potting or garden soil can potentially bring pests into your self-storage unit. Even though you may not see worms, bugs, or other creepy-crawlies in the dirt, eggs, and barely-there larvae can hitchhike a ride into your warm rental unit.
Clean all outdoor planter pots completely before storing them. Weather permitting, clean the planters outside on a patio or other similar space. Remove the potting soil or dirt and clear the remaining debris with water from a hose. If you don't have a hose/hose hookup, use buckets or warm, soapy water to clean the pots. Thoroughly rinse the planters before you dry them.
Dry the Planters Thoroughly
A quick swipe with a washcloth won't completely dry your planters. Leftover moisture can support mold or mildew growth in your storage unit, putting everything else in the rental at risk. Mold can grow on damp surfaces in as little as 24 to 48 hours, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Use a larger, absorbent towel to dry your plastic, ceramic, or other planters. If you can't remove 100 percent of the water with a towel, leave the pots in a warm, sunny indoor space.
Pack the Planters Carefully
Now that your planters are clean and dry, it's time to move on to the next step and pack the pots. Larger planters aren't easy to fit into bins or boxes. If you can't find a container tall, wide, or strong enough to hold the planter, wrap it in a tarp or plastic sheeting.
Before you wrap, box, or bin any planter pot, fill the interior with packing paper, bubble wrap, towels, or a similar material. Cover the exterior with another protective layer of bubble wrap or towels. Secure the protection and add a waterproof tarp or sheet. Smaller pots can go into sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic bins.
Label the Planters Clearly
Whether you pack the pots in boxes and bins or cover them with tarps, you need to label every planter. A clear label can help you to easily find the planters next spring when you need them. Use a permanent marker to write the label on a plain sticker or piece of masking tape. Include the item's name (planter pot), date of storage, and information on whether it's fragile or breakable.