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Cleaning Up Now that you've rescued what you can, get ruthless and empty all of your other outdoor containers. If you have a compost heap, chop up remains and toss them there. Soil too! This is particularly important if you've been using terracotta or ceramic containers, as moisture in soil will expand when it freezes and you'll end up with cracked pots. (If there are any crackpots around my house, I want them to be of human variety!)
Next, wash out empty containers to remove any disease and fungal spores. If your terracotta pots have a white build-up from water, potting soil and fertilizer chemicals, soak them for 24 hours in white vinegar and water with some baking soda added. Then scrub them with a stiff brush in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
Air or sun dry containers and then stack them with layers of newspaper between each. If you have a spot to store them where they won't freeze over winter months, all better. If not, as long as you've made certain pots are dry and well layered with paper, they should be fine until spring.
Now you're ready to put on a show of fall color. I can tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. Check under “Fall Planting Tips” on fre*e articles page of my webs-site.
Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site. Visit her at http://www.paradiseporch.com and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”.