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Deepening the roots

For a baby plant, constant moisture is helpful. For one that's on its way to maturity, occasional spells of dryness, but not too much, are equally helpful. Why? Because while plants have developed many ways to survive dry periods, growing roots more quickly when drought threatens is universal.

And deeper roots mean more nutrients, more stable soil temperature and more access to water.

So, once plants are established, slack off on the water. This means paying attention to the surface of the soil and testing it an inch or two down. Paying attention to the plant and whether it looks a bit stressed or not. Paying attention to how much water you're actually adding to the soil.

Water deeply, probably adding more than you think you need to, then waiting for a few signs of stress, maybe even to slight wilting at the tips of the leaves, or a change in the color. Then soak the ground again.

The more you do this, the less water the plant will need later on.


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