Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reduce * Reuse * Recycle

The day finally arrived when I got sick and tired of looking at this messy corner of pots strewn here and there. As you can see, I'm not very good at keeping my stuff organized. When I'm in search of a pot, I move them all around, and then (yes, I admit it!) I walk away leaving my pots in disarray. Or when I'm finished planting I just toss the new pots on top.

The warmer weather this week has put me in the right mood to delve in and clean up this mess. I separated, stacked, swept, reorganized & tossed pots out all the while thinking, "Wow, I sure bought a lot of plants last year." When you purchase a handful at a time it doesn't seem like you've spent much. But when the pots are stacked all together it's a real eye-opener.

I did, however, enjoy looking at the plant tags and remembering which plants I purchased, until I knocked them off the garbage can lid one too many times. Then they just became an additional nuisance I didn't need around.

Finally, the job was complete, and I was satisfied with the results. I never part with the larger pots because I generally purchase small plants, and I need the larger ones for repotting. Now, I see that I need to get the bleach out and clean the concrete - always another task right around the corner!

But, I did manage to reduce my stash pretty significantly. Our county trash hauler recycles these nursery pots which makes me feel a lot better about tossing them in the garbage. But I shudder to think how many pots in the past I've sent to the local landfill. Fortunately, those days are over.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I sure wish I could recycle my nursery pots. This seems to be the biggest waste to me. Lucky you.

Alan said...

Unless it's broken beyond use I never throw out a pot. Like you I seldom store them neatly either. They just accumulate under the potting bench or by the workshop until I need them.

Which I did. I drug the entire collection out the other day then sorted them by size as I have a big repotting project coming up. Had row after row of neatly lined up pots waiting for me to use them.

Then our last big gusty front came through and blew them across two acres of yard. The wife and kids ran around picking them up as I moved plants into the greenhouse before the freeze. Now they're all in a big disoragnized pile again.

The more things change the more they stay the same.


Rusty in Miami said...

You remind me that I have the same job ahead of me. I wish the local nurseries would take the containers back like drycleaners take the hangers back.

My Mother's Garden said...

Hi Susan~

You have given me the inspiration to clean up my pile of pots. I, too, am always surprised when I see the proof of how many plants I really did buy.


Dani said...

I really need to get ambitious and do the same.

Susan said...

Lisa & Rusty...I'm surprised that you can't recycle. Hopefully, you'll be able to soon. You might try taking your pots to the local extension service. Master Gardener's have plant sales and they may be able to use them. It's worth a try!

Alan...Ain't that the truth! Yesterday I had two empty pots and I tossed them on top of the others. As I turned to walk away that small voice inside said, "Turn around and stack them the right way." I promptly obliged!

Karrita & Dani...It's one of those jobs that just keeps getting put off. It's a great job to do on a beautiful sunny day.

tina said...

I have the same problem-so many plants and so many pots! It is definitely best to recycle. I stash mine behind my compost bin-until I can give them away or whatever and like you, it builds up after a while.

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