Thoughts On Watering

Thoughts On Watering

Keeping Your Container Plants Hydrated

The rows of watering cans in the store reminds us that the growing season is approaching. Some of these cans are traditional in shape and others are more fanciful. No matter if they are practical or silly, these watering tools represent a serious subject. Without appropriate watering container plants will die.

It seems simple, right? When the soil in a pot or box is dry, you water it. What sounds so easy can actually be a bit more complex. For example, if the soil has gotten very dry it will pull away from the sides of the pot. So the initial water might run down this gap between root ball and container leaving most of the soil still dry. To prevent this from happening it’s best to water dry containers at least twice: once to start the soil swelling, and again to throughly saturate the root ball.

Often people are afraid to overwater their plants, so they error in the opposite direction. But giving a potted plant “a lick and a promise” allows roots to dry up and the plant won’t thrive. It’s far better to water a plant really well, allowing the excess to flow out of the pot through the drainage holes. If the plant has gotten very dry water again or allow the water that collects in a saucer below the pot to be absorbed back into the soil. Smaller plants can be brought to a sink and watered twice or even three times with a pause in-between.  The excess will go down the drain.

If water remains in a saucer under the pot for longer than a few hours drain this off. Old terry towels or a common turkey baster are helpful for this task. Once your plants are well saturated you can wait until they dry out before watering again.

These watering cans are ornamental, but watering your plants is actually serious business!

Remember: A deep soaking less often is better than a little every day!

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