Over-Waterer’s Anonymous

IMG_1090My name is GreenUp! Guy and I am an over-waterer.  This is my Achilles’ Heal of gardening.  I should have seen the signs of this problem.  At a previous office we had a service that took care of all of the indoor plants.  The “plant guy” as we called him was extremely nice, but continually reminded me not to water the plants.  Well this stops today.  I am on a one-step program to sane and utilitarian watering of my plants.  I hope that I can help you too with some resources on watering properly.

Over-watering is worse than under-watering.  This is because roots will not get the water or oxygen they need and could lead to root rot.  Over-watering leads to the yellowing of the edge or entire leaves.  Overly moist soil can result in fungal disease and unwanted bugs.  Here are some ways that we can minimize, avoid and maybe even reverse our over-watering problems.

Watering Tips

  • Get knuckle deep.  If your finger feels moist at all, don’t water, if your finger feels dry, water.
  • Water in the morning when soil is cool with less evaporation by warm sun.  Plus, most plants like to go to bed dry.
  • Use mulch to blanket an area around the plant’s soil. This organic matter will enrich the soil with every watering, prevent errosion and decrease evaporation of moisture from the soil.
  • Don’t wet the leaves, unless directed to do so.
  • If your pot sits in a dish for drainage collection, remove excess water when present.
  • When plant is young and smaller with more soil area exposed, water right around the roots.
  • To encourage downward root growth deeply soak the soil less often rather than watering shallowly more frequently.
  • Remember the 3D’s of watering: drench, drain and don’t drown.
  • Here are some over-watering cures.

Here is a great vintage video about proper watering technique and getting knuckle-deep:

Water savings tip: while waiting for the shower to get to your desired temperature, collect the water in a bucket.  You can use that water for your plants.  If you don’t want to carry it out to your garden, you can always use it to flush the toilet.  Simply pour it into the upper tank right after a flush.

What are your watering guidelines and tips?  I can use all the help I can get. – GreenUp! Guy

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