How to Water your Plants

Please stop watering your flowers and plants like it’s 1988!
A guest post from Evan Santi

June 23, 2008

Container garden

It is 2008; please stop watering like you are stuck in the 80’s, age of excess.

Drip it, drip it good
Drip irrigation is a luxury on a street level and a necessity on roof tops or any area where you have unobstructed sun. With a combination of bizarre weather patterns, more rooftop gardens popping up and clever ways of hiding drip systems, you are sure to hear a great deal about them. There are countless benefits to going with a reservoir or drip system.

For starters, with traditional watering, you are constantly wetting the foliage which can cause any plant or flower with prepubescent foliage (grey furry leaves; examples include licorice, silver falls or any helichrysum) to rot or produce mold.

Secondly, you will save crucial time and money on fertilizer. Every time you water from the top you are flushing the nutrients right thought the drainage holes. By allowing the plant material to gradually absorb the water you will cut your fertilizer cost in half.

Lastly, you will have a much healthier root system and in return a much fuller plant or flower. Think of your soil as a sponge. If it is 90 degrees outside and you throw a gallon of water onto a sponge it may soak up an ounce or two, but if you take that same sponge and slowly gave it water over a half an hour you can be sure that it will be super saturated.

Now that you have stopped the “splash and dash,” you can focus on pruning, pinching and dead heading your container gardens and most importantly enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Gardeners’ secret: If you are expecting rain and cooler temperatures, place rocks or styraboard under your container to make certain that your container drains properly. Also, the opposite is true: if you are anticipating no rain and a serious heat wave, remove the rocks under the planter to reduce drainage and lock in the moisture.

Flower Fact of the Day: Gardeners in Beijing are working to plant 40 million flowers throughout the city in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in August.

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