over watering plants

Container gardens offer a fantastic advantage when it comes to meeting the water needs of plants. Unlike a traditional garden, where watering must be done more generally on a large scale, a container garden creates a microclimate where water and drainage needs can be met individually.This avoids over watering plants.


Individual Needs

Every plant has its own unique water needs and rate of use. Check seeds packets and garden books for information on water requirements. Then plant each container garden according to the water usage of the plants it will hold. This way you can ensure that one plant won’t be getting root rot while another goes thirsty!Thus dodge over watering plants.


More Than Meets the Eye

Just because the top of the soil looks dry doesn’t mean it is dry all the way through. If in doubt, stick a finger an inch and a half into the soil and check for wetness. If the soil feels damp your plant won’t need additional watering for now, if it’s dry, go ahead and water as usual. This is a great way to tackle over watering plants.


Don’t Let the Soil Dry Out

Be aware that soilless potting mixes are difficult to manage if allowed to dry out too much. The soil will shrink in on itself and compact, making it difficult to re-wet. If this does happen, take your container and submerge it in water. Keep the pot under water until you stop seeing bubbles emerge from the soil. If your container is too large to stick into a bucket of water, poke holes into the soil and then try watering.


Keep it Coming!

Even though container gardens may seem like they should require very little water, it is important that you water thoroughly. This means that each time you water you should see some water coming out of the holes in the bottom of the container. This helps to provide roots, which have grown towards the bottom of the container, with enough water to help the plant grow and flourish. It will also help prevent shallow roots from forming along the surface of the soil.


Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for a healthy container garden. When water gets trapped in the soil it results in root rot, which will eventually kill your plants. The key to proper drainage is having drainage holes in the bottom of your container garden. Many container gardens today are equipped with drainage holes or spigots that move the water out and away from the garden. If you’re concerned about the drainage rate, consider adding additional drainage holes to your container.


The Rock Debate

For many years garden professionals have suggested placing a layer of crushed gravel in the bottom of a planter to encourage drainage. Recently these same garden pros have been suggesting that this practice be abandoned. Why? Although it might seem logical that the water would drain more quickly through the larger spaces between the rocks than through the small particles of soil, the water is actually getting trapped in between the two layers and pooling there. This can lead to the same issues seen in overwatering.


Here is how over watering plants will look:
over watering plants

Happy Plants and Healthy Gardens without over watering plants

With a little forethought, container gardens can be successfully planned to encourage efficient water use, create specialized microclimates and provide for healthy plant and root growth. Make the time to plan out your next container garden, or redesign an old one. You won’t regret it!



Tom Korzen
Founder
Tom is an avid urban gardener, an accomplished industrial designer, and the creator of the Garden365 line of premium container gardening products. He loves finding innovative new ways of making the most of his tiny little patio garden. Tom has also recently published the Garden365 Container Gardening Guide.
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