At some point you will have to remove your container garden. They only can go for so long and there will be the clean up and removal that will need to happen. Here are a few ways to make it a simpler project.
Now that summer is over, many of the flowers you have will no longer make it into the winter. However, there are a few ways to save some of your plants and get them through the winter. The other ones though will not be as lucky and have to be emptied and removed. Doing this is not difficult and can be done relatively easily.
If you planted any tropical annuals, they can be brought indoors for the winter. They will need:
A very sunny window or ledge.
Good amount of available moisture.
Of course enough space to set them up.
Along with any tropical plants you have, you can also bring in palms and ferns. Removing some cuttings and essentially cloning your plants may be a better idea if you do not have a lot of room or an area that they can still strive in. The plants need to be very healthy with no bugs or blights. What you will need to do to succeed is:
Make sure you use a sharp knife and remove some of the non-flowering stems. It should be about three to four inches long.
You will then need to make sure all the leaves are removed from the lower part of them stem; around two thirds of the way down.
Now that you have prepared the cuttings that you have chosen, dip the edges in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone is available at all plant stores.
Once they have been dipped, put the cuttings that are still damp, into moist sand or peat moss. Even tap water will work if you do not have sand or peat moss to use.
Next, take the container that they are in and place it in a sunny place for three to four weeks.
Do not forget to keep the sand or peat moss moist during this time.
Keep checking your cuttings until you see that the roots are about 1 inch long.
Now you are able to plant them in a regular pot and grow them on a sunny window ledge or room.
This method works well when you are dealing with such plants as geraniums, pelargonium, coleus, and certain ivies. Sometimes impatiens work too.
So, you have rescued and saved all the plants that you can and you are ready to move onto cleaning the containers of the other plants and disposing of them. All the plants that you are getting rid of you can cut up and put into a compost heap, this includes the soil. You definitely want to get rid of all the soil especially if you have soil in terracotta or ceramic pots and containers. Any moisture in the soil will expand when it freezes and it will crack the pots and containers, ruining them and making a mess.
Now, simply wash out all the containers and pots to make sure all debris and fungus are gone. If there is a white ring on your terracotta pots then just soak them for twenty four hours in white vinegar, water, and baking soda. After they have soaked use a stiff brush and scrub them in soapy water and rinse.
Next, dry the containers and pots in the sun and then stack them with paper towels or newspapers between them to absorb any moisture that is left. Try to store them somewhere at room temperature so that they do not freeze together during the winter months. However, as long as there are layers between them, they should be fine until the spring.
As long as you follow these tips you should have no problem saving some of your plants and being prepared for the following summer.