Do You Know When to Water Your Plants?

Do You Know When to Water Your Plants?

We've talked about what time of the day to water, now it's knowing when to water your plants.

Some say to wait until the plant is stressed and then water them. Sometimes stress can go too far and damage the plant.

People sometimes water everyday which can be a terrible thing to do to plants. It drowns them because the roots need air.
Watering once a week can be a good way to remember to water, but different weather climate and soil conditions can be a problem if you only water once a week.
One watering rule that works is that there is no watering rule except what works where you live.  In other words, there is no single watering rule that covers all types of soil and weather conditions.
The best way to know when to water is to understand the basics of plants.
If a plants roots are totally in water in the soil, the sun will begin to dry out layers of soil.  
As the days go by, the soil becomes drier but the deep roots can remain in the water that is well below the surface.
At some point, the dryness reaches way down in the soil.  The plant, sensing the dryness, starts growing roots farther into the soil to get more water. 
If that's the case, and it is, when do you water?
When the tops of the roots begin to dry out.
How do you know when they are drying out?
Use your finger, stick into the soil up to the second knuckle and if you feel moisture, don't water.  If the tip of that finger feels dry, it's time to water.
For new plants, or plants in Pocket Bloomers®, us your first knuckle as the test.  It's because the roots of the new plant are not mature and haven't gone down deep enough.
If you put in seeds, you need to water them when you see that the surface is dry. 
This helps keep the seed watered so it can germinate. 
Do the same for seedlings - keep them moist.
When the seedlings are mature, use the one knuckle test.  You want the soil on top to dry out a bit so the plant develops deeper roots.
With Pocket Bloomers®, water them when the top half of the soil is dry.
Watering conditions change all the time. Hotter means more evaporation so soil dries quicker.  With higher humidity, the watering conditions are different and watering is less in spring and fall while being higher in the summer.
For example, in the summer, because I have sunlight for 6 hours a day, I water my Pocket Bloomers® every morning.  In the fall, winter and early spring, I water them two to three times a week depending upon the moisture in the soil - the one knuckle test.
Hope this helps give you some guidelines for when it's best to water.
Good luck and happy gardening!
Doug Daniloff, Pocket Bloomers LLC
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