Easy Watering Tips for Your Garden & Indoor Plants

How much watering does your plant need?

Often plants are getting too much water or too little. Finding out the proper water requirements for your specific plant and then factoring in the current environment is important. For example, if your heat loving plant is outside in the direct sun, it will have different water requirements than if you have it indoors with less sunlight. Read the plant label carefully, note the plant variety and use online resources to get some insight into your specific plant. Remember plants in the ground outdoors or in a raised bed retain moisture better than an outdoor potted plant which will dry out faster.

Water testing method:

Finger test

The finger test is a good guide to see if the soil is moist: stick your finger in the soil up to your 1st for a small potted plant or 2nd knuckle for a larger pot or outdoors. Now stop and pay attention. Is the soil dry? wet or partially moist, bone dry? This will give you an idea of what moisture level is in the soil right now. Then based on the information you gathered in the above section proceed to water or not to the desired moisture level.

Plant & Garden Moisture Meter

You can also buy a moisture meter, as an alternative to sticking in your finger, and then match up the watering requirements of your plants. This will typically show you on a scale of 1 to 10 where the current moisture level is. Read the package carefully or some are labeled. Mine shows if the red arrow is at the 1 or 2 range, that means the soil is dry, the middle range is usually indicating medium moisture and the higher range is indicating soil is wet.

Guidelines for your Garden and Plants in general:

Time of day: Firstly, water in the morning, when the sun is weakest, the ground is cool and the foliage will have a chance to dry. Secondly, Evening watering is not recommended because it encourages bugs, fungus, and disease. It also leaves the risk of foliage not drying completely.

Duration: When you water, don’t just water for 30 seconds and move on, water deeply. This applies more to outdoor plants and larger pots. This means let the water absorb into the soil and get to the roots, this takes a little time and then you will have to water less frequently. This will encourage deeper root growth instead of shallow roots. This is true for many plants including grass and trees as well.

Easy Watering Tips for Your Garden & Indoor Plants
Tropical indoor plant (in picture)

Where: Try to water directly at the base and root of the plant, and avoid getting the foliage wet.
The foliage doesn’t need water, the roots do! Use irrigation systems, with water close to the ground. Don’t use sprays that send the water all over the foliage and everywhere.

Container location: Container gardens, pots, and planters need to be monitored and watered more often, especially in the warmer months. They are exposed to more sun and dry out more quickly. Using mulch in containers and beds keep the ground cool, keep weeds away and also retains moisture. Some plants like to be ignored and watered infrequently – don’t get tricked into overwatering them! Read the plant label or talk to your nursery when buying these.

Hope these tips and guidelines will help your plant get the water it deserves to grow and thrive. Feel free to check out my website at www.culinarygardens.com

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