Watering potted plants is more of a challenge than first-time gardeners might realize. It can be easy to completely forget about your beloved plants, and before you know it, they are dried out, chewed out, and more or less dead. Part of keeping your outdoor potted plants alive is simple to use the following watering practices.
Choose the Right Soil
Using the right soil is all-important. The best type of soil remains moist and temperate but drains well. Some plants prefer moist soil, and others prefer dry soil. Make sure that you are using soil that is suitable for your particular potted species. If you are gardening in terra cotta pots, your soil will dry out much more quickly. You can add agro-polymer beads to the soil to trap moisture better.
Water the Roots
When watering, make sure you are watering the roots directly. A gentle hose setting or a watering can are good enough tools for the job. Be sure to water the soil and not the leaves, as letting the water roll off the leaves will cause waste. Better yet, let the water overflow into the bottom pot plate to know you’ve reached all the way through the soil.
Water in the Cool of Day
You don’t want to water at any part of the day, however. Avoid watering potted plants in the heat of the day, such as noon on a summer’s day, as the water can become boiling hot and cook your plants’ roots! Water in the morning, in the evening, or both, when the temperature is cooler.
Monitoring exactly when you need to water can be difficult. You don’t want to let the soil dry out too long, and you don’t want to let the plants sit in standing water. One can purchase a moisture monitor relatively cheaply, or use the old-fashioned method of sticking a finger a little beneath the soil.
Another low-tech but highly effective way to keep your plants healthy and moist is to cluster the pots together. The overlapping foliage will help create some shade for each other and preserve moisture in the soil.
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