As I was thumbing through my local newspaper, I came across this article of interest and am passing it on to you. Couldn’t of said it better myself.
“After the frost has taken its’ toll on your container plants, empty, clean and disinfect them before storing for the winter. As long as the plants were not diseased, they can go in the compost pile or be chopped up and mixed into the soil. Brush off any loose potting soil from the containers. Clean them inside and out, with warm water and scrub with a brush to remove the remaining soil and plant debris. Disinfect the planters with a mild bleach solution to reduce the risk of transferring diseases to next year’s plants. After submerging smaller pots or spraying larger pots with the bleach solution, rinse the planters with clear water. Let the planters dry completely before storing. The most common bleach solution is 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water. It is recommended to wear rubber gloves, eye and clothing protection in case the bleach solution splashes. Work in a well ventilated area as fumes can be harmful.
Store cleaned containers inside a garage or shed. Breakable containers are best stored inside where they won’t get wet. If containers need to be stacked, separate the pots with a strip of cardboard so they won’t stick together. To store containers outside, find an area protected from the wind and rain. Glazed and terra-cotta pots stored outside will flake and crack if water absorbed by the pots freezes. These should be stored upside down and off the ground to let water drain and prevent them from absorbing more water. For large or heavy containers that cannot be moved inside, cover them to prevent water from filling, freezing and cracking the container. Good covers can be pieces of exterior plywood or a plastic tarp.
By taking care of the planters this fall. when Spring comes, they are ready when you are!