Water is essential to life, especially plant life in the middle of summer! There are many well-known tips and guidelines you probably already follow, but sometimes there is a fine balance to effective watering.
Competing and Contradicting?
For example, there are a couple rules of thumb for plant watering that actually seem to compete against each other.
The first is “water less frequently, but more thoroughly.” Watering plants daily but just a little at a time actually encourages a shallower, less resilient root pattern. Shallow watering actually trains the plant into vulnerability!
The second is to “water gradually.” Watering too much too fast will cause runoff which just wastes the water, or can cause waterlogging of the roots which drives out the oxygen they also need. Not too long ago, we witnessed a dying dahlia garden in which the tubers had turned completely to mush from an overzealous homeowner. He had basically drowned them.
Finding “Just Right”
So how do you water thoroughly… but not too thoroughly? Enough to feed and deep enough to feed, but not too fast or too heavy. Once we know about too much or too little, how do we find what’s just right?
First, of course, you have to be mindful of your soil. Clay soils naturally retain water more than sandy soils, which changes the way you observe the two rules of thumb mentioned above.
Regardless of your soil type, there is another way to strike the right balance for your plants while also reducing your overall watering needs and watering labor. It is the judicious use of superabsorbent polymers around the root system.
These amazing gels absorb hundreds of times their weight in water — 300-400x for our Horta-Sorb, for example! But then the roots take only what they need, slowly and safely and in the amount the plant calls for. You don’t have to think so much about your watering strategy because the water is already available and the plant does the thinking for you.
The Bliss of Consistency
The consistency of this water supply is a dream come true for plants. They’re not stressed by receiving too little, and not damaged by getting too much. And meanwhile, the polymers are doing the labor.
Want to begin applying a superabsorbent solution to your watering needs? Check out Horta-Sorb, including the different polymer sizes and mixing instructions, or contact us anytime for additional guidance!