Wednesday, August 29, 2012

from Chapter 1 - To Water Or Not To Water

Ninety percent of successful plant care is making the correct watering decisions..  If the plant is not looking good, the first thing to investigate, and the most important to adjust, is soil moisture.  If the soil is too wet or too dry, the roots can't function properly, and the plant starts to fail; too wet,  the plant is drowning, too dry and it's starving to death.


This is the AAA,  the First and Foremost,  the Most Especially Important Secret of the Green Thumb!

If you've never been able to quite understand the variations between "wet" and "dry",  or if you're not sure that what you mean by "moist" is the same as what someone else means, here's a little thing you can do at home.   Take a small handful - a couple of tablespoons - of potting soil or potting medium, and make sure it is completely dry; you may have to microwave it awhile, or let it sit around for a few days.  Then put it into a small bowl, and pinch some between your fingers.  This is "dry," this is what people mean if they use the term "completely dry." Now start adding water a little at a time - about  1/4 teaspoon - and stir it around well.  Let it sit for a few minutes after each addition of water, to allow the particles in the soil to absorb the water.   Pick up a little soil and squeeze it after each portion of water has been absorbed ,  try to feel how it changes from the barest hint of moisture to soft and cool to dripping wet.  Match  your samples to  the  moisture chart to check what you should be looking for.

           END of excerpt.  Stay tuned for more ways to investigate soil moisture

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