This time of the year I head to wherever the seeding trays are stored and brave the spiders.
I love sowing seeds but can’t say I’m thrilled every year to clean and disinfect seeding trays and pots. I made the mistake my first couple of years gardening not to disinfect and it’s a big mistake as any fungal or soil problems you had last year will re-surface (a common one being dampening off).
Until we make our own wooden trays and buy the awesome soil block makers for now I shall tackle this gardening task.
How to Clean & Disinfect Seeding Trays
- Step 1. Check the underside of your trays and scrap out any spider egg nests or dead spiders that you see. They will be white fluffy looking clumps. Tap the trays and try and let as much dirt come out as possible. I give them a wash outside in the spring and summer after using them to make them less dirty for this winter cleaning task.
- Step 2. Fill up a washing bin (I use our big recycling bin) with warm soapy water, preferably outside as it’s messy and those dead spiders are better left.. well outside. I wait until the weather is a nice -2C/28.4F to do this if possible. I used buckets from the kitchen sink to fill up our bin as turning on the tap outside will freeze. If you live somewhere warm kudos! I’m jealous.
- Step 3. Scrub the trays and pots and try to get off as much dirt and debris as you can. You might be surprised if you cleaned your trays last summer to find new creatures and dirt have nestled themselves in there. It happens.
- Step 4. Leave the trays and pots to off to the side while you empty the dirty water and re-fill it with cold water, this time to disinfect. Add bleach at a ratio of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Leave the trays and pots to soak for 10 mins. OR 20 minute soak in a 3-6% hydrogen peroxide solution.