Ask a Question forum→Years-Old Dirt in Found Terra Cotta Pots. Usable Still?

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Los Angeles, CA
Marcelisa
May 16, 2020 9:45 PM CST
We found two large beautiful terra cotta pots left by our house's old owners. One can tell they haven't been used in a long time. We took out the dirt stuck inside. The dirt stains are deep and requires lots of scrubbing. Is it worth it? Can I use the pots without scrubbing the dirt stains? Will this hurt the herbs I want to plant? Thanks!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 17, 2020 12:58 AM CST
Welcome! Yes, I would try to scrub them. Clay pots are great for several types of herbs that need good drainage. You didn't specify how big the pots were, but the really good ones, which come from Italy, are very expensive. You may not be able to totally remove the stains, but scrubbing them is recommended to remove any harmful fungi or anything left in them. Use a simple soap, a wire brush, and rinse well. They can crack and break in winter weather, but I'm thinking in CA that shouldn't be a problem.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Los Angeles, CA
Marcelisa
May 26, 2020 6:53 PM CST
I took your advice, Lynda. Thank you!! They're nice and clean. I added the extra step of a vinegar rinse per a YouTube video for extra cleaning. Cheers!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
Image
gardenfish
May 27, 2020 1:16 AM CST
Wonderful! You know, I didn't think about the vinegar, it has so many good uses. The one thing not to do with it is to use it as a bug or disease spray for your garden plants. I've seen some questions about this on ask a question. Use it to kill weeds, but don't put it on plants you want to keep!
Be sure to post a pic of your herbs in their new containers!
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa

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