The summer season is over, but restless gardeners have found a way to grow almost undisturbed: we set up "seedbeds" on our windowsills during the winter. Some even grow vegetables on their balconies or wooden porches all year round. It's a fascinating industry, but it requires certain conditions. I don't know about you all, but I have the most trouble with watering, so Bubgo proposes to talk about this garden plant watering issue today.
In a home garden, in addition to the needs of each plant, it is important to consider the microclimate: temperature and air humidity; soil water capacity; and light intensity. The year is also important: you should water more in summer than in winter when too much water can kill plants. You usually judge the need for "watering" by eye - by the initial appearance of your pet and the condition of the soil. But it's worth remembering that there are a few rules.
The Proper Way to Water Plants
Pots and containers should always have a deep enough pot so that excess water can runoff. The water should be drained and should not be allowed to remain in the tray for any length of time. However, the soil in which the plants are grown must be taken into account.
If the soil in the pot is tight, it will not allow the water to penetrate properly, and any excess water in the tray must be drained away immediately.
However, if the soil is loose, water is usually not retained but flows freely into the tray, from where it is then gradually absorbed and reaches the roots of the plants; the remaining liquid in the tray should then be drained at the earliest half an hour after watering.
The soil in the planting container should not reach about 1 inch (2.5 cm) over the edge of the container. Otherwise, it will not water the plants well - water will leak out of an overfilled pot or box, and you will have to work to wet the soil to the full depth of the container.
Any container should have holes to allow excess water to drain out, and there should be a drain at the bottom. If the plant needs a lot of watering but does not respond well to standing water, you should increase the drainage layer. It is convenient to use expanded clay to make it, but you can also take small ordinary stones.
As you probably know, you should not use tap water directly for watering. It should be left in an open tank to remove chlorine for at least a day, which is not good for plant growth. By doing this, you can achieve a better result: you will have enough time to reach room temperature while the water settles. Do not use cold water for irrigation.
I have been advised to use melted water for my house plants (including herbs and vegetables in my home garden). It is said to be healthier than regular water. I have no problem with that claim, but I have not found any noticeable effect on the plants in my experiments.
Amazing Experience and the Right Perspective
For most plants, drought and too much water are harmful - you need to keep the soil moderately moist at all times. But this can be difficult to achieve in practice: loose soil in pots and boxes on windowsills dries out quickly, and you have to keep the situation under control because the contrast, the sudden change from drought to high humidity, is not doing your plants any good either.
If you are not paying attention, you can try to revive your plants with dried-out root balls by placing the pots in a large bucket with water for 5-6 hours - temperature range 77-86 °F (25-30 °C). The soil will gradually become saturated with water then, remove the container from the water to allow excess liquid to drain and return the plant to its normal position.
However, for some crops (such as lettuce), this test can cause irreparable damage to their taste: the leaves become coarse, bitter, and unpalatable. Thus, drought in the home garden is a serious problem.
In turn, overwatering often leads to root rot (especially if the overwatering is accompanied by excessive root cooling - a real danger on a winter windowsill). Humidity can cause the soil to become acidic, and poor air exchange can depress the growth of our pets.
If you happen to water your plants, loosen the topsoil to allow more air to the roots, or even remove the topsoil and replace it. If the soil begins to turn sour, repot your pet as soon as possible. When repotting, the roots should be removed from the acidic soil and cleaned, and any damaged and decayed parts should be removed.
Also, the intensity of watering depends on the age of the plant. The roots of young plants penetrate the entire soil mass and absorb less water than the roots of mature plants. Therefore, you should be careful to water-headed, transplant and young plants, and do so sparingly.
Each crop has different moisture requirements, as anyone who has grown a plot knows this. But when it comes to watering the "seedbed" on the windowsill, we often forget this for some reason and water all of our plants the same way. And you shouldn't do that.
To make things easier, you can group plants grown together by placing containers on the windowsill to have adjacent plants with similar needs. A seemingly obvious solution? But for some reason, I didn't think of this at first, so I thought I'd share it - it would be useful if someone else had a simple tip like this.
A handy and beautiful houseplant watering can make watering easier and more enjoyable. You can find a suitable one in our catalog, including products from leading online garden stores. Our selection of watering cans for watering your houseplants and home garden.
Watering Devices and Accessories, Watering can
Vegetable plants at home are usually watered with small watering cans with long spouts. They use a strainer only for watering young plants. A watering can without a strainer is more convenient for watering mature plants.
But I prefer this apparatus (a mix of a jug and a watering can). It's easy to pour water into it and add fertilizer if necessary.
Another treatment is spraying. You will need a sprayer that sprays water delicately. Plants that require high humidity to grow should be sprayed. However, in the winter, the air in our homes can be so dry that others like to take a little shower.
And showers are indispensable for watering small seedlings for which even the slightest stream of water from a fine sieve can be too much. In short, it's a useful device.
If your home garden is large enough, you can use an automatic or drip irrigation system - buy it or make your own. Using this equipment saves time and, most importantly, allows you to maintain optimal soil moisture levels in your planting containers.
The above-mentioned plants need watering, so where to buy watering cans? In our bubgo store, you can find watering cans and gardening supplies at a variety of price points. Over $50, free shipping! New registrants also get 15% off.
What is Hydrogel, and What Can it do for the US?
As I said at the beginning of this article, watering the vegetable garden is the most challenging task for me. In my perpetual turmoil, I often miss the moment when I should pick up the watering can. Automatic systems - not my choice (for a few pots of flowers 3-4 months a year, I'm not ready to buy expensive equipment). So I was looking for a simple but effective solution. And I found it!
Plant Care in the home garden is greatly simplified with Hydrogel. It is a neutral polymer substance that easily holds large amounts of water and gives it to the roots of plants as needed. Applying Hydrogel to the soil does reduce the frequency of watering plants, and the plants develop better due to getting the needed water.
Hydrogel is colorless, usually irregularly shaped granules (don't confuse with Hydrogel, which is geometrically shaped spherical, cubic, and often colored. It is mainly used for decorative purposes). There is also a powdered substance into which the plant's roots are dipped at the time of transplanting or before transport.
The hydrogel can be applied to the soil after drying or preliminary soaking (the latter is better: when absorbing water, the volume of Hydrogel increases so strongly that it is difficult to calculate the amount of substrate required). On the other hand, hydrogel is only applied after soaking and without mixing with the soil, which is beautiful in its own right.
You can choose Hydrogel for houseplants and home gardens in our catalog, which combines offers from large garden Internet stores. Choose Hydrogel.
One thing to remember: Don't expect instant results from applying Hydrogel. It does not moisten the soil - it provides moisture directly to the roots of the plant, which need time to germinate through the swollen granules. So at first, you have to water normally. But you don't have to worry afterward - your pet won't suffer from thirst even if you have to leave the house for a few days.
Instead of soaking the Hydrogel in water, you can soak it in a suitable multi-element fertilizer solution, and then the plants will get water from this source and the extra nutrients they need. All in all, I'm happy with this solution.
And the six smart herb-growing devices on your windowsill solve all the watering problems. The only thing the homeowner has to do is collect the harvest. Share your secrets and discoveries - how do you water your home vegetable garden, and what have you invented to ensure your pets don't suffer from thirst?