Watering Your Plants – How Much Is Too Much?April 24, 2020
When you’re a soil gardener the biggest challenge you’re likely to face is keeping your house plants properly hydrated.
You need to ensure your plants are getting the right amount of water without overdoing it. And what you probably didn’t realise, is that you need to be watering at just the right time too!
Use our following watering tips to help your houseplant gardening efforts throughout the dormant and growing season.
There are many gadgets and gizmos that can do this for you (we even sell a few!). But sometimes the best ‘thing’ to use is your finger! – When it comes to knowing if it’s time to water your plant pots, your own finger can be an extremely valuable asset.
Place your finger into the soil — the top one to two inches should be dry, while the soil below should be moist.
What stage of growth your plant is at also has an impact. Where your plants are in the growing process plays an important role in knowing the appropriate water depth. If your plants are still in the seed or seedling stage, they need more water near the surface of the soil to develop plant roots. More established plants require water to a depth of two to six inches below the surface (obviously dependent on the size of your pot but I think that you get the drift?).
The soil should be kept damp but not soggy — over watered soil can deprive plant roots of oxygen and limit their ability to absorb water.
Earlier in the day is better. The best time to water your plants is early in the morning, particularly during the summer months.
This enables your plants and soil to absorb the moisture before the hot sun has a chance to dry it. If you can’t water in the morning, the next-best option is late afternoon. Be sure to water well before sunset as moisture that lingers overnight can promote the onset of fungal diseases.
Using compost should be a part of your organic watering program, as it enhances the soil’s ability to hold moisture.
Compost doesn’t have to be fancy as it can contain a wide range of basic organic materials, such as food waste and leaves. For best results, go for a soil composition consisting of about five to six percent compost.
Get yourself a good watering can. One with a long spout is good as it can also help with targeted watering of your plant pots especially if you have some large ones.