• Mara

The problem with watering pots

Is that they dry out more quickly than an expanse of soil. Big pots, of course, dry out more slowly but are usually less open to improvisation. Little ones, with a single plant only, can be moved around to get the best composition and stuck out of sight when they're out of bloom.

So you can try to keep up with the evaporation or install some sort of watering system, usually less than ideal for some plants, or you can get the most out of a single soaking. How? I do mean soaking. Fill a pail, or a tub, and let each pot sit up to its rim in water for at least a couple hours, even overnight. Both easier and more effective than simply dousing them from a hose. A single soaking lasts much longer.

But... be careful not to overwater. Roots need air and keeping the potting mix sopping wet eliminates that essential element. Do it once and you'll never risk it again. First the leaves turn yellow because they don't have enough water, the roots have rotted off, then the plant dies. A dry plant can often be helped back to health but rotted roots are almost always gone forever.

By the way, the best way to judge whether you need to water or not is to lift the pot. You'll soon learn the weight of moist vs. dry soil. Much more accurate than feeling the top of the container.

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